The best known of all, especially by the little ones, is the diplodocus. Movies and cartoons have contributed to its rapid popularization, but if you want to know more species of long-necked dinos, keep reading : )
long neck dinosaurs They are one of the dinosaurs best known to humans, along with, of course, the king of dinosaurs, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Logically we know these long-necked giants thanks to paleontological discoveries, studies and findings, which are later transmitted through documentaries, fiction films and we cannot forget cartoons.
These ungainly-looking dinosaurs convey a feeling of tenderness and tranquility, which is why we like them so much and we empathize with them in terms of these feelings.
There we have as an example how the first Jurassic Park movie begins, that just one of the first dinosaurs that it shows is one of these long-necked giants, the Brachiosaurus.
And in terms of cartoons, an example could be “In Search of the Lost Valley” where the protagonist is a baby with a very tender long neck and who is also called “long neck” as a reference to his species.
But going to what concerns us and getting serious with the subject in question, it must be said that behind that calm and calm appearance, these they were one of the strongest dinosaurs and least attacked by predators; and it is that in addition to having a great corpulence and size, they used their long tail as a defense, which they used as a whip against the attacks of carnivorous dinosaurs, or so it was believed.
So, as is the case today with some of our large herbivores, for example the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), predators only dared to attack them if they were helpless, badly injured or dying. And of course, this situation corresponds mainly to the offspring, old dinosaurs and those that, as we say, have suffered some kind of deep wound or broken bone that prevented them from moving properly and defending themselves against a predator attack.
Main characteristics of long-necked dinosaurs
Below we will summarize some of the typical and most common characteristics of this type of dinosaur:
They are herbivores
this kind of dinosaur is herbivorous and as you can imagine from their size they had to eat huge amounts of vegetation, which could easily come from trees, in addition to feeding on ferns and other types of soft leaves.
A great long neck
It is its great and main characteristic along with the long tailwhich we will mention a little later.
This kind of dinosaur had a long, heavy neck followed by a small oval head.
It is believed that this long neck, in addition to making it easier to reach certain high places to eat, was very flexible thanks to the shape and arrangement of its vertebrae; and there are those who believe that they also used it as a defense.
But one thing is clear and that is that contrary to what was believed and as they are normally represented, with their necks completely erect and their heads high, this class of dinosaurs could not fully raise their necks, so it would be difficult for them to feed from the tops of the tallest trees by fully raising the head and stretching the neck upwards. In these cases, it is assumed that, leaning on its tail and hind legs, it could lift its front legs and be able to stand up a little more and, with this posture, be able to reach the leaves located at the top of the trees.
This theory is based on the fact that the heart would have had to weigh about two tons, in the event that we are talking about a Diplodocus, for example, which is one of the best known within this class of long-necked dinosaur. Logically this value would vary according to the weight and size of the dinosaur.
Furthermore, a heart with these characteristics would beat very slowly, with all that that would entail. Hence, it has been affirmed that this kind of dinosaur was walking with its neck and head parallel to the ground.
they are sauropods
These large dinosaurs are sauropods, that is, they walked on their four legs, whose “feet” were rounded and in the traces discovered a claw can be seen on the front feet.
Those four legs are large and beefy to support the heavy weight of the dinosaur’s entire body and allow movement. And it is also characterized by the fact that the front legs are a little shorter than the rear ones.
A big long queue
They had a long queue which is supposed to defend itself from predators by using it as a whip.
And there is also the theory that they used it as a counterweight to the neck and head. In this way it would remain in a pendulum position, the head, neck and tail being parallel to the ground.
And as we have mentioned before, the tail would also serve as a third leg on which they would rest together with the hind legs.
They are oviparous and live in groups
Little is known about whether they were good parents or not, but what is clear is that They were oviparous and lived in herds to defend their young mainly. As is the case today with elephants, for example, because as we have already mentioned, their large size made them almost invincible in the face of a predator attack.
Kinds of long-necked dinosaurs
As we have been saying, the best known and documented long-necked dinosaur is the Diplodocusbut there are other long-necked species that are perhaps less talked about and which are confused with Diplodocus on more than one occasion due to their great resemblance, as is the case with Amphicoelias and which we will talk about later.
So we are going to introduce you to a few of these long-necked dinosaurs and their most representative characteristics:
It is clear that we could not start with another and that is that he is the protagonist of almost all dinosaur movies. Well, yes, along with the T-Rex and the Triceratops…
To which we are going, the Diplodocus lived in North America in the Jurassic period approximately 150 million years ago. This dinosaur, considered one of the largest, averaged 26 to 30 meters and weighed about 15 tons.
The Mamenquisaurio, lived in the Center-South of China at the end of the Jurassic period approximately 156 million years ago. This giant dinosaur could measure up to 25 meters long and could weigh 27 tons. And even if you don’t believe it, it is considered a kind of “medium size”, although within the species of long-necked dinosaurs it is one of the longest.
It is also true that the first Mamenquisaur skeleton that was found measured about 18.5 meters, but the tail was not complete, hence the paleontologists’ calculations give those 25 meters.
Apatosaurus lived in North America at the end of the Jurassic period just over 150 million years ago. This dinosaur was not far behind in terms of height, reaching 23 meters and weighing about 22 tons.
But this dinosaur stands out from Diplodocus, for example, in that its bones were more robust and strong; And that had longer legs.
The Brontosaurus lived at the end of the Jurassic period, about 152 or 155 million years ago, and is located in Wyoming and Utah (USA) and measured about 22 meters and weighed about 15 tons.
As the Apatosaurus has very thick and robust bones, this is perhaps one of the most notable characteristics, in addition to the fact that the claw of the front legs was somewhat curved and was shortened at the end. frontal.
What it did not do, and therefore differentiates it from the rest, was to lean on its tail and its hind legs to stand up and reach higher.
The Brachiosaurus is a long-necked dinosaur that lived in the Upper Jurassic about 153 million years ago and is located in North America, although remains have also been found in Portugal, Tanzania and Algeria. It had a weight of 35 to 90 tons (the difference in weight is so wide due to the calculations that have been carried out as fossils have been found) and could measure up to 26 meters.
What makes this dinosaur most different is that, unlike the rest of the long-necked dinosaurs, this one had longer front legs than the rear ones, in addition to the fact that its humerus bone, for example, was very light for its size.
Another very significant and differentiating characteristic, compared to other long-necked dinosaurs, is that its anatomy seemed to have the shoulder joint lying down, with a deep rib cage.
But perhaps what is most striking is that it had a sloping trunk, with the front part higher than the hips, well it is something obvious, considering that we have already said that the front legs were longer.
Another characteristic that distinguishes it is that the neck comes out of the trunk with a pronounced angle, very similar to giraffes.
Perhaps this dinosaur did walk as it is usually represented with its neck erect and its head held high. But it is only an assumption.
What studies have shown is that it would have fed on the tops of 9-meter-high trees.
This dinosaur lived at the end of the Jurassic period, approximately 150 million years ago. It is located in North America and this long-necked dinosaur is somewhat larger than the previous ones, reaching about 27 meters and weighing about 44 tons.
If we compare it with the Diplodocus, the Barosaurus had a shorter tail, while the neck would be somewhat longer, reaching 14 meters in length! And it is that each vertebra of the neck could measure up to 1 meter!!
The Supersaurus also lived at the end of the Jurassic period and is also located in North America. Of course, it is by far one of the longest neck dinosaurs, forgive the redundancy; And it is that due to the fossils that have been found of the Supersaurus, it is estimated that it could reach 32 to 34 meters and weigh 35 to 40 tons.
If we had to distinguish this dinosaur from the rest of the long-necked dinosaurs, we could say that its cervical vertebrae are among the longest, although here we would be comparing it with Apatosaurus.
And to finish we have left the largest dinosaur in the world, the Amphicoelias. This impressive long-necked dinosaur lived at the end of the Jurassic period. This giant of giants could reach a height of 40 to 60 meters and weighed about 135,000 kilos, almost nothing!
There is very little documentation about this dinosaur, because as we already mentioned in another blog post, where we talked about “everything about dinosaur skeletons”, all the documentation that was available about it was lost in the 19th century.
But it was shown that it finally existed thanks to a femur that was found, which measured 4 meters!
The truth is that it is so similar to Diplodocus that they are very easily confused.
Although all long-necked dinosaurs are included in the same family, subfamilies have been created to differentiate them from each other, grouping them according to the most relevant characteristics they have in common.
These subfamilies are Diplodocidae and Apatosaurinae.
- The first lived from the Upper Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous and are located in Europe, Africa and America.
Its main characteristics are to have a large neck, a small head and a very long tail, in addition to having a very large and corpulent body.
- Those of the second group would live at the end of the Jurassic and they are located in North America. Here the characteristics that we have commented on of the Apatosaurus or Brontosaurus would be included, where among other characteristics would be the fact of having much more robust bones and being somewhat smaller in size.
And here’s what we can tell you about these giants that we like so much!