iD magazine



Thanks in large part to their immense size, sauropods are among the most familiar dinosaurs. The tallest sauropod was the Barosaurus. At 85 feet, it was four times taller than a modern giraffe. But even dwarf sauropods might be 20 feet tall and weigh half a ton. The best-known sauropod is likely the Diplodocus, which had an extremely long neck and tail. Diplodocus hallorum (also called Seismosaur­us) was discovered in New Mexico in 1991 and is estimated to have been 110 feet long from head to tail.

Sauropods were herbivorou­s, and as peaceable as they might look (apart from their giant stature), even Tyrannosau­rus rex probably gave them a wide berth (for the same reason). There is little fossil evidence on the matter, but the powerful pillar-like legs, long neck, and long, strong tail of Diplodocus would have served as fearsome weapons. Sauropods evolved as early as 200 million years ago (Late Jurassic Period) and were still around in the Cretaceous Period (as recently as 65 million years ago).

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