Diplodocus is one of the most famous dinosaurs. This sauropod lived during the Jurassicperiod, in the lush plains of what is today the United States. Its impressive size of about 30 metres in length, makes it close to being the longest animal ever known to walk the earth.
Two rows of comb-like teeth were positioned at the top of its small head, at the end of its neck, allowing it to feed off the ferns and vegetation within its reach. As it certainly did not have a thermoregulation system as effective as that of mammals or birds, its imposing body was probably sufficient to maintain a certain thermal inertia: it must have taken a long time to heat up or cool down. This is why its metabolism is referred to as "gigantothermal".
The discovery of many sauropod tracks shows that they must certainly have lived and moved in herds, and therefore have had some sort of social organisation.
Reconstruction of a heard of Diplodocus, from the Courtedoux footprints. © Alain Bénéteau