Information

Species of dinosaur with longest fossile record (no birds!)


There were many species of dinosaurs and many got extinct long before the whole clade disappeared. I am wondering which species has shown the longest fossile record. Since birds descend from dinosaurs, I excluded that case to preclude the easy answer! I fully understand the vagueness of my question, stemming from the uncertainties associated with the definition of species but I would think that at least some ballpark could be estimated?


Dinosaur biostratigraphy makes it not possible to answer your question through all of history. 8Ma is the highest longevity species I found in a biostratigraphy table. Dinosaurs are faster evolving than crocodilians who have 1/3rd as big a genome as a mouse and 1/6th that of a shark. Adaptive genus existed for 5-30 million years, and well known clades exist for 20-500 Ma.

The most complete geological formations often only cover small spans of history. Generally you will find that paleontologists have few species, and more often groups and genus represented by 10-20 species fragments. The Hell Creek Formation covers 2 million years of history, and has revealed 400 species, of turtles, dinosaurs, metatherians, mammals, turtles, and a very rich image of life at that time, and 90 percent of the geological time scale is represented by only a fragments of fossils.

So, you won't find a good answer for species, perhaps the best way to find out the longest lived genus (i.e. like a dragonfly, all species are in the same family) is by doing some google tricks:

For genus i can find this:

Plateosaurus 214-204 Ma

Thyreophorans group 199.6-66 Ma

Gryposaurus genus 84-73 Ma

Plesiosaurus genus 199.6-175.6 Ma

Gorgonopsians 265-252 Ma

Dimetrodon 295-272 Ma

Carcharodontosaurus 112-93

Pterosaur 228-66 Ma

Mussaurus : 215-203 Ma

Lesothosaurus : 199-189 Ma

Spinosaurus : 112-93

Kronosaurus genus 125-99 Ma

scorpion 430-0 Ma.

Dragonfly 325-0 Ma

brittle star 499Ma-present

crocodilians 200-0

some shark genus: 100-0

snapping tortoise 100-0

horeshoe crab 455-0

nautilus 488-0

Fossil fields are incomplete, so the HellCreek time period is very well represented with lots of tyranosaurus, and other time periods are incomplete.

Animals with small genotypes Crocodiles and turtles evolve very slowly, and it gives you an idea of evolution speeds prior to the arrival of mammals, who seem can adapt faster than all previous larte animals.

crocodiles have less than 1/3 of the genes of a mouse and a human tortoises have 2/3rds and so do horseshoe crabs dragonfly have 1/6th the genome size of a mouse sharks have twice as big genome


Multiple Dinosaur Species Not Only Lived in the Arctic, They Also Nested There (Paleontology)

In the 1950s, researchers made the first unexpected discoveries of dinosaur remains at frigid polar latitudes. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on June 24 have uncovered the first convincing evidence that several species of dinosaur not only lived in what’s now Northern Alaska, but they also nested there.

“These represent the northernmost dinosaurs known to have existed,” says Patrick Druckenmiller of the University of Alaska Museum of the North. “We didn’t just demonstrate the presence of perinatal remains–in the egg or just hatched–of one or two species, rather we documented at least seven species of dinosaurs reproducing in the Arctic.”

Previous studies at a handful of other sites provided tantalizing bits of evidence that one or two species of indeterminate dinosaurs were capable of nesting near or just above the Arctic or Antarctic circles, he says, but this study is the first to show unequivocal evidence of nesting at extremely high latitudes. Environmental conditions at this time and place indicate challenging seasonal extremes, with an average annual temperature of about 6 degrees Celsius (about 40 degrees Fahrenheit). There also would have been about four months of full winter darkness with freezing conditions.

Druckenmiller and co-author Gregory Erickson from Florida State University have a longstanding project to document the ancient Arctic ecosystem of the Prince Creek Formation in Northern Alaska, including its dinosaurs, mammals, and other vertebrates. They also want to know how they lived there, given the challenging environment. The environment is also a difficult place to work.

This photograph shows perinatal (baby) dinosaur bones and teeth from the Prince Creek Formation, northern Alaska (penny is 19 mm in diameter). © Patrick Druckenmiller

“The field season is short in the Arctic and access is very difficult–aircraft and small boats are required,” Druckenmiller says. “To make matters more challenging, the only way to see the rocks is in river-cut steep bluffs along the largest river in Northern Alaska, the Colville. These bluffs are dangerous, prone to catastrophic collapses, making it hard to safely find and extract fossils. As such, we have focused on finding discrete bonebed horizons where we can more efficiently excavate many bones. In the process, we’ve also discovered numerous new microfossil deposits that have provided for a wealth of new knowledge about the whole ecosystem that lived in the Arctic over 70 million years ago.”

Over the course of about a decade of painstaking work, the researchers, aided by many students they’ve enlisted over the years, have now found hundreds of small baby dinosaur bones, including tiny teeth from individuals that were either still in the egg or had just hatched out. The Arctic dinosaurs they’ve uncovered include small- and large-bodied herbivorous species including hadrosaurids (duck-billed dinosaurs), ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs and leptoceratopsians), thescelosaurs and carnivores (tyrannosaurs, troodontids, and dromaeosaurs).

“It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of finding any dinosaurs in such extreme latitudes and environments was a surprise,” Druckenmiller says. “To then find out that most if not all of those species also reproduced in the Arctic is really remarkable. We have long been asked, ‘Have you found any eggs?’ To that we have, and still answer ‘no.’ But, we have something much better: the actual baby dinosaurs themselves.”

The findings add to evidence that the dinosaurs didn’t just spend time at these extreme latitudes, but they most likely lived there as year-round residents. Their evidence suggests both smaller dinosaurs and larger species, such as duck-billed dinosaurs, horned dinosaurs, and a tyrannosaur that more likely could have migrated to warmer climes, resided in the Arctic.

“Year-round residency in the Arctic provides a natural test of dinosaurian physiology,” Erickson says. “Cold-blooded terrestrial vertebrates like amphibians, lizards, and crocodilians have yet to be found, only warm-blooded birds and mammals–and dinosaurs. I think that this is some of the most compelling evidence that dinosaurs were in fact warm-blooded.”

Erickson says they now have new questions about how dinosaurs survived Arctic winters. It’s likely they had unique strategies to cope with darkness, cold temperatures, and food limitation, the researchers say.

Current Biology, Druckenmiller et al.: “Nesting at Extreme Polar Latitudes by Non-Avian Dinosaurs” https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(21)00739-9

Featured image:This is an artistic depiction of the tyrannosaur Nanuqsaurus with its young. © James Havens


Largest footprint around 80 cm

Most of these footprints were revealed after the tides caused erosion and the experts at the University of Portsmouth later verified them to be dinosaur footprints. The largest footprint found measured around 80 cm in width and 65 cm in length which has been identified as belonging to an Iguanodon-like dinosaur that was plant-eaters, grew up to 10 meters long, and walked on both two legs or on all fours.

“This is the first time dinosaur footprints have been found in strata known as the ‘Folkestone Formation’ and it’s quite an extraordinary discovery because these dinosaurs would have been the last to roam in this country before becoming extinct,” Professor of Palaeobiology, David Martill, said in a statement. “They were walking around close to where the White Cliffs of Dover are now - next time you’re on a ferry and you see those magnificent cliffs just imagine that!”


Fossils: Dinosaur ‘maternity ward’ with remains of seven different species unearthed in the ARCTIC

A dinosaur nursery once used by seven different species including tyrannosaurs and ‘polar bear lizards’ has been found in an unexpectedly chilly location — the Arctic.

Researchers from the universities of Alaska Fairbanks and Florida State found fossil remains of very young dinosaurs from the Prince Creek Formation in Alaska.

The remains — which came from along the Colville River — date back to the early Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous, around 70 million years ago.

The finds add to evidence that dinosaurs were warm-blooded and dispels the notion that Arctic species would have migrated to lower, warmer latitudes to lay eggs.

A dinosaur nursery once used by seven different species including tyrannosaurs and ‘polar bear lizards’ has been found in an unexpectedly chilly location — the Arctic. Pictured: an artist’s impression of the tyrannosaur Nanuqsaurus with its young offspring

The remains — which came from along the Colville River, pictured — date back to the early Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous, around 70 million years ago

The researchers find were not of adult specimens, but the tiny teeth and bones of perinatal dinosaurs — those that either had just hatched, or were soon about to. Pictured: the teeth of young and adult dinosaurs, alongside corresponding silhouettes at a different scale

Palaeontologist Pat Druckenmiller of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and biologist Gregory Erickson of the Florida State University have been conducting field work on the Prince Creek Formation for more than a decade.

During this time, the pair have uncovered many dinosaur species from the bluffs above the Colville River, many of which were previously unknown to science.

However, their latest find were not of adult specimens, but the tiny teeth and bones of perinatal dinosaurs — those that either had just hatched, or were soon about to.

The juvenile dinosaurs came from seven species, including small, bird-like creatures up to fearsome tyrannosaurs, and account for nearly all types of Arctic dinosaur.

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‘It wasn’t long ago that people were pretty shocked to find out that dinosaurs lived up in the Arctic 70 million years ago,’ said Professor Druckenmiller.

‘We now have unequivocal evidence they were nesting up there as well.’

‘This is the first time that anyone has ever demonstrated that dinosaurs could reproduce at these high latitudes.’

The discoveries indicate that Arctic dinosaurs likely remained in the region all year-round — reproducing there as well.

‘One of the biggest mysteries about Arctic dinosaurs was whether they seasonally migrated up to the North or were year-round denizens,’ said Professor Erickson.

‘We unexpectedly found remains of perinates representing almost every kind of dinosaur in the formation. It was like a prehistoric maternity ward.’

Recovering such small fossils (pictured) — some no larger than the head of a pin — was no mean feat, the researchers explained, one which involved washing rock material in the field through smaller and smaller screens to filter out the remains

The finds add to evidence that dinosaurs were warm-blooded and dispels the notion that Arctic species would have migrated to lower, warmer latitudes to lay eggs. Pictured: biologist Greg Erickson conducts excavations of material along the banks of the Colville River

Recovering such small fossils — some no larger than the head of a pin — was no mean feat, the researchers explained, one which involved washing rock material in the field through smaller and smaller screens to filter out the remains.

Back in the lab, the team painstakingly examined sand-sized particles under the microscope in order to pick out the dinosaur bones and teeth.

‘It requires a great amount of time and effort to sort through tons of sediment grain-by-grain under a microscope,’ said Professor Druckenmiller.

‘The fossils we found are rare but are scientifically rich in information.’

Comparison with fossil remains from other sites at lower latitudes helped the researchers confirm that the tiny specimens came from perinatal dinosaurs.

Professor Erickson’s past research had shown that the dinosaurs living in the Arctic had incubation periods ranging from three–six months.

Given the short length of Arctic summers, this means that — even had the dinosaurs laid their eggs in the spring — their offspring would be too young to migrate come the following autumn.

Palaeontologist Pat Druckenmiller (right) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and biologist Gregory Erickson (left) of the Florida State University have been conducting field work on the Prince Creek Formation for more than a decade

Even though global temperatures were much warmer during the Late Cretaceous than they are in the present, the Arctic winters experienced by the dinosaur would have still involved freezing temperatures, little food and four months of darkness.

‘As dark and bleak as the winters would have been, the summers would have had 24-hour sunlight,’ noted paper author and palaeontologist Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada.

These, he added, would have been ‘great conditions for a growing dinosaur if it could grow quickly enough before winter set in.’

Professor Erickson added: ‘We solved several long-standing mysteries about the dinosaur reign, but opened up a new can of worms. How did they survive Arctic winters?’

‘Perhaps the smaller ones hibernated through the winter,’ Professor Druckenmiller proposed. Alternatively, he added, ‘perhaps others lived off poor-quality forage, much like today’s moose, until the spring.’

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Current Biology.

Even though global temperatures were much warmer during the Late Cretaceous than they are in the present, the Arctic winters experienced by the dinosaur would have still involved freezing temperatures, little food and four months of darkness, as depicted

Researchers from the universities of Alaska Fairbanks and Florida State found fossil remains of very young dinosaurs from the Prince Creek Formation in Alaska

‘We solved several long-standing mysteries about the dinosaur reign, but opened up a new can of worms,’ said Professor Erickson He added: ‘How did they survive Arctic winters?’ Pictured: the researchers’ base camp along the Colville River

HOW THE DINOSAURS WENT EXTINCT AROUND 66 MILLION YEARS AGO

Dinosaurs ruled and dominated Earth around 66 million years ago, before they suddenly went extinct.

The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event is the name given to this mass extinction.

It was believed for many years that the changing climate destroyed the food chain of the huge reptiles.

In the 1980s, paleontologists discovered a layer of iridium.

This is an element that is rare on Earth but is found in vast quantities in space.

When this was dated, it coincided precisely with when the dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record.

A decade later, scientists uncovered the massive Chicxulub Crater at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which dates to the period in question.

Scientific consensus now says that these two factors are linked and they were both probably caused by an enormous asteroid crashing to Earth.

With the projected size and impact velocity, the collision would have caused an enormous shock-wave and likely triggered seismic activity.

The fallout would have created plumes of ash that likely covered all of the planet and made it impossible for dinosaurs to survive.

Other animals and plant species had a shorter time-span between generations which allowed them to survive.

There are several other theories as to what caused the demise of the famous animals.

One early theory was that small mammals ate dinosaur eggs and another proposes that toxic angiosperms (flowering plants) killed them off.


Fossils: Dinosaur ‘maternity ward’ with remains of seven different species unearthed in the ARCTIC

A dinosaur nursery once used by seven different species including tyrannosaurs and ‘polar bear lizards’ has been found in an unexpectedly chilly location — the Arctic.

Researchers from the universities of Alaska Fairbanks and Florida State found fossil remains of very young dinosaurs from the Prince Creek Formation in Alaska.

The remains — which came from along the Colville River — date back to the early Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous, around 70 million years ago.

The finds add to evidence that dinosaurs were warm-blooded and dispels the notion that Arctic species would have migrated to lower, warmer latitudes to lay eggs.

A dinosaur nursery once used by seven different species including tyrannosaurs and ‘polar bear lizards’ has been found in an unexpectedly chilly location — the Arctic. Pictured: an artist’s impression of the tyrannosaur Nanuqsaurus with its young offspring

The remains — which came from along the Colville River, pictured — date back to the early Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous, around 70 million years ago

The researchers find were not of adult specimens, but the tiny teeth and bones of perinatal dinosaurs — those that either had just hatched, or were soon about to. Pictured: the teeth of young and adult dinosaurs, alongside corresponding silhouettes at a different scale

Palaeontologist Pat Druckenmiller of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and biologist Gregory Erickson of the Florida State University have been conducting field work on the Prince Creek Formation for more than a decade.

During this time, the pair have uncovered many dinosaur species from the bluffs above the Colville River, many of which were previously unknown to science.

However, their latest find were not of adult specimens, but the tiny teeth and bones of perinatal dinosaurs — those that either had just hatched, or were soon about to.

The juvenile dinosaurs came from seven species, including small, bird-like creatures up to fearsome tyrannosaurs, and account for nearly all types of Arctic dinosaur.

‘It wasn’t long ago that people were pretty shocked to find out that dinosaurs lived up in the Arctic 70 million years ago,’ said Professor Druckenmiller.

‘We now have unequivocal evidence they were nesting up there as well.’

‘This is the first time that anyone has ever demonstrated that dinosaurs could reproduce at these high latitudes.’

The discoveries indicate that Arctic dinosaurs likely remained in the region all year-round — reproducing there as well.

‘One of the biggest mysteries about Arctic dinosaurs was whether they seasonally migrated up to the North or were year-round denizens,’ said Professor Erickson.

‘We unexpectedly found remains of perinates representing almost every kind of dinosaur in the formation. It was like a prehistoric maternity ward.’

Recovering such small fossils (pictured) — some no larger than the head of a pin — was no mean feat, the researchers explained, one which involved washing rock material in the field through smaller and smaller screens to filter out the remains

The finds add to evidence that dinosaurs were warm-blooded and dispels the notion that Arctic species would have migrated to lower, warmer latitudes to lay eggs. Pictured: biologist Greg Erickson conducts excavations of material along the banks of the Colville River

Recovering such small fossils — some no larger than the head of a pin — was no mean feat, the researchers explained, one which involved washing rock material in the field through smaller and smaller screens to filter out the remains.

Back in the lab, the team painstakingly examined sand-sized particles under the microscope in order to pick out the dinosaur bones and teeth.

‘It requires a great amount of time and effort to sort through tons of sediment grain-by-grain under a microscope,’ said Professor Druckenmiller.

‘The fossils we found are rare but are scientifically rich in information.’

Comparison with fossil remains from other sites at lower latitudes helped the researchers confirm that the tiny specimens came from perinatal dinosaurs.

Professor Erickson’s past research had shown that the dinosaurs living in the Arctic had incubation periods ranging from three–six months.

Given the short length of Arctic summers, this means that — even had the dinosaurs laid their eggs in the spring — their offspring would be too young to migrate come the following autumn.

Palaeontologist Pat Druckenmiller (right) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and biologist Gregory Erickson (left) of the Florida State University have been conducting field work on the Prince Creek Formation for more than a decade

Even though global temperatures were much warmer during the Late Cretaceous than they are in the present, the Arctic winters experienced by the dinosaur would have still involved freezing temperatures, little food and four months of darkness.

‘As dark and bleak as the winters would have been, the summers would have had 24-hour sunlight,’ noted paper author and palaeontologist Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada.

These, he added, would have been ‘great conditions for a growing dinosaur if it could grow quickly enough before winter set in.’

Professor Erickson added: ‘We solved several long-standing mysteries about the dinosaur reign, but opened up a new can of worms. How did they survive Arctic winters?’

‘Perhaps the smaller ones hibernated through the winter,’ Professor Druckenmiller proposed. Alternatively, he added, ‘perhaps others lived off poor-quality forage, much like today’s moose, until the spring.’

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Current Biology.

Even though global temperatures were much warmer during the Late Cretaceous than they are in the present, the Arctic winters experienced by the dinosaur would have still involved freezing temperatures, little food and four months of darkness, as depicted

Researchers from the universities of Alaska Fairbanks and Florida State found fossil remains of very young dinosaurs from the Prince Creek Formation in Alaska

‘We solved several long-standing mysteries about the dinosaur reign, but opened up a new can of worms,’ said Professor Erickson He added: ‘How did they survive Arctic winters?’ Pictured: the researchers’ base camp along the Colville River

HOW THE DINOSAURS WENT EXTINCT AROUND 66 MILLION YEARS AGO

Dinosaurs ruled and dominated Earth around 66 million years ago, before they suddenly went extinct.

The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event is the name given to this mass extinction.

It was believed for many years that the changing climate destroyed the food chain of the huge reptiles.

In the 1980s, paleontologists discovered a layer of iridium.

This is an element that is rare on Earth but is found in vast quantities in space.

When this was dated, it coincided precisely with when the dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record.

A decade later, scientists uncovered the massive Chicxulub Crater at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which dates to the period in question.

Scientific consensus now says that these two factors are linked and they were both probably caused by an enormous asteroid crashing to Earth.

With the projected size and impact velocity, the collision would have caused an enormous shock-wave and likely triggered seismic activity.

The fallout would have created plumes of ash that likely covered all of the planet and made it impossible for dinosaurs to survive.

Other animals and plant species had a shorter time-span between generations which allowed them to survive.

There are several other theories as to what caused the demise of the famous animals.

One early theory was that small mammals ate dinosaur eggs and another proposes that toxic angiosperms (flowering plants) killed them off.

#Fossils #Dinosaur #maternity #ward #remains #species #unearthed #ARCTIC


The Demise of Seismosaurus – its a Question of Vertebrae

Is Seismosaurus a valid name or should it be regarded as a genus of Diplodocus?

Much debate has taken place over the years as to which of the dinosaurs was the biggest, the longest or the heaviest. The origins of this controversy amongst scientists can be traced back to the “Dinosaur Wars” between the likes of Cope and Marsh in the 19th Century, as expeditions competed with each other to provide the biggest and best specimens for their wealthy sponsors. Despite improvements in technology, the much more accurate and detailed study of fossil locations, plus of course improvements in research techniques and the greater number of specimens around today to study, it is still unclear as to which genus or even family of dinosaurs can lay claim to being the biggest.

There are certainly some spectacular contenders out there, Titanosaurs are well represented with genera such as Andesaurus, Antarctosaurus and Argentinosaurus being heralded as true “heavy weights” in the Dinosauria clade. However, the Titanosaurs do not have everything their own way, although these Cretaceous leviathans are certainly very impressive, many are matched in terms of size by the earlier Brachiosaurids, Camarasaurids and Diplodocids of the Jurassic.

These huge animals do have a number of common characteristics that frustrate teams of field workers, tasked with the job of excavating such finds. For one thing, the remains of these large animals are relatively rare within the fossil record in comparison to other herbivorous groups such as the Ornithopods for example. Another problem is the lack of fossil bones which represent one individual specimen. Many of these large dinosaurs have been named and described from just a few isolated bones, or at best a new genus has been announced based on fossils found in association with each other – rarely do articulated fossils turn up.

Although, as with most scientific matters there are always exceptions to this rule, for example the recent discovery of another large Titanosaur from Argentina:

The jumble of Sauropod bones to be found in the Morrison Formation has still to be unravelled, no doubt more surprising discoveries will be made, but discussion has turned recently to the validity of another contender for certainly the longest dinosaur yet known – Seismosaurus. Seismosaurus, the name means “earth-shaking lizard” as it was imaginatively speculated that such a huge beast would cause the ground to shake as it walked by, could be reclassified as a Diplodocus.

The single specimen found to date of this animal was discovered in 1979, two hikers walking in New Mexico, literally stumbled upon some strange fossil bones eroding out of sandstone sediments. David Gillette, an American palaeontologist whose work has focused mainly on the Jurassic Morrison Formation in New Mexico, organised a team to begin the long process of extracting the fossils from the matrix. This process took many years, as the sandstone entombing the fossils was as hard of concrete. This excavation helped with the design and modification of ground penetrating radar, as this technique was used extensively during the excavations to help locate fossils still buried in the sediment.

Seismosaurus was named and described by Gillette in 1991 (S. hallorum), the remains of this animal consisting of vertebrae, ribs and part of the pelvis. Based on this evidence it is clear that this particular animal was a contender for the longest dinosaur yet to be described with an estimated length of around 40 metres for this late Jurassic giant (Kimmeridgian faunal stage). Like all other Diplodocids, the majority of this length was made up of the long neck and the very long tail. In the New Mexico specimen, the body is not particularly big for a Diplodocoid, it had longer back legs than front legs, a characteristic of this family, but a study of the pelvic area and the subsequent assumed position and length of the legs indicated that they may have been quite short and stubby in comparison to other closely related dinosaurs. The impressive whip-like Diplodocid tail seems to have had a “kink” in it, perhaps indicating that unlike other Diplodocids, which are believed to have held their tails out straight behind them, perhaps the end portion of the tail of Seismosaurus was trailed on the ground.

However, further work on this fossil has led to a number of reviews some of which have questioned whether the name Seismosaurus would be valid. In 2004, a case was made for Seismosaurus to be regarded as a Diplodocus, certainly from the fossil evidence these two animals do seem to be very closely related. Whether or not there are enough differences found to regard Seismosaurus as a separate genus is still being debated.

In 2006, a scientific paper was published, following the most detailed analysis of the fossil bones made at the time, the validity of the Seismosaurus name was challenged, as indeed was the actual size of the beast. Put into simple terms, it is largely a matter of how you construct the vertebrae, the order in which they are placed together and which part of the backbone is associated with them. The authors of this 2006 paper renamed Seismosaurus as Diplodocus hallorum, but also speculated that it could actually be a large specimen of another Diplodocus species D. longus.

A Model of a Typical Diplodocid

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The model shown above is the new scale model of Diplodocus produced by Carnegie. It represents the latest interpretation of these huge dinosaurs, with a relatively stiff neck, not capable of obtaining the so-called “swan neck” position. This model is one of the largest scale models currently available with a length of nearly 60 cms. We love this new interpretation, the Everything Dinosaur packing team who were given the job of finding suitable packaging to enable this item to be posted out to customers are not so keen!

As Diplodocus was named before Seismosaurus, the first Diplodocus being named and described in 1878, 113 years before Seismosaurus was named and described, the nomenclature Diplodocus would take precedence. Seismosaurus would be a junior synonym of Diplodocus. A synonym is another name for an object. In taxonomic circles, the earliest of several names given to an organism is considered the senior synonym while later names are junior synonyms. Perhaps the most famous example of this concerns another Diplodocid – Apatosaurus. The name Apatosaurus predates Brontosaurus but both are synonyms of the same animal (genus). Thus Apatosaurus is the senior synonym and Brontosaurus the junior synonym. The name Brontosaurus, means thunder lizard, a great description for such a huge dinosaur was officially dropped by palaeontologists in 1974.