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Dinosaurs with long necks are officially known as sauropods. They’re a kind of herbivorous dinosaur that have these distinguishing characteristics:
- small heads
- long tails
- long necks
- large bodies
- thick legs.
They were the giants upon whose shoulders other creatures would have stood. And that’s why they also reached the heights of human imagination — and captured it.
Do famous species like the Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Argentinosaurus ring a bell? From stars in pop culture’s media to impressive dinosaur costumes at parties, these long-necked creatures are always the talk of the town.
Here’s a short but sweet guide for all you need to know about the sauropod family. You’ll find a list of famous long-necked dinosaurs too! Let’s jump right in.
Here we go!
What Are Long Neck Dinosaur Names?
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There are plenty of long-neck dinosaur types that flourished during the Mesozoic Era several million years ago. You’ll discover diverse kinds of sauropods in the list below. Let’s get to know them together!
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The La Amarga lizard is one of a kind sauropod because it’s a long-neck dinosaur with spikes. Though it had a short neck compared to most sauropods, this Early Cretaceous dinosaur’s still a force to reckon with. Paleontologists suggest it may have used its neck spines as a defensive strategy against enemies.
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Did you know the Ojo Alamo lizard is the largest sauropod to be identified from North America? This huge long-necked dinosaur weighed around 72.6 metric tons and was as tall as 98 feet. It also had long thick legs to support its large body.
The Alamosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now the Ojo Alamo Formation of New Mexico.
Did you know that the Apatosaurus was one of the most common sauropod dinosaurs back in their day? These sauropods flourished in the United State’s Morrison Formation, New Mexico.
They lived around 152 million years ago during the Late Jurassic period. What makes the Apatosaurus different is its neck vertebrae. The Apatosaurus has stouter ones which make its neck look wider and deeper.
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Here’s a fun fact: the Argentinosaurus is one of the world’s largest species of long neck dinosaurs according to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). This gigantic Late Cretaceous dinosaur discovered in Argentina reached a whopping 180,000 pounds! Add to that its total length of 130 feet and you’ve got an incredible dinosaur in your hands.
What’s in a name? Paleontologist Elmer Riggs named the curious-looking fossil he found in the Colorado River “Brachiosaurus Altithorax” because of its very long arms and cavernous chest. The fossils he found are also the most complete specimen to date.
- Brachiosaurus – arm lizard
- Altithorax – deep chest
Because the arm lizard’s forelimbs were longer than its hind limbs, this gave the Jurassic period sauropod an inclined posture and trunk. It also has a short tail compared to other long-necked dinosaurs.
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The Brontosaurus excelsus lived up to its name when it was first introduced to the public in 1905 by the AMNH. The “thunder lizard” captured everyone’s imagination with over 72 feet of amazing dinosaur bones from head to tail supported by sturdy legs. Its hind legs may have been used to support the Brontosaurus’s body when it reached for food as it grasped onto trees.
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Dinosaur fossils that were neighbors to the Apatosaurus in the Morrison Formation are those of the Camarasaurus. The Camarasaurus lived during the Late Jurassic 155 million years ago.
The “chambered lizard” got its name from the hollow chambers scientists found in the dinosaur’s cervical vertebrae. These hollow chambers were air sacs that helped the dinosaur’s body save weight.
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Have you ever wondered how the Diplodocus got its name? This famous dinosaur got its name from the double beam structure of its chevron bones. Paleontologists suggest these two functions:
- This helped the Diplodocus support its tail vertebrae.
- This helped the dinosaur keep its whip-like tail from crushing its blood vessels when it rested on the ground.
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Dinosaur names are often inspired by their anatomical features and habitat like the Euhelopus zdanskyi.
- This sauropod’s name was inspired by its feet that looked like Swedish shoes called
- Its name also describes the place where the dinosaur was discovered — a marsh.
- Zdansky is the surname of the Austrian student who first found its fossils in 1923.
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The Patagotitan, like the Argentinosaurus, belongs to the Titanosaurs. They’re a group of animals made of the world’s largest animals to have ever existed.
This Argentine dinosaur had a very long neck that gave it an amazing estimated length of 102 feet. It lived in the Late Cretaceous period 102 million years ago.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sauropods
Here we answer questions about these dinosaurs that people are most curious about. Check them out below.
Are All Long Neck Dinosaurs Herbivores?
Yes, sauropods are herbivores. Scientists suggest that these plant-eaters from the Late Jurassic period to Cretaceous periods swallowed stones (gastroliths) to help them digest plant food.
When and Where Did Long Neck Dinosaurs Live?
Dinosaurs with long necks lived from the Early Jurassic up to the Late Cretaceous period. That’s around 201 to 66 million years ago. Sauropods are known to have lived all over the world. Fossil specimens have been found even in Antarctica.
Source by: Science
What Type of Dinosaur Has the Longest Neck?
The winner according to the Guinness World Records is the Sauroposeidon species. These dinosaurs had extremely long necks that were over 55 feet!
Is a Brachiosaurus a Herbivore?
The Brachiosaurus was a long-neck dinosaur that fed on high-growing plants like conifers and cycads. It may have eaten plants that were at around 16 feet above the ground.
Are Brachiosaurus and Brontosaurus the Same?
No, the Brachiosaurus and Brontosaurus are completely different dinosaurs though they’re closely related. An easy to identify trait is how the Brachiosaurus is more elephant-like in posture while the Brontosaurus is more giraffe-like.
Long Neck Dinosaurs: Standing Out in the Mesozoic Era
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Sauropods are truly a fascinating group of animals. They’ve also taught us a lot about life in prehistoric times from their diet, behavior, and anatomical features.
And there’s plenty more to learn in the future! Sauropod dinosaur puppets are effective teaching aids to pass on this knowledge to new audiences and the next generation.
See you at our next blog post!