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Diplodocus

Trackmaker of the Eosauropus footprint

Diplodocus

Diet : Herbivorous

Habitat : Plains

Length : 21-42.5 feet (6.5-13 meters)

Weight : 8,800-15,400 lbs. (4-7 tonnes)

The name Eosauropus means “dawn saurian footprint”. This is a narrow-gauge trackway of a large quadruped with strong heteropody, pes (foot) much larger than manus (hand) and short step and stride. Pes elongate, oval, tetradactyl to pentadactyl, with long axis and prominent distal claw impressions outwardly rotated. Manus is transverse, tetradactyl to pentadactyl with outwardly-rotated digit impressions and concave posterior margins. This distinguished track type, which is also known from the Moab area, is supposed to be left by the earliest sauropod.

The example of Eosauropus trackmaker is Isanosaurus attavipachi, known from the Late Triassic of Thailand. Isanosaurus means “Isan [northeastern Thailand] lizard”. This dinosaur is the most primitive sauropod. The discovery of Isanosaurus attavipachi not only shows that by Late Triassic times the Sauropoda had already appeared, but also suggests that they must have had a relatively long and almost completely unknown evolutionary history in the Late Triassic. The gigantic sauropod evolved quickly after the appearance of dinosaurs (according to Paul, 2010).

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