Skip to content

I Know Dino Podcast: Diplodocus (Episode 3)


    After being tweeted about Dippy the Diplodocus being faraway from the Pure Historical past Museum in London, England, we determined to dedicate an episode to Diplodocus. 

    You’ll find our free podcast, with all our episodes, on iTunes at:

    On this episode, we focus on:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Diplodocus.
    • Diplodocus means “Double Beam,” and it could have lived so long as 50 to 80 years.
    • Diplodocus lived within the Jurassic which is roughly a 148 to 150 million years in the past.
    • Diplodocus is likely one of the most on-display dinosaurs on the planet,.
    • Diplodocus has a whip-tail; scientists assume that it could have been capable of break the sound barrier.
    • Diplodocus had totally different enamel from different kinds of plant consuming dinosaurs. It had enamel that would strip leaves off as a substitute of biting leaves in clumps.
    • Diplodocus was thought of the longest dinosaur for fairly some time till longer dinosaurs have been ultimately found.
    • Diplodocus is within the household Diplodocidae.
    • Enjoyable Truth: Diplodocus wakened and slept every time it needed, whatever the hour.

    For individuals who could desire studying, see under for the total transcript:

    Garret: Hey and welcome to I do know Dino. I’m Garret.

    Sabrina: And I’m Sabrina.

    Garret: And at this time we’re going to speak about one thing a bit totally different. We received a put up on our twitter from–

    Sabrina: A tweet?

    Garret: Yeah, one would possibly say.

    Sabrina: So we received a tip from a reporter Joshua from the London Night Normal that in 2017 the enduring Diplodocus that greets guests on the London Nationwide Historical past Museum might be gone and get replaced by a blue whale.

    Garret: Particularly a blue whale skeleton, and I feel essentially the most ridiculous factor about that is the truth that they’re changing a skeleton of a dinosaur, technically the forged of the skeleton of the dinosaur, with the skeleton of a whale. And I all the time really feel that it makes numerous sense to have the skeleton of a dinosaur on show as a result of we don’t know precisely what they regarded like. There are numerous guesses you may make primarily based on the marks on the bone you possibly can see the place the muscle connected and issues like that so you possibly can guess how large they’d be, you possibly can guess from pores and skin impressions what their pores and skin might need been like however issues like feathers or coloration of the pores and skin or actual styles and sizes of soppy tissues you possibly can by no means actually inform for positive. So mounting scales is absolutely the most effective scientific method to show what we all know in regards to the creature however with a blue whale all people is aware of what they appear to be, you possibly can exit into the ocean, nearly each ocean on earth has blue whales in them at a while or one other, so you possibly can go whale watching if you wish to see a whale. If you happen to actually into it you may get some scuba gear and you may swim close to a blue whale; everybody has seen these cool photos who has a tiny little individual subsequent to a blue whale however dinosaur clearly can’t try this.

    Sabrina: The opposite factor is, effectively to start with the Diplodocus has a reputation. It’s generally known as Dippy which, how are you going to eliminate one thing named Dippy? Hanging a blue whale from a museum shouldn’t be a brand new thought; really it’s iconic at New York’s American Museum of Pure Historical past. There are some variations, for instance, the one in New York is 94 toes lengthy and weighs about 21 thousand kilos as a result of it’s fabricated from fiber-glass and it’s primarily based on images of a useless whale that was present in 1925, whereas the blue whale that might be up on show in London is 83 toes lengthy and the skeleton is actual. However the blue whale in New York has been on show since 1969 and so they’ve even renovated it and when the Irma and Paul Millstone Household Corridor of Ocean Life was reopened to the general public in 2003, that’s after they made positive to make some adjustments to the blue whale and make it extra correct.

    Garret: Yeah and going into that corridor it’s actually hanging, you normally enter on the second flooring, really you need to enter the second flooring, and also you go proper out proper in entrance of you is a gigantic blue whale hanging from the ceiling, and as you stroll across the fringe of the room you see all kinds of scenes arrange, totally different animals and totally different settings most round […] I feel a few of them could be false, just like the whale, however you see precisely what the animals appear to be in actual life and that’s as a result of clearly we all know what they appear in actual life, after which you possibly can go down under the whale you possibly can go down some stairs and you may search for at it and actually see how big it’s and I like to take a seat beneath it and search for at it, actually simply absorb how big it was, which was fairly superior. I can’t think about making an attempt to that type of factor with a skeleton of a whale. I consider every time I see a skeleton of like a horse you take a look at it and also you’re simply spending all of your time pondering like, wow that horse skulls seems to be actually bizarre. In comparison with what a horse head seems to be like and also you’re not fascinated with, ohh we have to preserve the atmosphere as a result of in any other case all of the horses are gone, flip into skeleton which is a part of the explanation that the curator on the British Museum is utilizing for eliminating Dippy and placing within the blue whale, that blue whales are extra related to the fashionable conservation effort than the Diplodocus is.

    Sabrina: We even have seen a whale skeleton I don’t bear in mind if it was a blue whale on the Santa Barbara Pure Historical past Museum.

    Garret: Yeah they’ve it sitting outdoors on the Santa Barbara.

    Sabrina: It’s actual however, and it’s in all probability one of many greatest shows however, being in Santa Barbara it’s a a lot smaller scale museum.

    Garret: Yeah nevertheless it’s simply creepy to have a skeleton and issues in our life, I imply it’s simply bizarre after which the one other key argument that they use is that the Diplodocus is a pretend, it’s only a forged, it’s not the actual factor, and they need to have the actual factor up on show trigger they’re a museum. However historically that’s in no way what museums are about. Museums are about protecting artifacts round and capable of be studied after which they’ve an ancillary element which is displaying reveals to the general public in order that they care in regards to the atmosphere; they will study science or no matter however actually the aim of the museum is a finding out establishment and so it’s true that in numerous museums the issues that you will notice on show are […] pretend they are going to be forged or replicas or..

    Sabrina: Dioramas?

    Garret: Sure, another sort of […] pretend, and particularly like we talked about in our first podcast the Black Hills Institute makes numerous T-rex casts and ships them out everywhere in the world as a result of when you find yourself making an attempt to dig up issues which might be 150 million years previous you solely discover so lots of them and discovering a whole skeleton is fairly troublesome so you find yourself making casts and mixing issues then so that you get a superb show.

    Sabrina: Effectively I feel just like the Triceratops within the Smithsonian in D.C. is made up of bunch of various, was a reproduction made out of a bunch of various Triceratops fossils–positively not all the identical physique.

    Garret: And it makes excellent sense as a result of Triceratops bones are particularly exhausting to seek out as a result of they’re such a meals supply for the opposite guys and so you’ll find their skulls in all places as a result of you possibly can’t eat the large horns and the large frail of bone however discovering a leg bone or an arm prefer it’s a fore-leg and a rear-leg bone of the identical skeleton could be troublesome. However so far as the general public is anxious you go there and also you need to see what the animal regarded like, you need to see what their bones organized into. You don’t actually care that this won’t be the precise authentic, that’s a 150 million years previous, and to that finish, there’s no such factor as an actual Diplodocus skeleton. Everybody is aware of that fossils aren’t the precise bone what it’s, is the bone is in a layer of rock and over time the bone is changed by stones so a fossil itself shouldn’t be the precise skeleton of a I it’s itself a model of a reproduction. So it’s simply not truthful to Dippy is the ethical of the story.

    Sabrina: Poor Dippy, I noticed Dippy about 15 years in the past once I went to that museum and it’s simply awe-inspiring and probably the greatest issues that would greet you at a museum.

    Garret: So Dippy additionally has a protracted historical past similar to the blue whale skeleton in New York.

    Sabrina: Dippy has been part of the Pure Historical past Museum since 1905 due to King Edward the VII. He went to go to his buddy Andrew Carnegie, noticed sketches of a Diplodocus, cherished it a lot that he had a reproduction made. Truly he needed the actual factor however on the time they advised him that’s too exhausting to seek out so we’re going to make you this duplicate as greatest as we will. It has been within the Central Corridor the place it greets museum guests since 1979. Truly one cool factor is that throughout the Blitz they took it aside and put all of the items into crates within the basement under the museum to guard it.

    Garret: Yeah Dippy is about 83 toes lengthy based on the Bumper E-book of Dinosaurs by Keiron Pim.

    Sabrina: Who’s a British creator.

    Garret: So he clearly is aware of his stuff, and it was additionally featured in just a few fascinating locations so Dippy was in “One in all Our Dinosaurs is Lacking,” which is a Disney Movie from 1975 which talks in regards to the heist of a dinosaur. And in that film they really disguise within the mouth of a blue whale which is type of fascinating.

    Sabrina: It’s an animated film.

    Garret: Yeah, thanks, in case anybody thought Disney was making dwell motion now. Years later the skeleton mannequin that they utilized in“One in all Our Dinosaurs is Lacking” was really used within the first Star Wars film in one of many opening scenes the place C3PO is strolling by a dragon, and I’m not even going to attempt to pronounce what the dragon’s presupposed to sound like, and in the event you look carefully at it you’ll see that that’s mainly only a sauropod and it seems to be Dippy.

    Sabrina: One doubtlessly advantage of this entire factor with Dippy being changed in 2017 is that they could put Dippy on a nationwide tour of England. If you happen to don’t get an opportunity to go to London’s Pure Historical past Museum earlier than 2017, possibly in the event you go to England afterwards you’ll nonetheless be capable to see Dippy. In order that’s at this time’s rant and there’s really a marketing campaign on twitter proper now #saveDippy so if you wish to be part of that, tweet one thing with a #saveDippy. Additionally the I is taking letters to the editors so we encourage you to e mail, in case you are like us and you desire to Dippy to stay.

    Garret: Yep so for apparent causes our dinosaur of the day is the Diplodocus. It lived within the Jurassic which is roughly a 148 to 150 million years in the past when dinosaurs have been round.

    Sabrina: Diplodocus’s title means “Double Beam,” and it could have lived so long as 50 to 80 years. It’s additionally one of the crucial slender dinosaurs as in, really the Bumper E-book of Dinosaurs factors out, far more slender than the Apatosaurus.

    Garret: So the lighter weight that we talked about and the skinniness of the dinosaur as in comparison with different sauropods could have allowed it to go on two legs. It might have been capable of rear up on its hind legs like a horse or one thing however that’s additionally a bit controversial as a result of it’s clearly fairly troublesome to try this type of factor.

    Sabrina: The juveniles might need been capable of do it as a result of juvenile Apatosaurus may run on two legs, yeah, trigger they will run quicker away from predators.

    Garret: Yeah it’s cute.

    Sabrina: Diplodocus can also be one of the crucial on-display dinosaurs on the planet, on show in most museums.

    Garret: Yeah a part of that’s as a consequence of the truth that there are literally a pretty big variety of Diplodocus fossils which have been discovered as in comparison with a few of the different sauropods. There are some sauropods that we are going to speak at in a while episodes the place they’ve solely discovered one or two bones and have been making an attempt to guess the scale of the dinosaur. In actual fact Spinosaurus was that approach for a very long time we’d solely seen just a few bones so when Jurassic Park 3 got here out they have been principally simply guessing again then about what the scale of the dinosaur was and what it regarded like.

    Sabrina: It wasn’t till late 2014 that the research got here out actually the place they’d extra proof to recommend that it spent numerous time in water and some different issues that have been solely guesses earlier than.

    Garret: So I notice that we haven’t executed a fast define of the organic classification system. Lots of people bear in mind the mnemonic from highschool in regards to the kingdoms and all that so I used to be simply need to undergo actual fast. So you’ve got on the highest stage you’ve got the household tree of life and also you go into the domains then you definately go into the kingdoms a number of talks in regards to the animal kingdom and the plant kingdom then you’ve got phylum’s you’ve got courses that are generally known as clads, orders then you’ve got households, and households particularly in I see loads in dinosaurs they are going to break down into sub-families or different sub-groups of the household, then you’ve got the genus, after which you’ve got the species. So in Diplodocus’s case it’s within the order of the sauropods and the tremendous household of Diplodocoidea and the household is Diplodocidae, so contained in the household there’s a Diplodocus the supersaurus and some different dinosaurs that are thought of a few of the longest issues to have ever lived, particularly on the land. A number of of them have been discovered over a 100 toes lengthy and really the Diplodocus was thought of the longest dinosaur for fairly some time till longer dinosaurs have been ultimately found.

    Sabrina: In all probability one of many coolest issues about Diplodocus is its whip-tail; scientists assume that it could have been capable of break the sound barrier. Truly a paleontologist who got here up with that concept is Phil Currie, who we have now an interview with in a later podcast episode, the tail may have made a whip sound to both scare predators or may have been used for courtship functions.

    Garret: Yeah it additionally jogs my memory of my favourite dinosaur which is a Ankylosaurus, would have been a membership on the top of its tail so the concept of dinosaurs type of lumbering and transferring slowly they really had fairly the fierce tails and in some instances there might need been extra motion and fast motion imagining a tail breaking the sound obstacles is fairly spectacular.

    Sabrina: In 1990 in […] they really discovered Diplodocus fossilized pores and skin impression, which confirmed that the tail had a row of spines that will have run all the best way up the vertebrae to the neck. This was fabricated from keratin, which is identical factor as our hair and finger nails, in order that’s why it’s fairly exhausting to seek out.

    Garret: Yeah that might be thought of gentle tissue like we have been speaking about, effectively you possibly can’t really inform what a dinosaur regarded like as a result of until you get an impression or one thing you by no means know what may have been on the market.

    Sabrina: Diplodocus had totally different enamel from different kinds of plant consuming dinosaurs. It had enamel that would strip leaves off as a substitute of biting leaves in clumps.

    Garret: So that you think about the dinosaur trumping down in the course of the department after which operating its mouth out to the sting and stripping all of the leaves off directly.

    Sabrina: So as a result of its enamel have been made for stripping, not essentially for chewing, it additionally needed to swallow stones to assist digest its meals.

    Garret: It additionally had the flexibility to re-grow enamel rapidly, type of like a shark, with all that biting on bark and sliding it down your mouth the department you’re going to put on out your enamel fairly rapidly so that you want a brand new enamel. And there’s some controversy about how versatile its neck was; some folks assume that its neck was so versatile that it may get actually excessive elevation branches and low stage issues and all in between, different folks assume its neck won’t have been that versatile so it could have to maneuver its entire physique backward and forward like a few of the different sauropods did. And I feel one of the crucial fascinating theories is that a part of the explanations its forelegs are a lot totally different than its hind legs is that it may have been consuming aquatic vegetation the place it could stick its head underwater, a minimum of graze the floor of the water, and chew up vegetation from that place. However in both case it was consuming vegetation almost certainly that different sauropods weren’t consuming so it didn’t have an excessive amount of competitors for meals.

    Sabrina: We aren’t positive but how Diplodocus laid eggs with out them breaking. They might have constructed gentle nests out of vegetation or they might have squatted down, however there’s additionally a concept that they’d have a tube of soppy tissue like muscular tissues that would cross the eggs down on its method to the bottom at a gradual sufficient fee that it could hit the bottom softly, however there’s no gentle tissue stays that we discovered anyway to help this concept. We additionally don’t know an excessive amount of about the way it took care of its younger–whether or not they type of left them alone to outlive or type of protected them till they grew sufficiently big to not be meals supply for different carnivores on the time. Just some different information about Diplodocus: its entrance limbs have been shorter than its hind limbs. Most Diplodocus museum shows are presents from Andrew Carnegie; he donated numerous casts to totally different European monarchs. Paleontologists used to assume that Diplodocus had a second mind however they discovered later that it was simply an enlargement within the spinal wire and the hip space, however this enlargement was really larger than the Diplodocus’s mind. And Diplodocus had five-toed toes similar to elephants, nevertheless it’s received a thumb-claw on one of many toes on every foot that it in all probability used for defense.

    Garret: So our enjoyable reality for at this time is in accordance, to Schmitz and Motani of their paper, “Nocturnality in Dinosaurs Inferred from Scleral Ring and Orbit Morphology,” Diplodocus could have been what they cathemeral which mainly implies that it could nap and stand up and stroll round and eat at type of random intervals all through it’s entire life. So in a 24-hour cycle you wouldn’t actually know if it could be asleep or up questioning round so it’s not likely, can’t actually be restricted by the nocturnal or diurnal as a result of it type of received up and eat when it needed to. So that might be fairly fascinating to see. I can’t consider any fashionable animals to try this though I’m positive somebody can show me improper. In order that’s all we have now for this episode of IknowDino. As all the time you’ll find extra on our web site and in the event you like our podcast you possibly can ship us a tweet @iknowdino or go to our Fb web page which is I Know Dino or ship us an e mail at [email protected] Something I Know Dino associated, and if you wish to see the place you’ll find a dinosaur or different dinosaurs close to you, you may also go to and search for our map of museums and discover one close to you the place you possibly can see some actual dinosaur up shut and private.