Summary Of ' The Double Beamed Dinosaur '

2088 Words Dec 3rd, 2016 9 Pages
Nimon Dong
Professor Jurdy
Death of the Dinosaur
3 December 2016
The Double Beamed Dinosaur The Diplodocus emerged, 155.7 to 150.8 million years ago, during the Late Jurassic period and primarily roamed Western North America (Gee et al., 2003). First discovered in Cañon City, Colorado in 1877 by Samuel Wendell Williston, the partial Diplodocus fossils, hind limb and tail vertebras, indicated an unusual body construction with two rows of chevron bones on the underside of its tail. Due to this unique skeleton, in 1878, paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh coined its name – Diplodocus: “diplos” meaning “double” and “dokos” meaning “beam” (Norman et al., 1985).
Early artistic renditions by Oliver P. Hays depicted the Diplodocus in a sprawling posture, with a limp tail dragging across the ground and limbs out to the side like those found on lizards. However, this initial reconstruction clearly had two major flaws. As noted by W. J. Holland, the sprawled limbs could not have possibly lifted the heavy body off the ground and would need a trench to pull its belly through. Instead, to support such bulky weight, the legs must be directly under the body, resembling closely to those found in elephants (Norman et al., 1985). Furthermore, a closer examination of its tail structure revealed that “massive tendons ran from the back of the head right to the tip of the tail”; it effectively held the tail off the ground at a horizontal level (Brochu, 2002).
Along with pillar-like legs, the…

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