Long Necks, Big Bodies

illustrated by Phil Wilson

Sauropods (SAR-oh-pods) were gigantic dinosaurs that lived from about 200 million years ago to 65 million years ago. They were herbivores, which means they ate plants. And because they were so big—some more than 14 times the size of an elephant—they ate a lot! Being so big also meant being heavy. An adult Diplodocus (dih-PLOD-uh-kuhs) weighed about 40,000 pounds.

Necks

Click image for a closer view.

Sauropods had incredibly long necks, with some that were 40 feet long! The long necks helped the sauropod to reach its food, but not high in the trees as you might expect. Instead, like an elephant’s trunk, the sauropod’s neck allows it to reach food without having to move its big body. The neck usually stuck straight out and acted like a big lawnmower.