Sauropod Fossils: Long-Necked Dinosaurs | Darwin and Wallace: A Nature & Fossil Store

Sauropod Fossils: Long-Necked Dinosaurs

 

        Sauropods are the largest animals to have ever walked the earth. Known for their long necks and tails and column-like legs, these herbivorous creatures are known in the fossil record the world over. Perhaps the most well-known sauropod of all time is the Jurassic aged Apatosaurus, though it is more famously known for its invalid and widely used moniker 'Brontosaurus.' Sauropods were undoubtedly big eaters, and their great size is probably attributed to being able to process low quality foods more efficiently. The earliest known sauropod is the Argentine Lessemsaurus, dating back to the Late Triassic period of approximately 228-204 million years ago. Their size would peak during the Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous periods, culminating in such giants as the 56 ft. tall Sauroposeidon, and the 120 ft. long Argentinosaurus (though there are other contenders for the largest of all time). Though the first sauropod fossil to be scientifically described was a tooth from the informally named Rutellum of England (by the Welsh naturalist Edward Lhuyd in 1699), the word "Sauropoda" would be created by American paleontologist O.C. Marsh in 1878 in order to collectively group this clade of dinosaurs. The word Sauropoda translates to "Lizard Foot" in Greek. Like so many other groups of dinosaurs (with the exception of the birds), the last sauropods would become extinct during the great Cretaceous extinction approximately 66 million years ago.

 Click on the images below to see the incredible fossils we offer in our Sauropod selection: