Illustration of a sauropod. Sauropods space thought to it is in the biggest dinosaurs and also the biggest creatures ever to go on land.(Image credit: U.S. Department of the Interior, office of land Management.)
The long necks of the biggest dinosaurs that ever lived can have been elevated high ~ all, a brand-new study currently suggests.

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The sauropod dinosaurs, which included titans such as Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, and also Apatosaurus (once well-known as Brontosaurus), are popular for the very long necks they usually sported. The an extensive neck expanded the animal"s reach for grabbing food.

However, it has recently proven controversial regarding whether sauropods actually ever held your heads up high to dine ~ above hard-to-reach leaves since of all the energy needed to pump blood to together heights. Many researchers, because that instance, carry out agree that Apatosaurus and also Diplodocus likely kept your necks short while grazing.

Now, at least for few of these sauropods, research says the goliaths did indeed organize their heads up high.


Andreas Christian, a practical morphologist in ~ the university of Flensburg in Germany, investigated Euhelopus zdanskyi, a moderately sized sauropod that lived during the at an early stage Cretaceous sometime between 130 million and also 112 million year ago. It was estimated to weigh part 8,400 pounds (3,800 kilograms) and also roughly 36 to 39 feet (11 to 12 meters) in length from nose reminder to tail tip.


The neck and also head of Euhelopus together were believed to have weighed 460 pounds (210 kg), and also the distance from the base of the neck come the snout stretched about 15 feet (4.6 m). After ~ calculating the emphasize the cartilage in ~ its neck joints must have actually felt provided this weight and also length, Christian uncovered the most most likely pose it adopted was somewhat favor a giraffe"s — a virtually straight neck skinny at about 45 levels from the ground the would have taken tiny work come raise up vertically for a few minutes.

Although pump blood to together heights calls for a the majority of energy, Christian found this confirmed cost-effective if food was spread out out, together the energy gained from being able come forage ~ above hard-to-get lofty leaves would certainly be much less than if castle otherwise had to move their massive bulks long ranges to feed. Similar findings held true for Brachiosaurus.

"Distribution that food was necessary for the optimal feeding strategy," Christian said. Different sauropods may have actually used their necks in different ways depending on the type of vegetation lock were most used come feeding on, he added.


Christian thorough his findings virtual June 2 in the newspaper Biology Letters.

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Charles Q. Choi is a contributing writer for Live Science and Space.com. He covers all things human origins and also astronomy and also physics, animals and also general science topics. Charles has a grasp of Arts level from the college of Missouri-Columbia, institution of Journalism and also a Bachelor that Arts level from the university of south Florida. Charles has visited every continent top top Earth, drinking rancid yak butter tea in Lhasa, snorkeling v sea lions in the Galapagos and also even climb an iceberg in Antarctica.