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Diplodocoidea is a superfamily of sauropod dinosaurs, which included some of the longest animals of all time, including slender giants like Supersaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Amphicoelias. Most had very long necks and long, whip-like tails; however, one family (the dicraeosaurids) are the only known sauropods to have re-evolved a short neck, presumably an adaptation for feeding low to the ground. This adaptation was taken to the extreme in the highly specialized sauropod Brachytrachelopan. A study of snout shape and dental microwear in diplodocoids showed that the square snouts, large proportion of pits, and fine subparallel scratches in Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Nigersaurus, and Rebbachisaurus suggest ground-height nonselective browsing; the narrow snouts of Dicraeosaurus, Suuwassea, and Tornieria and the coarse scratches and gouges on the teeth of Dicraeosaurus suggest mid-height selective browsing in those taxa.[1] This taxon is also noteworthy because diplodocoid sauropods had the highest tooth replacement rates of any vertebrates, as exemplified by Nigersaurus, which had new teeth erupting every 30 days.

Taxonomy

The below taxonomy follows the study of Emanuel Tschopp, Octavio Mateus and Roger Benson, 2015:

  • Diplodocoidea
    • Haplocanthosaurus
    • Diplodocimorpha
    • Rebbachisauridae
      • Flagellicaudata
        • Dicraeosauridae
        • Diplodocidae
          • Amphicoelias
          • Apatosaurinae
          • Diplodocinae

The phylogenetics of Diplodocoidea were reviewed in 2015 with a specimen-level phylogenetic analysis, as well as a species-level analysis. Their cladistic analysis is shown below.

Diplodocoidea

Haplocanthosaurus priscus


Diplodocimorpha
Rebbachisauridae

Zapalasaurus bonapartei



Limaysaurinae

Cathartesaura anaerobica



Limaysaurus tessonei



Nigersaurinae

Nigersaurus taqueti



Demandasaurus darwini





Flagellicaudata
Dicraeosauridae

Dyslocosaurus polyonychius





Suuwassea emilieae



Dystrophaeus viaemalae





Brachytrachelopan mesai




Amargasaurus cazaui



Dicraeosaurus hansemanni






Diplodocidae

Amphicoelias altus



Apatosaurinae

?Apatosaurinae gen. et sp. nov.





Apatosaurus ajax



Apatosaurus louisae





Brontosaurus excelsus




Brontosaurus yahnahpin



Brontosaurus parvus






Diplodocinae

?Diplodocinae gen. et sp. nov.




Tornieria africana





Supersaurus lourinhanensis



Supersaurus vivianae





Leinkupal laticauda




Galeamopus hayi





Diplodocus carnegiei



Diplodocus hallorum





Kaatedocus siberi



Barosaurus lentus














References

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