Sauropods Facts

Sauropods Facts
Sauropods were large and diverse group of huge, long-necked dinosaurs. They appeared 225 million years ago and successfully ruled the Earth during the next 100 million years (they were dominant group of terrestrial reptiles during the Mesozoic). Fossils of sauropods can be found all over the planet (including Antarctica). Apatosaurus, Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus are some of the most popular types of sauropods.
Interesting Sauropods Facts:
Most sauropods were growing to the length of 20 to 110 feet and weight of 30 to 100 tons. Biggest sauropod and largest known dinosaur was Amphicoelias. It was roughly 200 feet long and it had around 120 tons of weight.
Sauropods can be easily recognized by their extremely long neck, tiny head, bulky trunk, four sturdy legs with broad, elephant-like feet and long, whip-like tail which was used as counterbalance for the rest of the body.
Name "sauropod" means "lizard foot".
Despite long neck and nostrils on top of the head, sauropods didn't live near the (or in the) water. Their tiny, light and widely spaced ribs suggest that they were terrestrial animals.
Sauropods used their extremely long neck for collecting food from the wide, surrounding area, without moving the rest of the body. They have consumed both low-laying plants and soft leaves from the tall trees. This method of feeding ensures conservation of energy (they didn't have to travel a lot to find food).
Sauropods had high metabolic rate, but very low pulse, with 5 to 7 beats per minute.
Even though sauropods were cold-blooded creatures, their huge bodies were able to conserve heat long period of time and maintain nearly constant body temperature.
Sauropods lived and traveled in groups composed of around 20 animals.
Sauropods had consumed 400 to 2000 pounds of food each day.
Sauropods had numerous, flat, spoon-shaped or thin, peg-like teeth designed for stripping of leaves or breaking twigs and removal of bark from the trees, depending on the species. They didn't have time for chewing.
Sauropods had air sacs in the openings of vertebrae in the neck. Thanks to these sacs, sauropods were able to absorb oxygen even when their lungs were "resting".
Sauropods had extremely fast growing rate. They were able to reach sexual maturity at the age of 10 to 20 years.
Sauropods were laying up to 40 small eggs (grapefruit-sized) in the communal areas.
Newly hatched sauropods were able to double their weight in 5 days. Fully grown sauropods (at the age of 30 years) were 10.000 times heavier than they were the moment they were born.
Ability to conserve energy, grow at incredible high rate and produce numerous small eggs are the main factors thanks to which sauropods managed to evolve into largest animals on the planet.

Related Links:
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Dinosaurs Facts for Kids
Apatosaurus Facts
Diplodocus Facts
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