Terrifying actual cervical vertebrae of the Morrison Formation

February 17, 2013

If you found the hypothetical Amphicoelias fragillimus cervical in a recent post a bit too much to swallow, I won’t blame you. But how big do we know Morrison diplodocoid cervicals got?

The longest centrum of any specimen of anything, anywhere, is that of the cervical vertebra BYU 9024 that’s part of the Supersaurus vivianae holotype. It’s 138 cm long, which means that composited at scale with an MTSRSU, it looks like this:

latin-love-god-with-supersaurus

This is not hypothetical. It’s an actual fossil.

(Just for the record: C8 of the Sauroposeidon holotype OMNH 53062 is slightly longer overall, at 140 cm. But that includes overhanging prezygapophyses. Its centrum is “only” 125 cm long.)

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3 Responses to “Terrifying actual cervical vertebrae of the Morrison Formation”


  1. [...] greatly contributed to the overall size of these dinosaurs. Indeed, Taylor and Wedel estimate, the neck of Supersaurus probably stretched about 50 feet long, nearly half the animal’s entire length. [...]


  2. [...] length”) goes to the anteriormost point of the condyle. The distinction is important: as noted recently, the longest vertebra in the world belongs to Sauroposeidon if we use total length, but to [...]


  3. [...] the top: our old friend BYU 9024 — the cervical vertebra that’s part of the Supersaurus vivianae holotype. At [...]


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