Sauropods include about two hundreds of kinds described so far. Other than the stock ones, the five most common sauropods in documentary-media have been ''Camarasaurus'' (mid-sized, short-necked, quite like a middle between an apatosaur and a brachiosaur), ''Cetiosaurus'' (a mid-sized, primitive and generic-looking kind from Europe), ''Barosaurus'' (similar to ''Diplodocus'' but with a longer neck), ''Mamenchisaurus'' (found in Asia and with an even longer neck than the former), and ''Saltasaurus'' (South-American, Cretaceous, and with an unusually armored body). Each one is listed in its own paragraph at the top of the page. Other sauropods have been relatively common as well either because of their historical relevance (ex. ''Titanosaurus''), for their distinctiveness (ex. ''Shunosaurus'', ''Amargasaurus''), because they're the prototypes of their own sauropod family (ex. ''Dicraeosaurus'', ''Vulcanodon''), or for other reasons -- ex. ''Hypselosaurus'' has been thought the owner of the possible "biggest eggs" known from non-bird dinosaurs.
'''A dino-sized injustice:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camarasaurus Camarasaurus]]''
Which is the most common sauropod in the USA, ''[[StockDinosaurs Apatosaurus]]'', ''[[StockDinosaurs Brachiosaurus]]'', or ''[[StockDinosaurs Diplodocus]]''? None of them. It was ''Camarasaurus''.
This dinosaur was as enormous as the former, and shared their same habitat in which other two popular dinosaurs lived, ''[[StockDinosaurs Stegosaurus]]'' and ''[[StockDinosaurs Allosaurus]]''; and yet, when was the last time you’ve heard “Camarasaurus” in a film/cartoon/comic? Even the famous SpeculativeDocumentary ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs'' has totally ignored it, preferring its stock cousins instead. The misfortune of ''Camarasaurus'' is probably due to not detaining any size-record among sauropods: it has never been either “the longest” like ''Diplodocus'', or “the tallest/heaviest” like ''Brachiosaurus''. Furthermore, its first complete skeleton (found in the early XX century in the Dinosaur National Monument between Utah and Colorado) was from a juvenile, leading some books telling the camarasaur was "one of the smallest sauropods". On the other hand, other dino-book have said this dinosaur was 40 m (130 ft long) long and that was "one of the biggest dinosaurs"!
Discovered during the Bone Wars, ''Camarasaurus'' is considered by some a rather unsauropod-like sauropod, because of its relatively large head and its much-shorter neck compared to most other sauropods. It tended to be confused with the so-called “Brontosaurus” in the past, because the classic brontosaur portraits have a round head and a short, blunt tail, just like RealLife camarasaurs. Until few years ago, the head and tail of the skeleton at the base of the popular "brontosaur" image were believed belonging ''actually'' to a specimen of the "cama", so in old books it's classically said "The brontosaur's traditional pictures have the head of ''Camarasaurus''". [[note]]We now know this fossil pieces came from a specimen of the north-american Brachiosaurus.[[/note]]
However, ''Camarasaurus'' was more related to ''Brachiosaurus'' than to ''Apatosaurus''. Both the brachiosaur and the camarasaur had short, boxy skull with wide nasal openings, a nasal crest, and relatively large teeth which bordered the whole jaws - the ''Diplodocus'' and ''Apatosaurus'' skull was longer and flatter with peg-like teeth only on the jaw-tips. The four legs of ''Camarasaurus'' were about the same length, and its back was perfectly horizontal and perhaps even a bit taller on the shoulders: ''Apatosaurus'' and ''Diplodocus'' has shorter forelimbs than hindlimbs, and their back had a convex silhouette with the tallest point on the ''hips''.
'''The longest neck:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamenchisaurus Mamenchisaurus]]''
What is the thing that has really made sauropods the most iconic plant-eating dinosaurs? [[RhetoricalQuestionBlunder Their size]], useless to say. But there are few doubts that their unbelievably long necks have done their part, too.
But wait: if you think ''Brachiosaurus'' and ''Diplodocus'' have disproportionately vast necks, is only because you’ve never seen their Chinese cousin: ''Mamenchisaurus''. The latter’s neck was so long that, if the animal would be still alive today, we could see it drinking some water from a lake with its forelimbs placed 12 m (40 ft) or even 15 m (50 ft) from the shore! In other words: the neck of ''Mamenchisaurus'' was ''longer than a whole T. rex was from nose to tail''. This record has made ''Mamenchisaurus'' one of the most famed sauropods as well as one of the most classic Chinese dinosaurs. [[note]] It’s worth noting, however, that the classic record of “Whoa the longest-neck!” is now disputed now by the fragmentary ''Sauroposeidon''[[/note]].
Discovered in 1954, ''Mamenchisaurus'' lived in the same age of the stock sauropods (Late Jurassic). Initially believed a close ''Diplodocus'' relative, now is thought a more archaic kind of sauropod which incidentally reached a similar shape, though with a much shorter tail not ending with a "whip" but with [[ScienceMarchesOn a small club]] (the "club" is a very recent discovery, and almost every mamenchisaur depiction show it clubless). Since the head of ''Mamenchisaurus'' has long been unknown, the most classic portraits show it with an inaccurate ''Diplodocus''-like head; actually ''Mamenchisaurus'' head was more similar to ''Camarasaurus''. In short, the polar opposite of what has happened to the allegedly boxy ''Apatosaurus'' head.
To date, the only significative apparition ''Mamenchisaurus'' has made in pop-culture was a simple cameo in ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark''. It was unidentified and unnamed, maybe the only dinosaur in the ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' film-series that has not become Stock after that. As it seems, [[SarcasmMode four pop-cultural sauropods are just too many]].
'''Hearts everywhere:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barosaurus Barosaurus]]''
OvershadowedByAwesome seems a common trope among dinosaurs. We see a dinosaur, remain struck by its awesomeness… but later, another similar yet even cooler dinosaur takes its place in our mind. ''Barosaurus'' could be an example. 8/9 m long, its neck was one of the longest in the whole Animal Kingdom, but is definitively overshadowed by the 12/15 m long neck of ''Mamenchisaurus'' (as well as that of the brachiosaurs).
Discovered in USA at the end of the Bone Wars, ''Barosaurus'' was the closest relative of ''Diplodocus'', and lived as well in Late Jurassic North America; some possible remains from Africa are also known, but are generally thought to be from a different genus, ''Tornieria''. ''Barosaurus'' was virtually identical to ''Diplodocus'' except for its shorter tail counterbalanced by the longer neck. Its was one of the longest sauropods, only a bit shorter than ''Diplodocus''. ''Barosaurus'' means “heavy lizard”: though apt for a sauropod, it's not totally appropriate. Having the same slender frame of ''Diplodocus'', the barosaur weighed less than other sauropods. At least, that was what we though up until 2016, when it was discovered that the fossils traditionally considered to belong to ''Supersaurus'' actually belonged to a gigantic member of this species, which would have been 150 feet long and weighed perhaps 100 tons!.
Its lower notoriety is probably due to the fact ''Barosaurus'' remains are less abundant than the ''Diplodocus'' ones. However, ''Barosaurus'' has gained more fame when a barosaur skeleton was mounted in the American Museum of Natural History in the 1980s. This skeleton is the dino-star of the museum, being mounted erected on the hindlimbs and the tail; 15 m tall, is shown defending its youngster from an attacking ''Allosaurus''.
In the same years, one bizarre suggestion was made about its physiology: with such a long neck, ''Barosaurus'' may have had ''eight hearts'' to pump blood up to its lofty head. These "hearts" were imagined to be placed in four pairs through the neck, and pulsating synchronically to enhance the blood circulation. There could actually be a bit of reality in this idea: the problem is, there isn’t any evidence to prove all this true.
'''The armored brontosaur:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltasaurus Saltasaurus]]''
When we think about “armored” dinosaurs, our mind automatically goes to things such as ''[[StockDinosaurs Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Ankylosaurus]]''. Thus, if you are a layman, you could be astonished if we tell you that there was also an armored ''sauropod''.
Scientists themselves were surprised when such an animal was discovered in 1980 in the Argentinian province of Salta: they called it ''Saltasaurus'' (not “Salt'''o'''saurus”, please). It walked around 80 million years after the more popular "three stock sauropod band", almost managing to see the [[RockFallsEveryoneDies meteor]].
''Saltasaurus'' armor was different-looking than ''Ankylosaurus'' armor. It had no spikes, and was made by several small bony scutes of different size, covering all the upper parts of its torso like a mosaic. [[note]]Some portraits wrongly show this armor covering also the upper neck and tail.[[/note]] Though apparently much lighter than an ankylosaur’s, it would have been enough to defend the sauropod against predators like the contemporary “horned” ''Carnotaurus''. The scientific importance of ''Saltasaurus'' raised up even more after the discovery (made at the end of the 1990s) of a fossilized breeding-site full of nests and hatchlings, the very first known from a sauropod. These remains were attributed to ''Saltasaurus'', but we are not sure if they pertain to its genus.
''Saltasaurus'' is also a member of that subgroup of sauropods called titanosaurs (see below): since its discovery, armor plates of several other titanosaurs have since been found, although more incomplete. However, ''Saltasaurus'' was considerably smaller than many other sauropods (it was only 12 m long and not much heavier than an elephant); and, not counting the bony plates, its shape was that of a generic sauropod. This might partially explain why, despite its badass-look, ''Saltasaurus'' has remained a non-fictional animal unlike ''Carnotaurus''.
'''A whale of dinosaur:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cetiosaurus Cetiosaurus]]''
Which were the biggest animals ever, whales or dinosaurs? Hard question, depends on what criterium you want to use. ''Cetiosaurus'', the first sauropod ever described, just means “whale-lizard”. But this is not a mere reference to its huge size; it was ''literally'' believed a whale-thing at one point.
First found in 1842 in England slightly after Richard Owen coined the word “dinosaur”, its first remains were so incomplete that Owen couldn’t believe such a heavy animal could live on land. Since limb bones were missing, he thought the owner was a non-dinosaurian ''marine reptile'' (remember sea-reptiles were already very well-known at the time). When the limb bones were discovered several decades after, the familiar image of an elephantine “reptile” with long neck and tail came to light.
Though not a Wastebin-taxon like ''[[StockDinosaurs Megalosaurus]]'', ''Cetiosaurus'' could thus be seen as its sauropodian equivalent - incidentally, lived just alongside ''Megalosaurus'' in Middle Jurassic Europe, but has been found in North Africa too. ''Cetiosaurus'' has been the archetypical “basal” sauropod, and lived ''before'' the Stock Trio. Among the cetiosaur's primitive traits, it had compact vertebrae instead of hollow - cavities in the backbone is a typical feature of more evolved sauropods like ''Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus'' and ''Camarasaurus'' (the latter’s name just meaning [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin lizard with cavities]]).
Unfortunately for ''Cetiosaurus'', these sauropods were discovered in North America just in the period of the former’s correct interpretation, Their bigger size and/or their greater completeness meant ''Cetiosaurus'' was progressively put under the table. Making things worse, the cetiosaur has also a very generic look with no external traits that would make it recognizable. In short, this “whale of dinosaur” was predestined to become an only-book animal - expecially British books, as it could be qualified the "national" UK sauropod.
'''Titanic lizards:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanosaurus Titanosaurus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctosaurus Antarctosaurus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opisthocoelicaudia Opisthocoelicaudia]]''
“Titanosaur” is a often-heard name in documentaries, books and sometimes in pop-media: what is it exactly a titanosaur? Well, it has actually ''two'' meanings. The more strict one indicates a precise genus of Late Cretaceous dinosaur, ''Titanosaurus'', the first sauropod discovered in India (and Asia), in year 1877. Ironically, it’s actually is one of the most fragmentary sauropods, known only from few vertebrae and some other material, but was treated as one of the three most classic dinosaurian “wastebins” together with ''[[StockDinosaurs Megalosaurus]]'' and ''[[StockDinosaurs Iguanodon]]'': to the point that ''Titanosaurus''es cropped up everywhere in the world - now they are regarded either dubious, or reclassified in new genera.
The second meaning indicates the sauropod subgroup including the eponymous genus above: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Titanosaurs]]. First appeared in the Late Jurassic (''Australodocus''), they became a very abundant and widespread dinosaur group in Cretaceous, expecially in the Southern Continents (where competition from the more evolved Ornithischians was lower), and in the Late Cretaceus they managed to replace all the other sauropods. Here we list only some noticeable titanosaurian examples.
Not all titanosaurs were true titans: among colossi such as ''[[StockDinosaurs Argentinosaurus]]'', ''Puertasaurus'', ''Futalognkosaurus'', ''Paralititan'', or ''Antarctosaurus'', there was also an animal like ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magyarosaurus Magyarosaurus]]'', a [[OxymoronicBeing dwarf sauropod]] ''only 6 m long'', which reduced its size to survive in small European islands. About ''Antarctosaurus'', this has been one of the first dinosaurs found in South America (since the start of the XX century: hence its generic name “Southern Lizard”), but is very poorly-known. Some alleged antarctosaur remains have been described in Africa and even India other than South America (the Indian one is now called ''Jainosaurus''); some of these are nearly as big as those of ''Argentinosaurus'' found several decades later (see StockDinosaurs), as well as the equally-fragmentary remains of another early-discovered South-American kind, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyrosaurus Argyrosaurus]]'' [[note]]Interestingly, the latter's name has the same meaning of ''Argentinosaurus'', "lizard from Argentina", but the two titanosaurs are distinct animals. Both prefixes mean "silver" (Argentina means "the silver land"), but ''Argentino-'' is Latin word, ''Argyro-'' is Greek.[[/note]] Most titanosaurs, however, were far from the two extremes. The armoured ''Saltasaurus'' and the [[TheUnpronounceable almost unutterable]] ''Opisthocoelicaudia'', for example, were 12 m long--- still half the size of an apatosaur.
"Titanosaurus", ''Antarctosaurus'', ''Argentinosaurus'', ''Argyrosaurus'' and so on are not the only fragmentary kinds however: ironically, despite the high number of described species, titanosaur remains are almost always very scant. Just as an example, ''Opisthocoelicaudia'' from Late Cretaceous Mongolia is considered one of the most complete together with ''Saltasaurus''; its body, limbs and tail are well-preserved … but its head and neck are unknown. The skeleton of ''Opisthocoelicaudia'' do not shows any sign of preserved body armor (''Opisthocoelicaudia'' was originally classified as a ''Camarasaurus'' relative), and its tail is strangely curved upwards. But other titanosaurians do show armor; these one were the most evolved, from Late Cretaceous, usually small-sized for sauropod standards. To compensate, the most primitive ones were often enormous-sized to defend themselves against predators like the carcharodontosaurids. Among small armored Late Cretaceous titanosaurian, other than ''Saltasaurus'' we can mention ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplatasaurus Laplatasaurus]]'' "La Plata lizard" [[note]]This is reference to the famous Argentinian river near which it was found: "Rio de la Plata" means ''river of the silver'' in Spanish.[[/note]]; like ''Antarctosaurus'', it too has to some degree been treated as a "wastebasket" (some alleged "Laplatasaurus" were once described in Africa).
An exception to the scant fossils is the 2005 of ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadnoughtus Dreadnoughtus schrani]]]'', discovered in 2005 with a 45% complete skeleton. And given that few of the bones were duplicates from the left and right sides of the ''D. schrani'', it's de facto 70% complete. Most titanosaurs (and most very large sauropods in general) have only had specimens less than 10% complete. This means that while 'D. schrani'' is (probably) not the largest titanosaur, it's the dinosaur with the greatest mass ''that we can be reasonably certain about'', at around 38 metric tons. And the specimen in question is believed to be a juvenile, so a full-grown adult might have been much bigger.
'''Titanic lizards 2:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamosaurus Alamosaurus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypselosaurus Hypselosaurus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isisaurus Isisaurus]]''
Most titanosaurian remains are from South America, expecially Argentina. Actually, most South American dinosaurs have been discovered in Argentina (and not in Brazil as one might expect, given the largest area of the latter). A rather enigmatic Argentinian sauropod is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chubutisaurus Chubutisaurus]]''; found in the 1980s together with the meat-eating ''Carnotaurus'', it was initially believed a late-surviving brachiosaurid, and some think it may be an intermediate form between brachiosaurids & titanosaurs rather than a proper titanosaur.
However, titanosaurians have been found in most parts of the world. Both ''Hypselosaurus'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampelosaurus Ampelosaurus]]'' come from France; the latter’s status as “the most complete French sauropod” has made it a sort of national celebrity. ''Hypselosaurus'' is far more fragmentary, but is famous because is classically thought the source of some large fossil eggs found in the XIX century; they are reputed the biggest dinosaurian eggs ever found, and yet they’re ''only one foot long'' - not exactly like those man-sized objects seen in cartoons. [[note]] Technically, they weren’t the biggest dinosaur eggs: the famous recently-extinct “[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_bird Elephant Bird]]” from Madagascar laid the biggest known land-based eggs in the whole animal kingdom: up to 2 ft long.[[/note]].
Among titanosaurs which fell in the ''Titanosaurus''-Wastebasket, the most astonishing is ''Isisaurus'' from India. With its thick neck, short tail and strongly sloping backbone, it was the most giraffe-like sauropod known to date, even more than the well-known brachiosaurids. Just as strange were its forelimbs, with extremely reduced "feet". The very fragmentary ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegyptosaurus Aegyptosaurus]]'' has received its name from the country it was found, Egypt; it lived in Cretaceous Northern Africa near another famous egyptian guy, ''Spinosaurus aegyptiacus''. Other African countries which have left important dinosaur remains are: Tanzania (with the famous Tendaguru site full of Late Jurassic specimens [[note]]When the Tendaguru fossils were found, Tanzania was still a German colony: that explains why the famous "Brachiosaurus" (''Giraffatitan'') discovered here ended in the Berlin Museum. Other famed Tendaguru dinosaurs are the stegosaur ''Kentrosaurus'', the small theropod ''Elaphrosaurus'', and the diplodocoid sauropod ''Dicraeosaurus''.[[/note]]); South Africa (home for several Early Jurassic dinosaurs [[note]] Classic examples are the prosauropod ''Massospondylus'' and the basal ornithischians ''Heterodontosaurus'' & ''Lesothosaurus'', though technically the latest one was found in a tiny State surrounded by the South African Republic: the Lesotho indeed. Zimbabwe has left some dinosaurs as well (''Vulcanodon'', "Syntarsus").[[/note]]), and several saharian countries other than Egypt, expecially Niger (home for ''Ouranosaurus'' and other Cretaceous animals).
And what about North America? Did any titanosaur live here, along with ''T. rexes'' and ''Triceratops''? Yes, it did, but was the only one known: ''Alamosaurus'', possibly a isolated migrant originally from South America. Even though is known only from (again…) not-complete remains, its status of “the only one who met TyrannosaurusRex in RealLife!” (and its “token sauropod” appearance as well) has made it the perfect HandWave for those artists/writers who have fun to portray ''Apatosaurus'' and ''Tyrannosaurus'' [[AnachronismStew living side-by-side]]. Considering [[SarcasmMode the extreme rarity]] of this eventuality, this would make ''Alamosaurus'', not “Brontosaurus”, [[UnfortunateImplications the real Great-Stock sauropod...]]. Just as an example, the sauropod skeleton seen next to the ''Tyrannosaurus'' one at the end of the first Franchise/JurassicPark film has been labeled by some sources "Alamosaurus", but is clearly an ''Apatosaurus''. More recent discoveries suggest that ''Alamosaurus'' may have been one of the largest sauropods, with fragmentary remains suggesting at animals equal or greater in size than ''Argentinosaurus''.
'''Diplodocus' kin:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicraeosaurus Dicraeosaurus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amargasaurus Amargasaurus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebbachisaurus Rebbachisaurus]]''
''Diplodocus'' (and ''Apatosaurus'' of course) had many relatives. Not only some real or alleged “biggest dinosaurs ever” (''Supersaurus'', ''Amphicoelias''), but also many other smaller, usually more primitive animals: ''Dicraeosaurus'' for example. Found in the famous Tendaguru deposit, ''Dicraeosaurus'' was 13-20 m long but weighed only 6 tons, no more than an elephant. It’s the smallest member of the classic Late Jurassic African [[PowerTrio Sauropod Trio]]. The other two have usually been called “Barosaurus” and “Brachiosaurus”, but the former is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornieria Tornieria]]'', while the latter is ''[[StockDinosaurs Giraffatitan]]''. Other less-known sauropods from Tendaguru include ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janenschia Janenschia]]'' and ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Tendaguria]]''.
With its short, Apatosaur-like neck and a long, ''Diplodocus''-like tail, ''Dicraeosaurus'' could have had a double ridge on its back, but this is not sure. His South American Early Cretaceous relative, ''Amargasaurus'', surely had this. One of the most bizarre-looking sauropods, found in 1990 in Argentina, ''Amargasaurus'' had pairs of neural spines which arose from its neck. Perhaps these spines substained a double-sail, or maybe were covered in keratin, making them true spikes for defense. Considering its quite small size for a sauropod (weighing less than an elephant), the latter option seems the more likely. Interesting, an Amargasaurus-like "sail" was added in the Series/Primeval TV series to a totally different dinosaur, ''Dracorex'' (see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs Pachycephalosaurs]]).
Still another dicraeosaurid, the recently-discovered ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachytrachelopan Brachytrachelopan]]'' (also South American but Jurassic) was even weirder; with its extremely shortened neck, it didn't seem even a sauropod! Indeed South America has gifted some other odd sauropods in recent years: the possible titanosaurian ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonitasaura Bonitasaura]]'' had uniquely a horny beak put ''behind'' the frontal teeth. While ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agustinia Agustinia]]'' was thought to have had long, raised bony plates like a stegosaur, but these now appear to be misinterpreted normal bones.
Other diplodocoids were still more primitive than the above: ''Rebbachisaurus'' from Cretaceous Sahara maybe still hadn’t a whip-like tail. This sauropod was found in several African countries, but its remains are sparse; some alleged ''Rebbachisaurus''es were described in South America, but now are classified in other genera within the Rebbachisaurids. This family also contains ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigersaurus Nigersaurus]]'' from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Niger]], whose well-preserved skull shows strange grinding teeth. It also had the most teeth of any known saurischian: at any one time, there could be over ''five hundred'' teeth in its mouth.
Some sauropods are controversial if they were diplodocoids, or not: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplocanthosaurus Haplocanthosaurus]]'' could be a more basal sauropod. Found as early as the 1900s, lived alongside the “stock sauropod trio” "Apato"-"Diplo"-''Brachiosaurus'' in Late Jurassic North America, but is rarer and extremely less-portrayed. Also living along the latter were ''Eobrontosaurus'' (a very Apatosaurus-like diplodocid found in the late 1990s, which has partially resuscitated “Brontosaurus” in the official dinosaur list), and the primitive ''Suuwassea''. While ''Cetiosauriscus'' (Middle Jurassic Europe) despite its name meaning "similar to ''Cetiosaurus''" was not a basal sauropod like the latter, but a true diplodocoid.
Finally, two examples from Late Cretaceous Mongolia: ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemegtosaurus Nemegtosaurus]]'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaesitosaurus Quaesitosaurus]]'', both known from one single Diplodocus-like skull. Since Late Cretaceous sauropods were titanosaurs, the question is: were they late-surviving diplodocoids, or just ''Diplodocus''-like titanosaurs? In 2000, the discovery in Madagascar of ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapetosaurus Rapetosaurus]]'', a very complete Late Cretaceous titanosaur with a clearly ''Diplodocus''-shaped head, reveals the second option being the more likely.
'''Brachiosaur’s kin:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrodon Astrodon]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelorosaurus Pelorosaurus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euhelopus Euhelopus]]''
While diplodocoids are abundant, brachiosaurids are much rarer. Most described species are fragmentary, and with their appearance unknown. We can mention, because of their historical relevance, ''Astrodon'' and ''Pelorosaurus''. The former ("starry tooth") is the first sauropod found in North America (even before the Bone Wars), but is known mainly from teeth; other incomplete remains found within the "wars" were once referred as "Pleurocoelus". ''Astrodon'' is considered a “small” sauropod about 10 m long, which lived in Early Cretaceous along ''Deinonychus'' and the much larger ''[[StockDinosaurs Sauroposeidon]]''. Some analyses, however, suggest ''Astrodon'' is not a brachiosaurid, but is closer to titanosaurs. Curiously, the synonym "Pleurocoelus" used to be described as a much bigger brachiosaurid than ''Astrodon''.
On the other hand, the English ''Pelorosaurus'' was probably as big as ''Brachiosaurus'', but like ''Astrodon'' (and most non-stock brachiosaurids), lived in Early Cretaceous as well, and is very scanty. However, it was the second (1850) sauropod described after ''Cetiosaurus'', and lived together with ''Iguanodon'' and ''Hypsilophodon''. Since sauropods were virtually unknown at the time the pelorosaur's find strongly astonished its describer, to the point he gave it its name meaning [[PrehistoricMonster monster lizard]]. Later, ''Pelorosaurus'' was treated as a Waste-Basket taxon for undetermined European sauropods: one of these former “pelorosaurs” is the dubious but coolly-named "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigantosaurus Gigantosaurus]]" (not ''[[StockDinosaurs Giganotosaurus]]''), which lived in Late Jurassic earlier than the real ''Pelorosaurus''. From the same period of "Gigantosaurus" comes another little-known european brachiosaurid, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bothriospondylus Bothriospondylus]]'': even though is known since the early 1900, it has not fallen in the "pelorosaur wastebin" -- but to compensate, it has been treated as a small "wastebin" on its own, assigning to it some fragmentary sauropod remains from Madagascar. Also known since the early 1900 but equally not-fallen in the wastebin is ''Macrurosaurus'', an English Early-Cretaceous titanosaurian known only from 40 tail vertebrae.
Together, Brachiosaurids, Camarasaurids, Titanosaurians, and others make the Macronarians, one of the two great sauropod subgroups together with Diplodocoids. One example of macronarian which do not pertain to the aforementioned subgroups is ''Euhelopus''. The first-found sauropod in China (and one of the very first found Chinese dinosaurs, in the 1920s), it had long neck and short tail which made it looking lik a miniaturized ''Mamenchisaurus'' (its contemporaneous relative ''Erketu'' would have looked the same). ''Euhelopus'' was once believed related with the mamenchisaur; but now is considered a more evolved sauropod, closely related with titanosaurians. Being the most classic among Asian Early Cretaceous sauropods, ''Euhelopus'' could have been the model for ''Series/PrehistoricPark''’s “titanosaurs” seen in the early Cretaceous episode about "Dino-birds". Another interesting macronarian is ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europasaurus Europasaurus]]'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Europe]]; living in the Late Jurassic islets in which is today Germany, it was one of the smallest (6 m) sauropods ever, but should have appeared a true giant to its two neighbors ''Compsognathus'' and ''Archaeopteryx''.
'''Nobody's kin:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunosaurus Shunosaurus]]'', ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omeisaurus Omeisaurus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagosaurus Patagosaurus]]''
Not every sauropod is either Diplodocoid or Macronarian (Diplodocoid+Macronarian =Neosauropod, "new sauropod"). Many were more primitive than both. ''Cetiosaurus'' and ''Mamenchisaurus'' have already been mentioned: another relevant basal sauropod is ''Shunosaurus'', from Chinese Middle Jurassic. Rather small (10 m long) and short-necked, it’s worthy of note for two things: its bony-club on its tailtip surrounded by four short spikes, resembling a combination between a Stegosaurian and Ankylosaurian tail [[note]]though several portraits and museum-mounts show it spike-less and even club-less[[/note]]; and the fact that, with its 20 or more skeletons known, ''Shunosaurus'' is one of the most common sauropod in fossil record, rivalling ''Camarasaurus''. Similar but not related, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinophorosaurus Spinophorosaurus]]'' ("spike-bearing lizard") discovered in 2009 in Jurassic Africa had also a similar armored tail.
The shunosaur lived alongside members of a mostly Asian sauropod subgroup (the mamenchisaurids) which included also ''Mamenchisaurus'' and ''Omeisaurus''. The latter lived in Late Jurassic like the mamenchisaur, was smaller (20 m long) but with a very long neck as well, and is also known to have had a tail-club (but without "spikes"). Several species are known from ''Omeisaurus'', and yet is not a common sight in books. Other mamenchisaurids were more generic-looking, for example the medium-sized ''Datousaurus'' and the smaller ''Bellusaurus''. Interestingly, a mamenchisaurid appears to be present in the African Tendaguru formation.
Outside Asia, primitive sauropods include ''Patagosaurus'' from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Patagonia]] and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobaria Jobaria]]'' from Africa – both Middle Jurassic, even though the latter was believed Cretaceous, thus a [[ScienceMarchesOn late-surviving form]]. ''Patagosaurus'' is the most well-known sauropod from Jurassic South America; known from eight adult individuals and one juvenile, was very similar to ''Cetiosaurus'' in shape and size. Indeed, most generic-looking basal sauropods used to be put in the "Cetiosaurid" family, but this was actually an artificial assemblage. Also interesting is the Spanish ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turiasaurus Turiasaurus]]'' from the boundary between Jurassic and Cretaceous (this ''was'' a late-survivor); 30 m long, it's perhaps the biggest known basal sauropod (not much smaller than ''Argentinosaurus''!)
'''The first steps:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcanodon Vulcanodon]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barapasaurus Barapasaurus]]''
All the sauropods already listed in this page were "Eusauropods" ("real sauropods"). Yet, there were even more basal sauropods other than these: ''Vulcanodon'' and ''Barapasaurus'' are two main examples. Both from Early Jurassic, they still had “prosauropod” traits in their skeletons, but their external shape was already sauropodian, with pillar-like limbs.
While ''Vulcanodon'' (whose strange name means “volcano tooth”) was very small for a sauropod (6 m long, less than a plateosaur), ''Barapasaurus'' (not to be confounded with ''Barosaurus'') was the first known sauropod to have reached the classic huge sauropodian size (18 m long). It’s also one of the few dinosaurs from India, while the vulcanodont was Southern African and lived alongside the well-known prosauropod ''Massospondylus''. About ''Melanorosaurus'' and other sauropod ancestors, see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropodPredecessors in the following section]].
'''Long-necked Aussies:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrosaurus Austrosaurus]]'' & ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoetosaurus Rhoetosaurus]]''
Sauropods have been found everywhere, LandDownUnder as well. But are little-known there. ''Austrosaurus'' and ''Rhoetosaurus'' are two rarities in books, less-frequent than smaller Australian dinosaurs like ''Leaellynasaura'' or even the [[ScienceMarchesOn alleged]] “dwarf allosaur”; this can be justified though, giving their scarse remains. ''Rhoetosaurus'' still remains one of the few known Australian dinosaurs from the Jurassic (most known aussie dinos were Early Cretaceous): it is a basal sauropod maybe related with ''Cetiosaurus''. On the other hand, ''Austrosaurus'' was Early Cretaceous; it had unusually-long forelimbs, and was once believed a primitive non-diplodocoid / non-macronarian sauropod. Today is classified as a titanosaurian. Very recent additions in the australian sauropod list are ''Diamantinasaurus'' and ''Wintonotitan'', and others could join them in the future.
'''Titan or Atlas?:''' ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantosaurus Atlantosaurus]]''
An almost-forgotten-today but very-important-once sauropod is "Atlantosaurus" (“Atlas lizard”); the first sauropod discovered within American Bone-Wars, initially classified by Marsh as "Titanosaurus" -- the word was just used few months before for the valid ''Titanosaurus''! [[note]]Both Atlas and the Titans were immense-sized Myth/GreekMythology goddities: Atlas has traditionally been portrayed bearing the world on his arms. The name of the geographical "Atlas" comes just from this character.[[/note]]. However, most "Atlantosaurus" material was based on ''Apatosaurus'' remains, while the original "Atlantosaurus" is so incomplete to be regarded dubious genus. To understand how much our atlantosaur was kept in consideration in the past, think this: it used to ben often cited in old books as [[UpToEleven the biggest creature ever appeared on Earth]] -- one of the very first examples of dinosaur-related sensationalism. A tradition that still continues today: see an exhaustive list in the StockDinosaurs page.