Considerations on the replacement of a type species in the case of the sauropod dinosaur Diplodocus Marsh, 1878

Emanuel David Tschopp, Daniel Brinkman, Jaime Henderson, Octávio Mateus, Mary Ann Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The sauropod dinosaur genus Diplodocus Marsh, 1878, is currently typified by a morphologically undi¬agnosable type species, D. longus Marsh, 1878. Only two caudal vertebrae and an associated partial chev¬ron of its holotype (Yale Peabody Museum [YPM] VP.001920) remain reasonably complete, but more, fragmentary caudal vertebrae are available, and provide additional morphological information. YPM VP.001920 can be referred to Diplodocus generally, but cannot be distinguished from other Diplodocus spe¬cies based on autapomorphies. Thus, the genus Diplodocus would have to be considered a nomen dubium. In order to resolve this unsatisfactory taxonomic issue, Tschopp and Mateus (2016) proposed to designate a new type species for the genus Diplodocus: namely, the well-known D. carnegii Hatcher, 1901.
Herein, we expand upon historical and taxonomic issues concerning the holotype of D. longus, in order to: (1) provide additional imagery and information on the specimen and (2) to address comments against the replacement of D. longus by D. carnegii as the type species of Diplodocus as proposed by Tschopp and Mateus (2016).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 245-262
JournalGeology of the Intermountain West
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event78th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, SVP 2018 - Albuquerque Convention Centre, Albuquerque, United States
Duration: 17 Oct 201820 Oct 2018


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