Named By: J. A. Jenson - 1985.
Synonyms: Dystylosaurus edwini, Ultrasauros macintoshi , ‘Jensenosaurus’.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropoda, Diplodocidae, Diplodocinae.
Species: S. vivianae (type).
Size: Estimated between 33-34 meters long.
Known locations: USA, Colorado, Montrose County - Morrison Formation, Brushy Basin Member. Wyoming, Converse county - Morrison Formation.
Time period: Tithonian to Kimmeridgian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Post cranial remains of more than one individual.
is a relative of the ever famous Diplodocus
known as Brontosaurus), as these three genera
are all described as
Diplodocids are members of the Diplodocidae and
are noted for their long necks and tails, the latter of which are
very thin and whip-like. Diplodocids can be further divided into two
groups, diplodocines which are closer to Diplodocus
and are fairly
gracile (lightly built), and apatosaurines that are closer to
Apatosaurus and more robust (heavily built).
Supersaurus has usually been perceived to be closer
though one study (Whitlock, 2011) has proposed that Supersaurus
is more advanced in form than Apatosaurus, and
should therefore be
classed as a diplodocine and closer to Diplodocus.
Supersaurus was exceptionally large, even for the type of dinosaur that the genus represents. So far all Supersaurus fossils have been recovered from the world famous Morrison Formation of North America, which is a clear indicator that Supersaurus lived during the late Jurassic, which was the high point for sauropod diversity in North America. Other diplodocid sauropod dinosaurs that Supersaurus may have encountered include Kaatedocus, Eobrontosaurus, Suuwassea and Amphicoelias, while other sauropod types such as Camarasaurus and Brachiosaurus were also roaming around.
It is now known that the genera Dystylosaurus and Ultrasauros (not to be confused with Ultrasaurus) are actually synonymous with Supersaurus. Both of these genera were based upon the description of vertebrae that were later identified as belonging to Supersaurus. In fact the vertebra used to base the description of Ultrasauros is actually thought to have come from the same individual Supersaurus that became the genus holotype.
- Three new sauropod dinosaurs from the Upper Jurassic of Colorado. Great Basin Naturalist, 45: 697-709. - J. A. Jenson - 1985.
- A re-assessment of Ultrasauros macintoshi (Jensen, 1985). - Pp. 87-95 in M. Morales (ed.), The Continental Jurassic: Transactions of the Continental Jurassic Symposium, Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin number 60. - B. Curtice, K. Stadtman & L. Curtice - 1996.
- The demise of Dystylosaurus edwini and a revision of Supersaurus vivianae. B. Curtice & L. Stadtman. - In R. D. McCord & D. Boaz (eds.). Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists and Southwest Paleontological Symposium, Proceedings 2001. Mesa Southwest Museum Bulletin 8. pp. 33–40.
- Morphology of a specimen of Supersaurus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, and a re-evaluation of diplodocid phylogeny. - Arquivos do Museu Nacional 65 (4): 527–544. - David M. Lovelace, Scott A. Hartman & William R. Wahl - 2007.
- A phylogenetic analysis of Diplodocoidea (Saurischia: Sauropoda)." Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. - J. A. Whitlock - 2011.