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'Speedy' the Sauropod by PaleoPastori 'Speedy' the Sauropod by PaleoPastori
"Speedy" the Sauropod
Apatosaurus ajax running babies

"Quarry 5" Fauna

bloodypencil sketch

"Howdy Fabio,

When I say that the animal was running, I mean that the animal was moving at twice normal walking speed. On the same block, we observe hind tracks that fall heel to toe. This should help you to triangulate where to put the hind feet. If our downscaling of adult apatosaurs does in fact provide us with a good model for what the infants looked like, these tracks suggest that the animal had both feet barely off the ground at the same time, or, just about had both feet in the air at the same time.

The running apatosaur should not be hard. Remember that these animals concentrated mass and power at the hips, hind limbs, and tail base. In many ways, these dinosaurs are functionally bipedal: the forelimb is utilized to take the strain of that elongated neck off the back and hindlimbs.

I would suggest two potential poses for the forelimbs - folded and held close to the body and hovering just above the ground.

I also find two possible positions for the neck - curled back toward the hips to move the center of gravity toward the hips, or sticking straight out. Compared to the rest of the body, there is not much mass to the neck.

No tail drag mark exists with these running tracks, so, the tail must be depicted in the air.

If the animal was running at top speed, perhaps the neck would curl back and the forelimbs would fold under the body. If the baby dinosaur was starting or stopping the run, the neck would be horizontal and arms, perhaps, not quite as tucked in toward the body".



Matthew T. Mossbrucker
Director and Chief Curator
Morrison Natural History Museum
Add a Comment:
ManaSparks Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Great sketch! I'm glad thegeekgroup on youtube made a link to here.
IZORx10 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2017  Student General Artist
It's amazing that this is real. We would have never imagined this before the tracks were found. Excellent reconstruction
tarbano Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2016
Not likely, but hilarious and adorable at the same time
Joevahkiin Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
There was actually trackways of this found. link
tarbano Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2016
AHAHA Aaaah nature, never cease to amaze
Revedas Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2015
Interesting! I have a weird  hypothesis that I'm about 99% certain is false: what if the adults did this?
Yes, they were probably far too large and heavy to do such a thing, but, what if?
Something about the idea of an Apatosaurus galloping its 80-foot bulk in a bipedal fashion across a salt flat just tickles me.
TITANOSAUR Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
fengai Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Very well!
DPSS1996 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012
I love these! I once investigated on whether or not sauropods could walk/run bipedally, and this article helped clear some of that :) I also think the lil apatosaurs look cute :3
Eco727 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Amazing revelation!
DeinonychusEmpire Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
So are these supposed to be juvenile Apatosaurus? I had heard something about a theory suggesting they were bipedal.
HermansB Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011
It could be true, but it would look redicioulus lol ! :)
RaptorArts Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Very interesting concept. I would have never thought they could do that. O..O
GilmourApatosaur Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Love the detail and the expression:heart:
BrooksLeibee Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Student Photographer
This is interesting. Just like hadrosaurs! I like this idea a lot!
Gorgosaurus Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011

amorousdino Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Student General Artist
imagine a stampede of these...
Raptor-86 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
GeotrixQueen Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2011  Student General Artist
Their body proportions ptobably didn't allow for full on bipedal locomotion, but maybe able to stand upright more often that their parents was more likely what occured.

Maybe the hatchlings loped around a little like puppies or something ( blood hounds with their foppy gaits come to mind.)
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Submitted on
March 9, 2011
Image Size
2.1 MB


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