David Gillette

David Gillette

David Gillette is an American paleontologist best known for his discovery of the dinosaur Diplodocus hallorum. At the time of its discovery, Diplodocus was the longest dinosaur known.[1]

Gillette's Diplodocus hallorum discovery

Gillette found eight huge bones of the Diplodocus in northwestern New Mexico in May 1985. Thinking that this was a dinosaur unknown to science, Gillette began comparing the dinosaur bones he found to other dinosaur bones. These tests took Gillette more than a year to complete. After carefully analyzing the results, he confirmed his hypothesis, and presented the results in a press conference at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. He gave the new dinosaur the name Seismosaurus hallorum, or "earth shaker." The name was later changed, however, to Diplodocus hallorum. He later submitted a report to the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology that was a summary of his discovery, which was published two years later, after peer review by other paleontologists.

In 1993, Gillette published his book, Seismosaurus: The Earth Shaker, about the dinosaur he discovered. It was published by Columbia University Press and illustrated by Mark Hallett. The book was re-printed in paperback in 1999.


  1. ^ Northern Arizona University

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