Dinosaurs: Stegosaurus


Stegosaurus (Roof Lizard)

Stegosaurus was a medium sized plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic. It belonged to a group of Dinosaurs called Stegosaurs. Other members of this group included Tuojiangosaurus, Lexovisaurus and Kentrosaurus. Stegosaurus was the largest member of this group growing up to 26-30 feet long (8-9 m) and weighing approximately 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg).

Stegosaurus most distinctive feature was the row of large plates along its back and tail. These plates were up to 2-feet in height (0.6 m) and were made of thin bone, honeycombed with blood vessels. There has been much debate about the function of these magnificent plates. Some scientist believe that they were used for regulating body temperature whilst others believe they were used self-defence or attracting mates.

In addition to these bony plates, Stegosaurus also had two pairs of long, sharp, bony spikes at the end of its tail. These long fearsome spikes would have made an effective weapon against potential attackers such as Allosaurus.

Stegosaurs had very smalls brain for such large Dinosaurs - roughly the size of a walnut. It was once believed that these brains were too small to control the Dinosaurs large body and that a second brain was located near the Dinosaurs hip area.  Scientists now believe that this second larger brain merely held nerves and controlled the hind legs and tail area.

Stegosaurus probably lived in family groups and possibly herds, however there is no conclusive evidence to suggest this.



Stegosaurus Size

Pronounced: STEG-o-SAW-rus

Name Means: "Roof Lizard"
Length: 30 feet (9 m)
Height: 8 feet (2.7 m)
Weight: 2 tons (1,800 kg)
Diet: Herbivore (Low-lying Plants)
Time: Late Jurassic - 155 million years ago
Habitat: Open Woodland
Fossils Found: Africa, Asia, Western North America


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