Stegosaurus Facts

Stegosaurus Facts
Stegosaurus belongs to the group of armored dinosaurs. It lived in the western parts of North America and Europe (Portugal) 155 to 150 million years ago (Jurassic period). First fossil of Stegosaurus was discovered in 1876 in Colorado. Since that time, more than 80 fossils of Stegosaurus were found in North America and couple of them in Europe. Stegosaurus lived in semi-arid areas and flat floodplains. Thanks to numerous well-preserved fossils, scientists managed to reconstruct morphology and lifestyle of this unusual species of dinosaur with great precision.
Interesting Stegosaurus Facts:
Stegosaurus was 30 feet long and it had around 5 tons.
Stegosaurus had small head with narrow, pointed skull. It had short neck and large body with thick legs and long tail. Its front legs were much shorter than hind legs.
Despite its huge size, Stegosaurus had very small brain, roughly the size of dog's brain.
Even amateurs can easily recognize Stegosaurus thanks to the large bony plates on its back. Besides two rows of 17 bony plates on the back, Stegosaurus also had 2 pairs of long spikes on the tail.
Name "Stegosaurus" means "roofed lizard". Paleontologists initially thought that bony plates were arranged in the form of shell around the body, hence the name "roofed".
Kite-shaped bony plates were not directly attached to the skeleton. Largest plates were 2 feet wide and 2 feet long, while tail spikes were up to 4 feet long.
Thorough inspection of bony plates revealed that their interior was lattice-like and not solid. Bony plates were filled with blood vessels, which indicate that they may have played important role in thermoregulation.
Some researchers believe that bony plates were used to facilitate identification of the members of the same species and to attract partner during the mating season.
Spikes on the tail were used in self-defense. This fact is based on the poor condition (damaged tips) of the spikes in nearly all found fossils.
Natural enemies of Stegosaurus were Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus.
Stegosaurus walked on all four legs. It couldn't move faster than 5 miles per hour due to heavy, thick legs.
Stegosaurus had lived and traveled in herds.
Stegosaurus was a herbivore. It had small, rounded, peg-like teeth and weak bite. Its diet was restricted to low-laying plants and bushes and soft plants such as ferns, moss, horsetail, conifers and fruit. Stegosaurus had cheeks which were used for chewing and storing of food.
Along with Iguanodon and Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus served as an inspiration for the creation of Godzilla. Stegosaurus is also featured in the second and third part of the "Jurassic Park" and "King Kong". Snarl is popular toy, robotic Stegosaurus which can transform from dinosaur into robot.
Stegosaurus is a state dinosaur of Colorado.


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