Stegosaurus: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the stegosaurus, a species of dinosaur.

  • The stegosaurus is the best known of the plated dinosaurs. It lived between 159 million and 144 million years ago in what is now North America.
  • The first stegosaurus bones were found in 1877. The creature was given the name stegosaurus, which means ‘roof lizard’ or ‘covered lizard’ – a reference to its bony plates.
  • This species of dinosaur could grow up to 30 feet in length and could weigh up to 2 tons. It also had 17 bony plates embedded in its back, the tallest of which was over 2 feet tall.
  • The large plates were probably a defensive feature. However, they may also have served to control the creature’s temperature and perhaps used as part of a courtship ritual.
  • Despite its huge size, the stegosaurus had a small brain, no larger than a dog’s. At one time it was thought the creature had a second brain located somewhere towards its rear.
  • The species fed on plant material, including moss, twigs, fruits and conifers. They also ate small rocks to help mash the vegetable matter and make it easier to digest.
Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus (Source)
  • The stegosaurus was probably able to stand on two legs. This would have allowed it to reach high tree branches up to 20 feet off the ground.
  • Because it moved slowly, the tail of the stegosaurus was probably also used for defense. It may have swung its spiked tail around to deter predators.
  • In 1982, the governor of Colorado signed a bill making the stegosaurus the official state dinosaur. Thousands of students wrote to offer their support.
  • The stegosaurus has featured in dozens of movies over the years. It can be seen in King Kong, Jurassic Park 2, and Planet Dinosaur, as well as in many comic strips.

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