How Big is a Stegosaurus? All About this Dinosaur

Stegosaurus

Are you fascinated by the stegosaurus? Want to learn more about it?

Historians have devoted a lot of time and effort to researching the stegosaurus. A member of the dinosaur family, the stegosaurus is a fascinating animal. A name given to it because of its incredible abilities, it means furrowed-roof lizard. A very interesting dinosaur to discover, it lived towards the end of the Jurassic period.
We will tell you everything you need to know about the stegosaurus today.
Stegosaurus is one of the most famous dinosaurs and is popular around the world. It is the largest and best known member of the stegosaurus family. What is now North America was home to this dinosaur during the Upper Jurassic period. Dinosaurs with small heads, plates on their backs, and pointed tails are unique and special.

Adding a dinosaur lamp to your home or bedroom will make it a place worthy of a true dinosaur fan!

We will discuss the following points in the rest of the article:

  • Introduction and description of the stegosaurus
  • Stegosaurus a dinosaur with plates on its back.
  • Remarkable characteristics of the stegosaurus.
  • The diet of the stegosaurus.
  • Stegosaurus: discovery of fossils.
  • Creationism around the stegosaurus.
Two Stegosaurus drinking in a lake

Presentation and description of one of the most famous dinosaurs of the Jurassic, the Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus derives its name from the Greek expression “stegos” which means roof and “sauros” meaning lizard. Stegosaurus fossils were discovered in Colorado, USA, and named in 1877 by Othniel C. Marsh. The holotype of Stegosaurus armatus came from these early bones.

Stegosaurus was an herbivore of large size. There were bony plates on its back and tail that made it even larger. Its back plates were not attached to skeletons, unlike the others. Instead, they were attached to his skin.

It lived about 150.8 to 155.7 million years ago, at the end of the Upper Jurassic. It mostly lived in western North America.

Television and movies have shown it several times. In particular, in the pursuit of Faye Wray in “King Kong” and in “Jurassic Park” episodes two and three. A newspaper took part in naming a part of his body at the time.

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When did the stegosaurus live?

During the last two thirds of the Jurassic, there was no polar ice. The climate was humid and warm, and sea levels were high. There were large flooded areas, coral reefs, subtropical vegetation, and temperate forest. There was little seasonal variation due to the water.

The Jurassic period was marked by a minor extinction event. The majority of stegosaurids and sauropod dinosaurs disappeared during this extinction, as well as several marine reptile genera, ammonites, and bivalves. The cause of this extinction is unknown.

Stegosaurus Skeleton

The stegosaurus, a dinosaur with a small brain

Another feature that differentiates Stegosaurus from other dinosaurs is its tiny brain. Stegosaurus’ brain was long believed to be the size of a walnut, according to Kenneth Carpenter, a true expert on the subject. Director of the USU-Eastern Prehistoric Museum in Utah. He actually had a brain the size and shape of a folded hot dog.”

Eventually, scientists realized that these dinosaurs had more of an auxiliary brain than an actual brain. The function of this cavity has been questioned, which has led to the rejection of this hypothesis. A study published in the journal Paleobiology in 1990 suggested that it may have contained a glycogen body.

The gigantic size of the Stegosaurus

The stegosaurus is among the largest of the armored reptiles Stegosauridae. In front of him stands the enormous stegosaurus armatus, which was 9 meters long (29 feet). This size gives him the chance to be classified among the type species.

The species deserves this name because its fossils are the most abundant among the Stegosaurus species. Some fossils have even been found with almost complete skeletons.

Stegosaurus Size

A dinosaur with plates on its back and spikes on its tail

During the 19th century, paleontologists believed that the bony plates on Stegosaurus armatus arranged flat along its back like shingles on a roof. Despite the fact that it is a herbivore, its impressive morphology allows it to be considered one of the strongest dinosaur of our planet.

These reptiles had two rows of plates. A pointed side ran along the dinosaur’s neck and back. The plates are called osteoderms. Of course, they are not as sturdy as the animal itself.

We’re not sure what these plates are for. Blood vessels are certainly present in order to regulate the body’s temperature. However, even this concept was questioned. The microstructure of the plates does not appear to be used for heat regulation. According to Paleobiology.

The Stegosaurus, an herbivorous dinosaur

Plates: an element used by the stegosaurus to be noticed?

According to a study published in the Swiss Journal of Geosciences in 2010, the plates may have managed body temperature passively. It may have also used its plates to strut its stuff. Get noticed, recognize species, and attract mates, that sort of thing.

The gigantic size of the Stegosaurus
Comparison of the size of a Stegosaurus to a human – KoprX – Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Main role of the plates

There was a set of blood vessels covering the numerous plates of the stegosaurus. This implies that these plates were used for gathering and dispersing heat. Stegosaurus may have been ectothermic if it possessed these plates to regulate its body temperature.

The armored dinosaur, the Stegosaurus

Other remarkable characteristics of the Stegosaurus

Additionally, the stegosaurus had spikes at the end of its bendable tail. Researchers believe the spikes were a defense against other predators.

The fact that 10% of these spikes were severely damaged led to this conclusion. Furthermore, they have discovered fossils of Allosaurus with wounds of the same size as these spines.

Stegosaurus had a pointed and narrow skull. The front legs were smaller than the back legs, so it was curved downward. The imbalance in the limbs indicates that it had difficulty moving at high speeds.

The means of movement of the largest Jurassic dinosaurs

Its back legs were twice as long as its front legs. It is thought to have moved on four legs. To grab leaves from trees, it was able to stand on its huge hind legs.

Stegosaurus diet

Attitude of the Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus and other stegosaurians may have been pack dinosaurs, but this is not certain. We do know that they tended to stay in groups most of the time.

Stegosaurids lived in herds and in family groups. They grazed on low growing plants while moving slowly through the forest.

Intelligence and its second brain

Because of its small brain, Stegosaurus is often called the stupidest dinosaur. Scientists originally believed that its brain was too small to control such a large creature. In addition, it used an assistant “brain” located above its hind legs to control its movements.

Its brain is smaller than a walnut. Once, Stegosaurus was believed to have had two brains.

Paleontologists now understand that what they thought was a second brain was actually an enlarged spinal cord in the hip area.

It is controversial whether this enlargement contained fatty tissue or nerves. The sacral ganglion, which was larger than the animal’s small brain, played an important role in its development.

Stegosaurus fighting against a Tyrannosaurus Rex

Stegosaurus tail spikes

The tips of its tail are also controversial. Stegosaurus was always shown with its tips raised in the air on all models for many years. Since the 1990s, spikes have been arranged horizontally to the ground instead of vertically. Directed at a hunter, this would have been a defensive and very powerful weapon.

The diet of the stegosaurus

The beak of this reptile was toothless; it feeds on grasses. It also has a rather rigid jaw. For this reason, it could not make long, tiring movements. However, he had the advantage of having a large mouth, allowing him to store his meals.

Stegosaurus Eating Plants

Other food of the stegosaurus

Considering the length of its neck, which is very small, it probably ate small shrubs. Fruits, vegetables, and other plants that weren’t found high up. Scientists have suggested that the stegosaurus might have been able to stand on its hind legs. In particular, to catch plants at height, but not everyone agreed.

Other experts were able to rework the dinosaur’s jaw after new excavations. This helped researchers understand its diet. This proved that the bite of this reptile was weaker than ours. Therefore, it was unable to break large stems, only a few twigs.

Nutritional diet and teeth

This dinosaur was a herbivore (it only ate plants). Each time, it had to consume a large quantity of low-calorie plants to maintain its mass.

It certainly ate with its toothless beak. Whether Stegosaurus could stand up on its hind legs to locate vegetation is a matter of debate.

It did not have the ability to straighten up, so it was content to reach the same height as plants not exceeding 1 meter (3.2 feet). These included cyclads, ferns, horsetails, and bushy conifers, as well as smaller clover mosses.

3 dimensional Representation of a Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus: Fossil discovery

The fossil record suggests that stegosaurids traveled in herds of varying ages. The first stegosaurus fossils were discovered in Colorado in 1876 by M.P. Felch. Othniel C. Marsh named them in 1877.

About 80 fossils have been found in the Morrison Formation, which is centered in Wyoming and Colorado. In honor of the number of dinosaur skeletons found in Colorado, the Stegosaurus is even the state fossil.

Montana and North Dakota are also part of the formation. Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho.

Bob Simon, president of the Virginia Dinosaur Company and Dinosaur Safaris, discovered the most complete specimen of stegosaurs (over 90%) in Wyoming’s Red Canyon Ranch in 2003.

Stegosaurus Fossil

Discovery of researchers on the stegosaurus fossil

A stegosaurus fossil was discovered in Portugal in 2007. The find indicates that the dinosaur also lived in Europe. It suggests that the two continents were once connected by temporary land bridges that arose at low tide.

O.C. Marsh believed the plates of the very first stegosaurus fossil lay flat on its back when he described it. Eventually, Marsh realized that they had been held vertically, alternately on either side of the spine.

Studying the new stegosaurus specimen very closely, he named a new species based on his findings.

Stegosaurus Swimming

The stegosaurus and its predators

Stegosaurus’s possible predators are all part of the large meat eaters of Northwest America during the late Jurassic period, but we do not know for sure. Around 156 to 140 million years ago.

We have marshosaurus, torvosaurus, allosaurus, ceratosaurus, as well as small meat eaters like ornitholestes.

Stegosaurus Predators

Uncertainty about the beliefs of creationists

The date of the sculpture’s first appearance is unclear. However, in recent years. Creationists have been extremely enthusiastic about an alleged sculpture of a stegosaurus on the popular Ta Prohm shrine in Cambodia.

The temple dates back to the late 12th century. It is believed that this bas-relief inspired the stegosaurus, or something similar to it, to survive until about a century ago.

The fact that humans and dinosaurs were created together less than ten thousand years ago does not prove their point. Creationists find this bas-relief to be one of the most compelling pieces of evidence for their beliefs.

Nevertheless, there is one problem. Nature is not only altered to fit a narrow theological view in creationism. However, it is not certain that the sculpture is that of a dinosaur. Look at it quickly and from different angles. Yes, it superficially looks like a Stegosaurus that a kindergartener made out of play dough.

We all know, however, that an active imagination can transform something ordinary into something extraordinary.

Stegosaurus

The stegosaurus: What should we remember about this dinosaur?

Stegosauria, or plated dinosaur, is one of the most popular dinosaurs. Stegosaurids have two rows of enlarged dermal armor plates or spines that extend from the tip of the neck to the edge of the tail and date from the Middle Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous.

Despite being the most iconic and recognizable dinosaur, well-preserved remains of Stegosaurus are extremely rare. The majority of Stegosaurus specimens consist of isolated fragments. Partially articulated or associated skeletons that are less than half the skeleton.

However, some more complete individuals are also known. There are specimens in which either several bones have been crushed flat, or the personal elements have been prepared and preserved so that they are obscured in all but one or two regular views.

The stegosaurus remains understudied compared to other Upper Jurassic dinosaur species because of these factors. Many unknowns remain about its anatomy and paleobiology. In fact, the latest detailed description of the taxon is from 1914, and it remains the definitive and most comprehensive description to this day.

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