sábado, marzo 27, 2004


Meaning : Covered lizard
Diet : Herbivore - low level ferns
Size : Up to 12 metres long
Weight : Up to 7 tonnes
Fossil Finds: USA & Europe (Update: year 2006)
Stegosaurus was a herbivorous "bird-hipped" dinosaur, which cropped vegetation with its powerful beaked mouth. It had four sturdy legs - its back ones were considerably longer and straighter than its front ones.
An eyecatching row of large pointed plates ran down its back. Their role is unclear. It was thought that they were used as armour, or as a form of heat control. Palaeontologists now believe that they were used for display - both for putting off attackers and for attracting a mate.
For defence it used its formidable tail - a short and muscular weapon equipped with four 1 metre long spikes. It also had a series of bones under its neck that acted like chain mail to protect its throat.
The first Stegosaurus fossil was discovered in Colorado by M. P. Felch in 1877. Stegosaur fossils are widely distributed from the United States to China showing how successful this dinosaur group was.
There are many different types of stegosaur, of which Stegosaurus is the largest. Fossils from three different species of Stegosaurus have now been identified from the Morrison Formation in the western USA. These finds have included complete skeletons and juveniles.

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