Stegosaurus‭ (‬Roof lizard‭)‬

Short Info

Stegosaurus‭ (‬Roof lizard‭)‬

Phonetic : Steg-oh-sore-us

Named By : Othniel Charles Marsh‭ ‬-‭ ‬1877

Diet : Herbivore

Size : Estimated 9 meters long

Type of Dinosaur : Armoured Dinosaur

Type Species : S. stenops (type), S. ungulatus, S. sulcatus

Found in : USA, Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, mostly associated with the Morrison Formation. Portugal – Alcobaça Formation

When it Lived : Late Jurassic, 155-145 million years ago

Stegosaurus (/,steg@’so:r@s/; lit. “roof-lizard”) is one of the genus that includes four-legged herbivores, a armored dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic, characterized by the distinctive upright plates that resemble kites on their backs, and the spikes, which are found on the tails of their animals. The fossils of the dinosaur were discovered across the Western United States and in Portugal and Portugal, where they can be located in Kimmeridgianto early Tithonian-aged rocks, which date back to between 150 to 155 million years in the past. Of the species classified as being in the Upper Morrison Formation in the west of US there are only three species that are widely recognized as S. S. stenops, S. ungulatus and S. S. sulcatus. The remains of more than 80 individuals of the genus are found. Stegosaurus was likely to have been found in the same area as dinosaurs like Apatosaurus Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Allosaurus, and Ceratosaurus and the two other species could have preyed upon it.


Journal.pone.0138352.g001ASusannah Maidment et al. & Natural History Museum, London, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


These were huge, thickly constructed, herbivore quadrupeds sporting round backs, small forelimbs, long hind legs, and tails that were held up in the sky. Because of their unique combination of wide plates, upright ones and tails spikes tipped with spikes Stegosaurus is among the most famous species of dinosaurs. The purpose of this collection of spikes and plates was the focus of a lot of debate among scientists. Nowadays, it is widely accepted that the spikes on their tails were likely to have been used to defend against predators, whereas their plates could have been utilized primarily to show off, and also for thermoregulatory reasons. Stegosaurus had a low ratio of body mass to brain. It had a shorter neck and a head that was small that suggests it likely consumed low-lying plants and shrubs. The one species that is known, Stegosaurus ungulatus is among the most famous of the Stegosaurians (bigger than the related dinosaurs like Kentrosaurus or Huayangosaurus).

Stegosaurus bones were initially discovered in the “Bone Wars” by Othniel Charles Marsh in the Dinosaur Ridge National Landmark. The first skeletons to be identified were fragmentary, and the bones were scattered and it would take several years before the actual nature of the creatures as well as their posture and plate arrangement, was known. Despite its widespread use in film and in books mounted skeletons of Stegosaurus were not an integral part of the major natural science museums until the latter half of the 20th century. Many museums were forced to create collections of several specimens due to the lack of complete Skeletons. Stegosaurus is among the most popular dinosaurs and has appeared in film, stamps for postal mail as well as other forms of media.

Stegosaurus is one of the dinosaurs that were first discovered and recorded during the Bone Wars, was originally named by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1877. He came from bones found near Morrison, Colorado. These bones later became the holotype for Stegosaurus armatus. Marsh initially believed that the remains belonged to an aquatic turtle, and the basis for the science-based name ‘roof(ed) the lizard’ came based on his initial conviction that the plates were laid flat on the back of the animal over the back, similar to the roof shingles (tiles) on the roof. The vast amount of Stegosaurus material was discovered in the following years and Marsh published a number of articles on the genus between 1877 until 1897. in 1878 Edward Drinker Cope named Hypsirhophus discurus as an additional Stegosaurian, based on fragmentary fossils found in Cope’s Quarry 3 near the “Cope’s Nipple” site in Garden Park, Colorado. A number of researchers later have been able to see Hypsirhophus as a type of synonym for Stegosaurus however Peter Galton (2010) suggested that it was distinct due to distinctions in the vertebrae.

Marsh has named a second kind of species called Stegosaurus ungulatus. He named it in 1879. He then offered a more in-depth description of all Stegosaurus fossils he had collected in the year following. In 1881, Marsh identified a third species, Stegosaurus “affinis”, based solely on the hip bone. The species is generally believed to be unrepresentative of as a result, making it an unspecified name that is not a formal description (a name without any formal description). The specimen was eventually lost. 5 Marsh continued to look for and study new Stegosaurus specimens. In 1887, he identified three species new to the world: Stegosaurus stainops S. duplex and S. Sulcatus. While it was still not been prepared completely but the near-complete and articulated piece of Stegosaurus stenops was able to allow Marsh to complete his first attempt to reconstruct a Stegosaurus Skeleton. The first reconstruction, that of S. ungulatus that had missing parts that were filled in from S. the stenops was made available in 1891 by Marsh at the time of 1891. (In the year 1893 Richard Lydekker mistakenly re-published Marsh’s sketch under the name Hypsirhophus.)

It was the next species from Stegosaurus to be designated to be named S. marshi, by Frederick Lucas in 1901. Lucas classified this species into the new genus Hoplitosaurus later in the year. Lucas also revisited the question of the appearance in life of Stegosaurus and came at the realization that plates had been laid out in in two rows on the back, and arranged over the ribs’ bases. Lucas requested Charles R. Knight to make a life-like reconstruction of S. ungulatus based upon his theory. But, in the next calendar year Lucas stated that he believed that plates could be attached to each other in irregular rows. in 1910 Richard Swann Lull wrote that the pattern of alternating lines seen in S. the stenops could be caused by the shifting of the skeleton following the death. He was the architect of the first Stegosaurus skeleton mount in the Peabody Museum of Natural History that was portrayed with pairs of plates. The year 1914 was the time that Charles Gilmore argued against Lull’s interpretation, pointing out that numerous examples of S. Stegosaurus stenops, such as the holotype that was now fully prepared, preserved the plates in rows of alternating rows close to the top at the bottom, but the evidence was not that the plates shifting in relation to the body in the process of fossilization. Gilmore and Lucas’s interpretation was the norm and Lull’s mount in Peabody Museum Peabody Museum was changed to reflect this in 1924.

Sophie is the Stegosaurus is the most complete fossil of an Stegosaurus. The specimen is an adult with an unknown sex. It measures 5.8 meters (19 feet) tall and 2.9 millimeters (9.5 feet) tall. The specimen, discovered in Wyoming was found to be 100% intact and has 360 bones. It was displayed in the Natural History Museum, London in December 2014.

Source: Wikipedia