Pages

Advertisement

Friday, July 6, 2007

Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus statue at Bałtów Jurassic Park, Bałtów, Poland.
Stegosaurus (meaning 'roof-lizard') is a genus of stegosaurid armoureddinosaur from the Late Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian to Early Tithonian) in what is now western North America. However, in 2006 a specimen of Stegosaurus was announced from Portugal, suggesting that they were present in Europe as well. Due to its distinctive tail spikes and plates, Stegosaurus is one of the most recognisable dinosaurs, along with Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and Apatosaurus. At least three species have been identified in the upper Morrison Formation and are known from the remains of about 80 individuals. They lived some 155 to 145 million years ago, in an environment and time dominated by the giant sauropods Diplodocus, Camarasaurus and Apatosaurus. A large, heavily-built and herbivorous quadruped, Stegosaurus had a distinctive and unusual posture, with a heavily-arched back, short forelimbs, head held low to the ground and a stiffened tail held high in the air. Its array of plates and spikes have been the subject of much speculation. The spikes were most likely used for defence, while the plates have also been proposed as a defensive mechanism, as well as having display and thermoregulatory (heat control) functions. Stegosaurus was the largest of all the stegosaurians (bigger than genera such as Kentrosaurus and Huayangosaurus) and, although roughly bus-sized, it nonetheless shared many anatomical features (including the tail spines and plates) with the other stegosaurian genera

No comments: