Dinosaur Sculptures at Crystal World – Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus  (‘roof-lizard’) is a genus of herbivorous, four-legged, armored dinosaur from the Late Jurassic, characterized by the distinctive kite-shaped upright plates along their backs and spikes on their tails. Fossils of the genus have been found in the western United States and in Portugal, where they are found in Kimmeridgian– to Tithonian-aged strata, dating to between 155 and 145 million years ago. Stegosaurus would have lived alongside dinosaurs such as ApatosaurusDiplodocusCamarasaurus and Allosaurus, the latter of which may have preyed on it.

They were large, heavily built, herbivorous quadrupeds with rounded backs, short fore limbs, long hind limbs, and tails held high in the air. Due to their distinctive combination of broad, upright plates and tail tipped with spikes, Stegosaurus is one of the most recognizable kinds of dinosaurs. The function of this array of plates and spikes has been the subject of much speculation among scientists. Today, it is generally agreed that their spiked tails were most likely used for defense against predators, while their plates may have been used primarily for display, and secondarily for thermoregulatory functions. Stegosaurus had a relatively low brain-to-body mass ratio. It had a short neck and a small head, meaning it most likely ate low-lying bushes and shrubs. One species, Stegosaurus ungulatus, is one of the largest known of all the stegosaurians, reaching 7 metres in length and 3.8 metric tons in body mass, and some specimens indicate an even larger body size.

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