All About the Stegosaurus
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage Ceylon Today Features
The Stegosaurus is one of the most iconic dinosaurs of its time, with its massive, armoured skeleton. Scientists believe that these creatures lived alongside the gigantic Brachiosaurus in the Late Jurassic period.
Fossils of these dinosaurs were found in both the Western United States and in Portugal.
Scientists didn’t have a hard time identifying a Stegosaurus fossil when they found one thanks to its massive, triangular bony plates that grew out of its back and spiked tail. Some believe that the tail was used to ward off any unruly predators that would have wanted to eat them, while others think it was just for show.
Either way, this massive creature lumbered around in all fours and was as big as a modern truck, growing to be almost 7 metres long.
Those plates on the back of the Stegosaurus might have been just for show, but other scientists think that they offered great protection from any predators, and might have worked like giant radiators, built to make sure that the Stegosaurus stays cool by releasing body heat to the outside, and collecting heat from the sun when the weather gets chilly.
Whatever those massive armoured plates were for, we’ll probably never know their true purpose. That truth disappeared with the Stegosaurus.
Small head, weak teeth
You’ll also notice that this dinosaur has a relatively small head for its size, which was something that many palaeontologists (fossil scientists) found interesting. They also noticed that because of its lower neck reach, it fed off of low-growing plants.
Although the Stegosaurus was a herbivore, it had a very unique set of teeth that you wouldn’t really see among other dinosaurs that fed off of plants.
What’s most interesting about these dinosaurs is that they might not have had any front teeth, and had a beak instead. While it may not have looked like that of a modern turtle. It also had very weak teeth and couldn’t move its jaw as flexibly as modern plant-eaters do today. Scientists are still wondering what this dinosaur’s eating habits may have been like.
There’s very little we honestly know about the Stegosaurus, which is why scientists continue to search for new fossils and evidence about the lives of these creatures. However, you never know when something new will appear and completely change our view on things in the world of science. Who knows, you might be the one to finally crack the many mysteries behind the Stegosaurus.