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Kentrosaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that had both plates and spikes on its body. This stegosaurid dinosaur lived during the late Jurassic Period, about 156 to 150 million years ago.

Anatomy: Kentrosaurus measured up to 17 feet long (5 m) and weighed about 2 tons, but its small brain was the size of a walnut. Its skull was long and narrow, with a toothless beak and small cheek teeth; the head was carried close to the ground. Kentrosaurus had two rows of bony plates that were embedded in its back, going from its neck to its mid-section. A double row of spikes ran from its mid-section to its tail, and a pair of spikes protected its shoulders. Since these were not attached to its bones, no one is sure exactly how they were positioned. Also, the function of the plates is uncertain; perhaps they were for temperature regulation, since they contained networks of blood vessels, or maybe they were for protection or mating display purposes. The spikes served as protection from predators.

Diet: Kentrosaurus was an herbivore (a plant-eater) that ate low-lying plants. It must have eaten a large amount of low-calorie plant material each day to sustain itself.

Name: Kentrosaurus means "spiked lizard." Kentrosaurus was named in 1915 by Edwin Hennig.

Fossils: Kentrosaurus fossils have been found in Tendaguru, Tanzania, Africa.

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