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Stegosaurus Fact Sheet
Dinosaur/Paleontology Dictionary
NAME: Meaning - Stegosaurus means "roof lizard" or "plated lizard"
Pronounced - STEG-o-SAWR-us
Named By - Othniel Marsh
When Named - 1877
DIET: Herbivore (plant-eater) - Stegosaurus probably ate ferns, smaller club mosses, cycads, horsetails, and bushy conifers.
SIZE: Length - 26-30 feet long (8-9 m) long
Height - 9 feet (2.75 m) tall at the hips
Weight - 6,800 pounds (3100 kg)
WHEN IT LIVED: Late Jurassic period, about 156-140 million years ago
WHERE IT LIVED: Fossils have been found in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, USA, North America.
FOSSILS: The first Stegosaurus fossil was found in Colorado, USA, in 1876 by M. P. Felch. Others have been found since then.
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)
  • Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)
  • Order Ornithischia - bird-hipped dinosaurs
  • Suborder Thyreophora
  • Superfamily Stegosauria
  • Family Stegosauridae
  • Genus Stegosaurus
  • Species S. armatus (type species named by Marsh, 1877)
Stegosaurus had 17 bony plates that were embedded in its back - the plates ran along the Stegosaurus' back and tail in two rows, and the plates alternated in alignment. The largest of these triangular plates was about 2.5 ft (76 cm) tall and just as long. Stegosaurus also had spikes at the end of its flexible tail (these are called thagomizers).

Although Stegosaurus was about the size of a bus, it had a small head (the size of a horse's head) and a brain that was only the size of a walnut!

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