|Dinosaurs in Their Time
DinoGuide: Stegosaurus ungulatus
Stegosaurus was a common plant-eating dinosaur in western North America during the Late Jurassic Period. It had small, simple teeth, and probably fed on vegetation close to the ground.
Stegosaurus also had weak jaw muscles, implying that it could not chew its food
very effectively. It may have required a method similar to the one
used by sauropods such as Diplodocus and Apatosaurus.
These dinosaurs ripped away huge amounts of plant matter which they
barely chewed before swallowing. The food would then ferment in
the stomach, ground up by small rocks which the dinosaurs swallowed
just for that purpose.
Tall bony plates
on its back and paired spikes on its tail give Stegosaurus a very distinctive appearance. The spiked tail was almost certainly
used for defense against large predators like Allosaurus.
In addition to protecting the dinosaur's back, the bony plates were
full of channels for blood vessels, and probably also conducted
heat to and from the animal's body.
CARNEGIE SPECIMEN NUMBER:
SCIENTIFIC NAME MEANING:
"Clawed plated reptile"
Ornithischia : Thyreophora : Stegosauria : Stegosauridae
to 25 feet (7.6 meters)
FORMATION & LOCALITY:
Morrison Formation; Dinosaur National Monument, Uintah County, Utah
Earl Douglass and field crew, 1920–1922
Late Jurassic, 145–150 million years ago
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