Stegosaurus Essay

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The animal I chose to do my report over for the prehistoric era is the Stegosaurus. Stegosaurus translates to meaning, “roof lizard or"plated lizard". Stegosauruses most likely lived during the late Jurassic period, about 156-140 million years ago. Fossils have been found in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, USA, and in North America, western Europe, southern India, China, and southern Africa. The first Stegosaurus fossil was found in Colorado, USA, in 1876 by M. P. Felch. Others have been found since then. Paleontologist Othniel Marsh named Stegosaurus in 1877. A stegosaurus is classified under the genus category. There was a minor mass extinction toward the end of the Jurassic period. A stegosaurus had a large, flat, bony, triangular plates along its back . As well as a heavy, spiked tail for protection. A stegosaurus also had a very small head with a tiny brain and toothless beak . Their brain size can be compared to a size of a walnut. They walked on four legs, but the back legs were twice as long as its front legs. A Stegosaurus was up to 26-30 feet long, about 9 feet tall and weighed about 6,800 pounds. Its head was carried close to the ground, probably no more than 3 feet high. Stegosauruses had 17 bony plates that were embedded in its back. The arrangement of these plates was unknown until a 1992 Stegosaurus find in Colorado. The function of these plates is uncertain. The plates were made of bone which was not solid, but was filled with tube-like tunnels. The plates ran along the Stegosaurus' back and tail in two rows, and the plates alternated in alignment. The plates were probably well-nourished by blood vessels, indicating that the plates may have been used to regulate the dinosaur's temperature. This then means they were ectothermic. They may have also been used for protection or mating display purposes. Stegosaurus also had spikes at the end of its

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