Let’s talk about Stegosaurus, one of the most well-known and beloved of dinosaurs. It was first discovered in the western United States, in Colorado and Wyoming. Pieces of its bones have also been found in Portugal.
- Stegosaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic, 155 to 150 million years ago. It lived during the same time that other common dinosaurs were alive, including Brontosaurus and Allosaurus.
- Its name means “roofed lizard,” because scientists originally thought its plates laid flat on its back like tiles on a roof.
- Stegosaurus had 17 diamond-shaped plates that ran along its back. Scientists think these plates might have helped the animal regulate its temperature. Sitting in the sun would warm the blood in the plates, warming the entire body. Moving to a shady location would help the dinosaur cool off. Some reptiles have similar adaptations today.
- The plates might have also been used to attract a mate, especially if they were brightly colored, or intimate other dinosaurs.
- Stegosaurus was about 20 to 25 feet long.
- It had bony armor under its chin, running the length of its throat. This armor is called gular armor. Gular means”neck.”
- Stegosaurus had a small skull with a narrow short beak for eating plants.
- Its tail with its four spikes was a mighty weapon and it’s called a thagomizer. Stegosaurus could rotate its body quickly, whipping the tail with deadly accuracy for maximum effect. Maybe it should be called the pulverizer!
Questions and Answers
Question: Do mammals have adaptations to regulate their temperature?
Answer: Yes. Mammals perspire or sweat, which helps them cool off. Dogs pant and elephants use their large ears to cool off and warm up.
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