Stegosaurus

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Related to Diracodon: Stegosaurus stenops, stegosauruses

Stegosaurus

(stĕgəsôr`əs) [Gr.,=roof lizard], quadriped ornithischian dinosaurdinosaur
[Gr., = terrible lizard], extinct land reptile of the Mesozoic era. The dinosaurs, which were egg-laying animals, ranged in length from 2 1-2 ft (91 cm) to about 127 ft (39 m).
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 of the late Jurassic period. About 29 ft 6 in (9 m) long, it had short forelegs, four long bony spikes on a flexible tail, and two rows of upright triangular bony plates running along the back, which gave it a serrated profile. The function of the plates is debated. They may have acted as deterrents to predatory dinosaurs, but some scientists have suggested that they were not strong enough to have functioned that way. Other theories are that they helped regulate body temperature by dissipating heat or absorbing solar rays or that they helped members of the species recognize each other. The head of Stegosaurus was small, and the brain weighed about 2.5 oz (71 grams). The front of the mouth was beak-shaped; there were small leaf-shaped teeth in the cheek area. An herbivore, Stegosaurus, along with AnkylosaurusAnkylosaurus
, [Gr.,=crooked lizard], genus of heavily armored, herbivorous quadripedal dinosaurs, the best known of which is the species A. magniventris, the largest and heaviest of the ankylosaurs.
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, belongs to the group of armored dinosaurs, Thyreophora. Fossil skeletons have been found in the Jurassic beds of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.