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artist rendition of Stegosaurus ABOUT STEGOSAURUS. One of the most popular, readily identifiable Jurassic dinosaurs, Stegosaurus had 17-20 dermal plates that alternated along its back and four tail spikes used for defense. 

The first Stegosaurus remains were discovered in the western U.S. by famed paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1877. Because early paleontologists theorized that it plates ran flat along its arched back - much like armor - it was given the Latin name “roofed lizard”.

Various species of Stegosaurus lived throughout the Late Jurassic Period. Originally thought to be solely indigenous to North America, bones from a stegosaurid dinosaur were found in Portugal in 2006.

Stegosaurus Sarah for sale"Stegosaurus Sarah" (Stegosaurus armatus)  - now known as "Sophie" at the London Museum of Natural History - has been called the finest specimen of its kind ever found.

Bob Simon with sub-adlul Stegosaurus humerusBig Body, Small head. Stegosaurus had a large, heavily-built body and weighed up to 6800 lbs. An adult could measure up to 30 ft in length and stand 9 ft tall at the hips.

Bob Simon with sub-adlul Stegosaurus humerus

Stocky legs.  Stegosaurus had padded hooves, with five toes on the front feet and three toes on the back feet.

Stegosaurus Sarah dermal plate Dermal plates. The dermal plates that ran along the back may have provided some defense against Theropod attackers, or helped regulate its body temperature. Interestingly, the plates were not connected to the vertebral column but actually protruded from the surface of the skin.
Stegosaurus Sarah's jaw with triangular teeth Jaws with triangular teeth. Stegosaurus had small, flat, triangular teeth used for chewing and grinding plant material, and may have had cheeks for storing additional food.

Like other Jurassic herbivores (plant-eaters), Stegosaurus also swallowed small rocks called gastroliths that helped digest the tough, forest floor plants that made up its diet.

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