Of the armored dinosaurs called stegosaurs,the best known and largest was STEGOSAURUS. Along its back ran two rows of alternating bony plates attached to the flesh, not the spine bones. At the end of the tail sat four dangerous looking spikes, probably used as a defense against large predators of the time, like allosaurus. The skull held a brain the size of a walnut, so this dinosaur was not very intelligent. At the base of the tail was a nerve bundle that probably helped to move the tail. Many people think this nerve bundle was another brain, but that was not the case. Stegosaurus was a quadruped, but may have reared up on its back legs to reach higher vegetation to eat.

ORDER Ornithischia
SUBORDER Thyreophora
FAMILY Stegosauridae
DIET Herbivorous
SIZE 30 feet long,2 tons
PERIOD Late Jurassic
RANGE Western North America


Copyright 2000 Neil Riehle