- Education and Science»
- Life Sciences»
- Prehistoric Life
Interesting Facts About The Stegosaurus
The Stegosaurus was one type of dinosaur that amazes many because of its funny looks and the fact that it ate plants. This article will explain some basis facts about the dinosaur that loved plants.
The dinosaur had a length of about 30 feet and stood a solid 9 feet with a weight of 3100kg. The dinosaur was characterized by a skull that was narrow, pointed and long and resembled a beak. The mouth part was formed of a beak that was toothless. The beak was most likely used to get food as it had teeth that helped in the chewing within its mouth. It had a hunched appearance in that it never raised its head higher than 1m from the ground. This was mainly because the dinosaur's hind feet were longer than the front feet and this was to enable it to graze.
As far as its feeding is concerned, there are some scientists that say that the dinosaur was able to stand on its rear feet to feed on tree leaves but as it happens with science, the theory is refuted as there is no solid proof. It is much more likely that the dinosaur could not feed on any plants that were more than 3m high based on its hunched forward appearance. In this case, it means that the giant animal fed on bushy conifers, horsetails, cycads, mosses and ferns. It must have spent most of its time eating to be able to sustain its bulk.
It had bony plates
A joke that has been going round about this dinosaur is that it must have been in the dinosaur fashion world as it had seventeen bony plates along the entire length of its back. The existence of these plates was virtually unknown until a full sized dinosaur was discovered back in 1992. The plates were arranged in an alternating manner and it is not known what their function was. In as much as the plates were bony in nature, they were not completely solid as research showed that they had numerous tunnels thought to be blood vessels. This means that they were well supplied by blood which has led to the deduction that the plates could have been used for thermoregulation. On the same note, there are some scientists who argue that the plates could also have served a protective function.
It had a spiked tail
A dinosaur would be incomplete without a tail and Stegosaurus had one as well. The most unique thing about its tail is that it had some spikes and it is thought that the spikes served to protect it from other dinosaurs that preyed on their kind. One strike would leave the attacker with 4 foot deep wounds as the spikes were about four feet long. The fact that the tail has been found to be more agile than that of other dinosaurs lends credibility to the idea that it was used for defense. There are other theories that try to discredit this function of the tail but so far no evidence has been tabled.
One of the most amazing facts about the dinosaur is that it had a very small brain. Actually, the word small is an understatement in that the brain was equivalent to a walnut. For a creature that was bout 9m in length, this size of a brain is too small. This led to speculation that it must have had a second brain but the structure that was thought to be the additional brain is now thought to be an elongation of the dinosaur's spinal cord. The size of the brain compared to the size of the dinosaur indicates that Stegosaurus was not very intelligent and research on this is still ongoing.