The Kentrosaurus aethiopicus belongs to the genus of Stegosaurian dinosaurs and lived during the late Jurassic period in present-day Tanzania. This dinosaur was called the Kentrosaurus, which means spiked lizard. The discovery of this species was done by the expedition leader Werner Janensch and was named by Edwin Hennig, a German paleontologist, in 1915. It was thought to be primarily a dinosaur that inherited features of the Stegosaurus, but it was later confirmed to be closely related to it. The Stegosaurus is the dinosaur that had the most number of spikes.
Their fossils were discovered in the Tendaguru formation, which dates back to the late Kimmeridgian age and the early Tinothian age about 152 million years ago. Between the time period of 1909 and 1912, hundreds of bones were found during German expeditions to German East Africa by the German Tendaguru Tanzania Expedition group. Remains were enough to provide an almost complete picture of the dinosaur even though there were some bones missing.
In middle Saurian beds, there were four quarries, while there was one quarry in the upper Saurian bed. Fragments of fossils found by Charles Gilmore were named the Stegosaurus longispinus, and he classified it as a species found in North America called the Kentrosaurus. However, this wasn't accepted by paleontologists, and the dinosaur was assigned to a different genus.
Scroll down to read about the Kentrosaurus's life, what they fed on, their habits, and other exciting details! To explore more articles, look at Metriorhynchus and Incisivosaurus facts.
Its name can be pronounced as 'k-entro-saw-rus'.
The Kentrosaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur, belonged to the Stegosaurian dinosaur family and lived during the late Jurassic period in present-day Tanzania. It belonged to the suborder Stegosauria and was a member of the order Ornithischia.
Kentrosaurus dinosaurs lived during the late Jurassic period in present-day eastern Africa. The Kentrosaurus existed during the upper Jurassic epoch up to about 145 million years ago.
Dinosaurs, in general, went extinct almost 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, after living on the Earth for about 165 million years. The Kentrosaurus dinosaur existed during the upper Jurassic epoch up to about 145 million years ago.
This species was a plant-eater and therefore chose areas dense in vegetation and inhabited terrestrial land regions. Their long tail enabled them to swish through dense vegetation, which means they stayed in a cool and temperate environment with lots of plants.
Fossils of these dinosaurs were found in Tanzania during German expeditions to German East Africa by the German Tendaguru Tanzania Expedition group. The species inhabited areas of present-day eastern Africa. It has also been discovered that the dinosaur had roaming grounds in North America. Even though present-day geographical locations of the world are quite different, during the time of dinosaurs, the world was different.
Fossil evidence points out from both the bone bed and trackways that the Stegosaurian genus was made up of gregarious animals who lived and moved in pairs or herds. Mostly all herbivorous dinosaurs stayed in herds to protect themselves from carnivores.
There isn't a definite time frame of the life span, but most Stegosaur dinosaurs lived for almost 60-70 years, and that is the only information on these dinosaurs.
This Stegosaurian genus dinosaur, much like other reptiles, mated during the breeding season, and in the case of this breed, the female dinosaur laid eggs. Eggs hatched after a certain time, and newborn dinosaurs came out. Adult dinosaurs took care of newborns until they could move with their parents or go along with their new family.
The Kentrosaurus was a small Jurassic period Stegosaur. It looked like any other Stegosaur dinosaur with a small head; a long neck; short front legs; long back legs; and a long, horizontal muscular tail. It had a flattened and elongated head. The back of the dinosaur had a double row of plates and spikes along both sides of the top and mid parts of the animal. The dinosaur used both its front legs and back legs to walk even though the center of mass of its legs was different; they had smaller legs.
The dental structure of the dinosaur was quite similar to that of Stegosaurids but smaller with a widened base and vertical grooves creating five ridges of teeth.
This species also had a narrow beak at the mouth with no teeth, which helped it to bite off plant material that would be digested in a large gut. It had a long neck which helped it reach taller trees, but not like the Aragosaurus, which had an extremely long neck. Considering its body size, it had a very small brain. The brain was almost walnut-sized, and to make up for lack of intelligence, it had a superb sense of smell.
This late Jurassic period dinosaur has almost been put together completely, and the Kentrosaurus skeleton includes a long head and flat skull, tail vertebrae, several various vertebrae of the back, five sacral vertebrae, the ilia, the femora, and the ulna. It also had several spikes starting from the neck and ending at the tail tip. The exact number of bones isn't known as pieces still haven't been found, but based on existing remains, it was not as large as other Stegosaurs.
There is no specific mention of how they communicated, but they didn't have modern means of communication. Like any other animal, dinosaurs communicated by making sounds and using their body language. They might have used hoots and hollers to communicate.
The Kentrosaurus size was about 196.9 in (5 m) in length and 157.5 in (4 m) in height. This makes the black rhinoceros, which is 118.1-149.6 in (3-3.8 m) in length and 55.1-70.9 in (1.4-1.8 m) in height, about three times smaller than the Kentrosaurus.
Being a quadrupedal dinosaur, it had more control over its speed. It was asymmetrical as opposed to other relative Stegosaurids and had shorter legs and feet. Even then, it was quite fast, but not as fast as the Przewalski horse, which runs at 39.8 mph (64 kph).
These dinosaurs were almost 2,204.6 lb (1,000 kg) in weight. Even though they were lighter than other related Stegosaurs, they were quite heavy compared to most modern-day animals.
There is no specific name for male or female dinosaurs of this species. Both are commonly known as the Kentrosaurus or the Kentrosaurus aethiopicus. Thigh bones were quite different for different skeletons, proving that one of the sexes was more stout than the other.
The newborn dinosaur was known as a hatchling or a nestling. This was common for most dinosaur species.
The Kentrosaurus diet consisted of plants and trees. It might have also fed on fruits and berries found in forests of present-day Africa. To make up for the lack of intelligence, it had a superb sense of smell, which helped it to find plants that grew near the ground to feed on. As it used its beak to eat, its diet consisted of mostly plants which it swallowed in large chunks.
The Kentrosaurus, being a stegosaur, was quite friendly and wasn't aggressive at all. They stayed together in harmony with each other, but to safeguard themselves, they used spikes on their body to stopping getting hunted by predators. It wasn't very smart and had a small brain, and to make up for the lack of intelligence, the walnut-sized brain dinosaur used to attack with its spikes to deter carnivores so they could run to safety.
After the description of this species was done, there was a controversy over the name as two stegosaurs couldn't possibly sound the same. The Kentrosaurus (spiked lizard) name clashed with the Centrosaurus, and as per biological nomenclature, homonymy is forbidden. Hennig decided to change the name to Kenturosaurus, which meant pointed tail saurian, in 1916. Franz Nopsca, a Hungarian paleontologist, decided to rename the genus to the Doryphorosaurus, which means lance-bearing saurian.
All this was unnecessary as the spelling was different. Kentrosaurus was kept as a valid name for the genus. New names were kept as junior objective synonyms.
Herbivores used to stay in a group as it helped them reproduce and keep each other safe from being preyed on by bigger predators.
Unlike any other Stegosaur, the Kentrosaurus had bony structures on its skin and extensive double row small plates. The double row started from the nape of the neck to the hind region. It also had spikes of various shapes and sizes. Spikes were elongated, and one of the specimens excavated was almost 28.8 in (731 mm) in length. The tip of the tail, according to skeletons found, had sharp, regularly spaced yet closely placed plates that looked like spikes.
The researcher had placed one of the spikes near the iliac blade near the hips, but was since changed, as the same is found in shoulders of Chinese Stegosaurs- the Gigantspinosaurus and the Huangosaurus. The Kentrosaurus was good at defending itself from predators using spikes on its body like an armor.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Harpactognathus facts or Tupuxuara facts for kids.
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