Fun Alcovasaurus Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Alcovasaurus Facts For Kids

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Alcovasaurus is a genus of thyreophoran dinosaurs. This herbivore dinosaur was known to live in the Late Jurassic Period. The first evidence of the presence of these dinosaurs was found in the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, United States. At first, the type species was called Stegosaurus longipinus, but after extensive research, the species was put in the genus Alcovasaurus of Stegosaurs. It was recombined in 2019 and given the name Miragaia longispinus.

Professors A.C. Dart and William Harlow Reed from the University of Wyoming in Alcova Quarry in Natrona County, Wyoming found a skeleton of a stegosaur in 1908. In 1914, the species of stegosaurus found was named and described as Stegosaurus longispinus. This nomenclature was given by Charles Whitney Gilmore on the premise of a holotype found with a partial postcranial skeleton of an adult individual including 42 vertebrae, a fragmentary sacrum, two ischia, the right femur, several ribs, a portion of one pubis, and four dermal tail spines. The type species of Stegosaurus was named on the basis of the Latin words - longus meaning long and spina meaning spine. This is in reference to the long tail spines of the Stegosaurus species. However, in the late '20s, the type specimen of the stegosaur was damaged after the water pipes burst in the museum of University of Wyoming. Most of the specimen earlier found of the plated dinosaur, Stegosaurus longispinus (Gilmore 1914), were now gone and only a femur and plaster casts of the rear tail spikes were left. Because of the long dermal spines, freelance paleontologist Roman Ulansky placed the species in a new genus called Natronasaurus. He interpreted Natronasaurus as a close relative of Kentrosaurus. However, this information was not archived by an independent organization nor had an ISSN. Later, in 2016, as part of the revision of the species, Peter Malcolm Galton and Kenneth Carpenter gave the new genus another name of Alcovasaurus with the type species of Alcovasaurus known as A. longispinus.

For more relatable content, check out these Crichtonsaurus facts and Heterodontosaurus fun facts for kids. 

Fun Alcovasaurus Facts For Kids

What did they prey on?

Plants and vegetation

What did they eat?


Average litter size?


How much did they weigh?


How long were they?

Estimated length 224.4 in (5.7 m)

How tall were they?


What did they look like?

Long spines along its back and distal caudal vertebral centra (rounded in anterior/posterior views)

Skin Type

Thick scaly skin with spines

What were their main threats?

Natural disasters

Where were they found?

Terrestrial regions


United States






Clade - Dinosauria



Scientific Name

Alcovasaurus longispinus

How scary were they?


How loud were they?


How intelligent were they?


Alcovasaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Alcovasaurus'?

The pronunciation of Alcovasaurus is 'Al-cove-aa-saw-ras'.

What type of dinosaur was a Alcovasaurus?

A member of the Upper Jurassic western USA period, Alcovasaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur found in the Morrison Formation of Natrona County, Wyoming, United States. It was named by Galton and Carpenter in 2016.

In which geological period did the Alcovasaurus roam the earth?

The dinosaur was known to have roamed the lands of the earth in the Late Jurassic/Upper Jurassic Period. There have been many doubts noted for the genus of these Stegosaurs of Dinosaria, but later was put into Alcovasaurus.

When did the Alcovasaurus become extinct?

These stegosaurs was from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming and lived around 150 million years ago in the Tithonian age of the Late Jurassic Period.

Where did a Alcovasaurus live?

The remains of this stegosaur was first found in Alcova Quarry in Natrona County, Wyoming, USA by Professors William Harlow Reed and A.C. Dart of the University of Wyoming in 1908. It is believed that this part of the continent was home to these dinosaurs.

What was a Alcovasaurus's habitat?

These were terrestrial species found in the Late Jurassic Period in USA. As not much information is provided of the habitat of the dinosaurs, we can assume that they lived in forested areas due to their herbivorous nature.

Who did a Alcovasaurus live with?

There is no information on the company these dinosaurs used to keep. Going by the herbivorous nature and medium-size of the dinosaurs, they probably lived in small groups to tackle the threat of predators.

How long did a Alcovasaurus live?

The lifespan of the dinosaur is not known. Only a few parts have been found and most have been damaged. The life cycle has not been derived yet.

How did they reproduce?

We have no information on the reproductive nature of these dinosaurs. We know that they were an egg-laying species. Female dinosaurs usually laid around three to five eggs at a time, but the number can also go up to a clutch of 20 eggs.

Alcovasaurus Fun Facts 

What did a Alcovasaurus look like?

Charles Whitney Gilmore in 1914 differentiated S. longispinus from other Stegosaurus by the distal caudal vertebral centra rounded in anterior/posterior view, long dermal spikes, centra with mushroom-shaped dorsal extensions, and vestigial transverse processes on distal caudal vertebrae. Galton and Carpenter in 2016 showed five autapomorphies, unique derived traits. In the distal, rear, tail vertebrae, there are side processes. Two slender and elongated tail spike pairs are seen with 90% of the thighbone length. The thighbone length is about 42.6 in (1082 mm) and the longest spike is around 33.8 in (85.8 cm) long. Gilmore estimated the original length to be around 38.8 in (985.5 mm).

This species of dinosaur is also different from other Jurassic North American Stegosaurs like Stegosaurus stenops, Stegosaurus sulcatus and Hesperosaurus. The sacrum in Alcovasaurus is connected to the ilia by six pairs of sacral ribs instead of four. Gilmore said that the dinosauria had a rear spike pair of the same size as the front pair.

People like Galton and Carpenter believed that the spikes were primarily used as defence mechanism against predators. The strong muscles were needed to twing the tail at predators. According to scientists, A. longispinus most likely had a very small tail vertebrae past the first third of the tail, not similar to others having strongly muscled tail tip. The tail tip most probably lacked strong muscles which created a flexible, whip-like tail. This helped in propelling by the heavily muscled tail base.

The number of bones is not known.

Alcovasaurus facts are interesting.
*Please note that this is an image of a Triceratops skull. If you have an image of a Alcovasaurus, please mail us at [email protected]

How big was a Alcovasaurus?

The size is not known for the Alcovasaurus. However some scientists have estimated it to be around 224.4 in (5.7 m) in length.

How fast could a Alcovasaurus move?

The speed of the species is not known. There is no evidence that can prove the speed of this dinosaur.

How much did a Alcovasaurus weigh?

The weight of the dinosaur is not known.

What were the male and female names of the species?

As per the reports, males and females were not given different names.

What would you call a baby Alcovasaurus?

There is no information of the name given to a baby Alcovasaurus.

What did they eat?

They were known to be herbivorous and probably fed on plants and vegetation. Information is not available on this, however.

How aggressive were they?

Seeing the herbivorous nature, the dinosaurs were probably not aggressive.

Did you know...

Almost a full skeleton of the Alcovasaurus was found in 1908 which consisted of 42 vertebrae, a fragmentary sacrum, two ischia, the right femur, several ribs, a portion of one pubis, and four dermal tail spines. The long tail spines made many authors accept the nomenclature S. longispinus. However, it can be noted that George Olshevsky and Tracy Lee Ford put this species as a possible North American species of the African genus Kentrosaurus. The specimen of the species was however damaged when the water pipes of the University of Wyoming's museum burst in the late 1920s. A femur catalogued during those times is still extant. Although everything was sorted by this, an amateur freelance paleontologist Roman Ulansky changed the genus to Natronasaurus going by the long tail spines. In 2019, Francisco Costa and Octávio Mateus found that the species was not ditinct from the genus Miragaia, and renamed it Miragaia longispinus.

Galton and Carpenter considered this species a member of the family Stegosauridae. Although it was found by Thomas Raven and Susannah Maidment that the dinosaur lacked the fusion between the trochanters of the femur seen in adult stegosaurians and ankylosaurians. However, this may be because of the immature specimen. It could not be proved as most parts were lost.

Was Alcovasaurus endemic?

They were probably an endemic species as the skeletons were only found in Alcova Quarry in Natrona County, Wyoming, USA.

What does Alcovasaurus mean?

The name Alcovasaurus is given as the first partial postcranial skeleton of an adult was found in the Alcova Quarry of Wyoming.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable facts, check out these Austroraptor facts, or Homalocephale facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Alcovasaurus coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of a Stegosaurus skeleton. If you have an image of a Alcovasaurus, please mail us at [email protected]

Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

Ritwik has a bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. His degree developed his passion for writing, which he has continued to explore in his previous role as a content writer for PenVelope and his current role as a content writer at Kidadl. In addition to this, he has also completed CPL training and is a licensed commercial pilot!

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