Fun Miragaia Facts For Kids

Monika Sharma
Nov 28, 2022 By Monika Sharma
Originally Published on Sep 21, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Miragaia facts are about this dinosaur with shoulder spikes.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

Around 150 million years ago, the dorsal vertebrae with the name Miragaia longicollum lived on earth. The Miragaia is known for its long neck and they are a type of long-necked stegosaurid dinosaur.

Of all the stegosaurs present until now, the Miragaia had the longest neck out of them all. The paleontologist, Octávio Mateus, gave this stegosaur its name and made a significant contribution to lining the holotype of this dinosaur.

In 1999, a partial fossil of this dinosaur was discovered of a partial skull that enhanced our knowledge about this dinosaur. The discovery was made near a village, Miragaia Sobral at a construction site in Europe.

Almost half the remains were in a bad condition due to a roadcut, destroying the fossil. The recovered remains included a snout, right postorbital, the jaws, 15 neck vertebrae, and some ribs.

The Miragaia skeleton also included shoulder bones and some forelimbs which could help in the holotype display and other related studies. This dinosaur is very similar to current day elephants because they traveled in herds with young, juvenile, and adults.

As the Miragaia longicollum lived in a community, the chances of them being hunted down by the Torvosaurus was less. The group offered these dinosaurs protection.

From fossils to birds of today's age, make sure not to miss out on our exciting articles about the the Tsintaosaurus and the Zhenyuanlong.

Miragaia Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Miragaia'?

This dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period has a very complex body structure. The Miragaia longicollum had around 13 bony plates along with several spikes, like other sauropods.

Octávio Mateus believes that they share features with a lot of other dinosaurs, such as the Dacentrurus. It is very easy to pronounce the dinosaurs of this clade, a simple guide to their pronunciation is 'meer-Uh-guy-UH'.

What type of dinosaur was a Miragaia?

The specimen which we have of the Miragaia dinosaur might be partial but it has important key features which are essential to placing it under a group or clade. They had at least 17 cervical vertebrae and because of their unique body structure, their generic name means 'earth goddess'. These long-necked vertebrae are believed to be stegosaurs.

In which geological period did the Miragaia roam the earth?

Studies on their triangular plates and partial skull suggests that these armored dinosaurs, the Miragaia, with their long necks are from the late Jurassic period. A lot is known about this long neck dinosaur because of important research done by Octávio Mateus.

When did the Miragaia become extinct?

The shoulder spine and the tail arrangement along with their partial skull speaks a lot about how these vertebrae may have looked when seen in real life. The extinction of the entire dinosaur community is because of an asteroid collision, which then caused volcanos. These events meant that earth no longer remained a habitable place for dinosaurs.

Where did a Miragaia live?

North America and Europe awere the main habitats of this genus species. Some specific areas include Portugal, particularly the metropolitan de Lisboa which is familiar with these stegosaurs. During the Jurassic period, these areas were the ideal habitat for stegosaurus because they often traveled in groups. This meant they were protected from the dangers of the Torvosaurus.

What was a Miragaia's habitat?

These stegosaurs are very similar to sauropods. Although they had longer necks, they have a good comparison with both Chinese sauropods and sauropods of the Late Jurassic.

This community of vertebrae with their small legs are believed to have lived away from predators such as the Torvosaurus. They lived in a group and remained in the north or areas where there was dense vegetation for these longicollum herbivores to feed on.

Who did a Miragaia live with?

They are known to be from a village, and the Latin translation of their name is 'earth goddess'. These long neck vertebrae dinosaurs were very quiet and they were also not very harmful because their diet was herbivorous. The Miragaia lived with their own community which consisted of other such long neck adults, juveniles, and young ones.

They did not live with other species. Several animals that roam our planet today and are related to this stegosaurus. Some of them are the eastern lowland gorilla and mountain gorilla.

How long did a Miragaia live?

Their skeleton had vertebrae of the middle neck along with their rear neck. The neck had two rows of triangular boney plates. Not much information can be determined from their fossil and skull as they were half-destroyed but according to Octávio Mateus they could live between 10-15 years.

How did they reproduce?

The reproduction of this stegosaur is like any other regular reptile that we can find today. Stegosaur dinosaurs lived in groups and they protected their young together. A stegosaur reproduced by laying eggs each reproduction season. The clutch size for these short dinosaurs with long necks was two to three eggs.

Miragaia Fun Facts

What did a Miragaia look like?

Their long necks are the primary factor you can use to identify a skeleton of Miragaia. Mateus identifies that they had cervical vertebrae of the neck, although a count of their dorsal vertebrae is not present.

The fossils and remains of the genus were also observed to have tail vertebrae. They had a long snout and the front lower side edge was below the praemaxilla.

Since the fossils were found near a construction site, a lot of their bones had been cracked, such as the vertebrae of the middle neck. They also had a long neural spine in the middle of the cervical vertebrae.

This armored dinosaur had a short tail and legs, but they had very long necks.

How many bones did a Miragaia have?

The total number of bones these long neck stegosaurs had is not known. The bones in the specimen are assumed to be larger than the bones of a Dacentrurus.

How did they communicate?

Communication through the tail and legs was very common among these dinosaurs. Various species also communicated very effectively through their vocals and even visuals signs. This species of stegosaurus could communicate well and efficiently through their tail. However visual and vocal communication was the most common form of communicatino in many dinosaurs.

How big was a Miragaia?

The holotype display of this group of dinosaurs shows the accurate and correct depiction of their size. Their rear neck added a very good height to their structure and overall, they looked very large.

This longicollum had a size of 18–19.6 ft (5.5-6 m). However, only one specimen has been found, so other healthy adults could have had a larger size.

Comparing the Miragaia with current day animals such as polar bears, the Miragaia is almost six to seven times larger than a polar bear. This long neck genus is also eight to nine times larger than a lion.

How fast could a Miragaia move?

They were very heavy in weight and were not very aggressive. Their heavyweight could have been a factor in weighing them down and affecting their speed to a great extent.

It can be said that the Miragaia was not very fast when it comes to running. They traveled in groups of various adults and juveniles to ensure maximum safety from faster predators.

How much did a Miragaia weigh?

A Miragaia weighed around 2 ton (1814 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Both sexes have the same name, scientifically as well as the common name.

What would you call a baby Miragaia?

A baby Miragaia is called a nestling or a hatchling.

What did they eat?

They had a strict herbivore diet and the main parts of their diet often included plant materials. The Miragaia was also assumed to feed on fruits and seeds from time to time.

How aggressive were they?

They are not known to be very aggressive. They were very quiet and often remained in their groups.

Did you know...

The spice called alcovasaurus is renamed after the discovery of Miragaia, as they are a second species to Miragaia.

Did the Stegosaurus have long necks?

Yes, they were known to have the longest neck. Both their neck and tail anatomy were very unique consisting of several vertebrae.

Did the Miragaia have shoulder spikes?

Yes, the Miragaia had shoulder spikes. These plates helped to save and protect themselves from predators by scaring off predators.

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 common buzzard facts and Mud Sauber wasp facts for kids.

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

Main image by Nobu Tamura

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Written by Monika Sharma

Bachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

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Monika SharmaBachelor of Science specializing in Electronics and Telecommunication

With a passion for crafting engaging and informative content, Monika brings a wealth of writing experience to our team. Her Bachelors in Electronics and Telecommunications from Symbiosis Institute Of Technology adds a unique perspective to her work, allowing her to effectively communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Over the past two years, Monika has perfected her writing skills through her roles as a content writer, content manager, and digital marketer for reputable companies in both the USA and India. This hands-on experience has provided her with a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices, ensuring that the content she produces is always of the highest quality. She stays current with the latest field developments,continuously refining her skills to deliver exceptional content.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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