Fun Stegosaurus Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 20, 2022 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Oct 31, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Interesting Stegosaurus facts include that they had rhombus-shaped armor plates on their backs.

The Stegosaurus was an enormous dinosaur found during the Late Jurassic Period, approximately 150.8-155.7 million years ago. It had two rows of bony plates along the length of its body and was the size of a bus!

It was primarily found in the western North America range, first discovered in Colorado. The Stegosaurus is the largest group of the Jurassic period known to date.

There is an abundance of Stegosaurus material available for reconstructing dinosaur history.

It has even been seen in many movies like 'King Kong' and some 'Jurassic Park' films due to the availability of its data which made it a media star. It had a small-sized brain about the size of a walnut known from the small head, as declared by Kenneth Carpenter, the director of USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum in Utah.

The complete skeleton was found on display at Museum's Earth Hall in December 2014. Their name means 'roof lizard'.

For more relatable content, check out these Hesperosaurus facts and Chungkingsaurus facts for kids.

Stegosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Stegosaurus'?

The name of this dinosaur, Stegosaurus, is pronounced 'Steg-oh-sore-us' meaning 'roof lizard'.

What type of dinosaur was a Stegosaurus?

The genus Stegosaurus dinosaur of clade Dinosauria in the family Stegosauridae was an armored dinosaur with plates along its body.

In which geological period did the Stegosaurus roam the Earth?

The family of these Stegosaurus Dinosauridae are estimated to have lived during the Upper Jurassic Epoch to Lower Cretaceous Epoch, between 155 and 150 million years ago, i.e., Kimmeridgian to the Tithonian of the Jurassic Period.

When did Stegosaurus become extinct?

According to their fossil discovery, it has been approximated that the Stegosaurus dinosaur's last recorded appearance was around 150 million years ago in the Tithonian of the Jurassic Period.

Where did Stegosaurus live?

According to the discovery of the Stegosaurus, dinosaur fossils have been found in the Colorado, Morrison Formation, USA, Montana-Hell Creek Formation, New Mexico-Kirtland Formation, Wyoming-Ferris Formation, and Portugal-Alcobaça Formation region in the world.

What was the Stegosaurus' habitat?

The dinosaur lived a life in a terrestrial habitat in the southern US and Mexico regions and in western North America. According to the research on dinosaur species so far, historic rivers and streams are believed to have been the preferred regions for habituation.

They resided upon natural forested floodplains and densely vegetated swamps, seasides, wooded area segments, and lakes. The Stegosaurus' wildlife areas had resources to serve its more than usual appetite.

Who did the Stegosaurus live with?

The dinosaur fossil specimen was found from the Middle to Late Jurassic period with other dinosaur species like Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, Allosaurus, and Ceratosaurus. It is thought they possibly lived in the same region as them. Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus are said to have preyed on the Stegosaurus.

How long did a Stegosaurus live?

The Stegosaurus dinosaur is believed to have lived from the Upper Jurassic Epoch to Lower Cretaceous Epoch, between 155-150 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Based on the natural armored group features, the reproduction of this dinosaur is believed to be oviparous. This means that such an animal is believed to reproduce by laying eggs.

Stegosaurus Fun Facts

What did the Stegosaurus look like?

The dinosaur is renowned for its large, rhombus-shaped bony plates over its body extending from its neck to the tail. The Stegosaurus is the largest group of the Jurassic period known to date.

They were massive plant-eaters with bony spiked tails. This dinosaur used its spiked tail to defend itself from predators such as the Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus that preyed on it.

However, the huge black plates called scutes may have not been used as armor and used as more of an aesthetic feature to attract mates. They had the smallest brain, even half the size of a sheep brain!

How many bones did a Stegosaurus have?

Dinosaur fossils are one of the better-represented fossils found. There are about 76 Stegosaurus fossils found to date. The main features of the fossils found are the spiked tail unique for Mesozoic times, spiked bony plate, skull with a small brain cavity, and bones of the creatures in parts. However, a complete fossil has yet to be discovered yet.

How did they communicate?

It is not known exactly how the Stegosaurus communicated with each other or with dinosaurs of different species.

Philip J. Senter, an American paleontologist and professor of Zoology at Fayetteville State University known for his research on the paleobiology of dinosaurs, believed that dinosaurs used to communicate by hissing and clapping, polishing the jaws against the upper jaw, rubbing scales against each other, and using environmental materials such as splashing in water.

Dinosaurs are also believed to have communicated vocally and visually.

These two types of communication were most commonly used during the defensive posture, courtship, and territorial fighting.

How big was the Stegosaurus?

The exact measurements regarding a Stegosaurus' height and length are unknown. However, the largest Stegosaurus' were up to 21-30 ft (6.4-9.1 m) long according to skeleton measurements.

How fast could a Stegosaurus move?

The Stegosaurus was quadrupedal, meaning it walked on four limbs and is known to be actively mobile.

How much did a Stegosaurus weigh?

Cretaceous Stegosaurus weight is based on the classification of the specimen collected. This dinosaurs is estimated to have had a body mass of about 6,834.3-17,637 lb (3,100-8,000 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male Stegosaurus dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Stegosaurus?

Since the Stegosaurus reproduced by laying eggs and the new ones were born when the eggs hatched, a baby Stegosaurus can be called hatchling or nestling. This generalized term can be used for all dinosaurs since they all hatched from eggs.

What did they eat?

Primarily a herbivore, the Stegosaurus dinosaur grazed on low-lying plants. They were dependant on ferns and munched on grass for their survival.

Popularly known as the browser of the Jurassic Period, the Stegosaurus concentrated on soft vegetation. It had sharp teeth but not a strong jaw to cope with the leafy diet. Scientists say that the fossilized teeth in the skeleton show that sharp teeth made it easy to tear plants and vegetation.

The Stegosaurus had a large gut that was responsible for its digestion and breakdown of nutrients aided by gastroliths. They also used hind legs to feed on trees or detect danger.

How aggressive were they?

It had passive defensive strategies like swinging its Stegosaurus tail for protection. They had a plant-based and herbivorous diet that natural resources could quickly provide. These features of the Stegosaurus exhibit that they were moderately aggressive. They displayed thermoregulation, meaning they could regulate their body temperature through the blood running in their blood vessels.

Did you know...

Othniel Charles Marsh was the first to identify Stegosaurus remains during the Bone Wars at Dinosaur Ridge National Landmark in Colorado. The remains discovered by paleontologists were fragmentary skeletons in a scattered form.

Therefore, scientists say it will take a considerable time to arrive at the actual bone arrangement of the Stegosaurus. Skeletons of the Stegosaurus only arrived at museums in mid 20th century, even though they had gained popularity in media and literature.

How many spikes did a Stegosaurus have?

The Stegosaurus ungulatus had rows of spikes, mostly eight in number. Stegosaurus stenops show four spikes. Paleontologists say that some earlier Stegosaurus even had shoulder spikes.

What is the Stegosaurus known for?

Scientists say that Stegosaurus ungulatus were robust and an enormous species with a small brain. They were largest of all Stegosaurians (related dinosaurs such as Kentrosaurus and Huayangosaurus), herbivores, and round-backed.

The skeleton bones had spike rows, short fore legs, longer hind legs, and spiny Stegosaurus tail bones. Due to the Stegosaurus size, upright plates, spikes, and broader physique, they are very recognizable. The function of the spikes is expected to be twofold.

The spikes are there for both aesthetic and protective purposes but this is subject to speculation. They also display thermoregulatory features of blood running through blood vessels for controlling body temperature against predators.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Chialingosaurus interesting facts and Jiangjunosaurus surprising facts pages.

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

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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