Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: stegosaur or stegosaurus or stegosaurian from Collins English Dictionary

n

1 any quadrupedal herbivorous ornithischian dinosaur of the suborder Stegosauria, esp any of the genus Stegosaurus, of Jurassic and early Cretaceous times, having an armour of bony plates

[C19: from Greek stegos roof + -saur]


Summary Article: Stegosaurus
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(stĕgəsôr'əs) [Gr.,=roof lizard], quadriped ornithischian dinosaur of the late Jurassic period. About 29 ft 6 in (9 m) long, it had short forelegs, four long bony spikes on a flexible tail, and two rows of upright triangular bony plates running along the back, which gave it a serrated profile. The function of the plates is debated. They may have acted as deterrents to predatory dinosaurs, but some scientists have suggested that they were not strong enough to have functioned that way. Other theories are that they helped regulate body temperature by dissipating heat or absorbing solar rays or that they helped members of the species recognize each other. The head of Stegosaurus was small, and the brain weighed about 2.5 oz (71 grams). The front of the mouth was beak-shaped; there were small leaf-shaped teeth in the cheek area. An herbivore, Stegosaurus, along with Ankylosaurus, belongs to the group of armored dinosaurs, Thyreophora. Fossil skeletons have been found in the Jurassic beds of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

Related Articles


Full text Article Stegosaurus
The Macmillan Encyclopedia

A dinosaur of the late Jurassic period (about 150-135 million years ago). 7 m long and weighing 1.75 tonnes, it had a double row of large...

Full text Article stegosaurus
The Macquarie Dictionary

Also, stegosaur any of the herbivorous dinosaurs constituting the genus Stegosaurus, reptiles of great size (sometimes nearly 12 metres long) with a

Full text Article stegosaurus
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R) Dictionary

pronunciation (1892) : any of a genus (Stegosaurus) of stegosaurs known from the Upper Jurassic rocks esp. of Colorado and Wyoming

See more from Credo