Stegosaurus Fact Sheet

Ready to learn about the armored dinosaur called the Stegosaurus? This dinosaur fact sheet about Stegosaurus is free to download as a printable PDF document.

What does the name Stegosaurus mean?

Stegosaurus translates to “roof lizard”. This name was given to it because the founder of the first skeleton of the Stegosaurus believed the plates on the dinosaurs back stacked on top of each other like shingles on a roof.

What family was the Stegosaurus part of?

The Stegosaurus is part of the Stegosauridae family. It is a family of dinosaurs that were herbivores and walked on all four legs.

What did the Stegosaurus eat?

The Stegosaurus was an herbivore, existing mostly on mosses, ferns, horsetails, cycads, and conifers, fruits and other prehistoric plant life. The Stegosaurus had unique teeth and jaw structure so scientists are not sure how it ate its food.

When and where did the Stegosaurus live?

The Stegosaurus lived in what is now western North America and Europe in the late Jurassic Periods, between 155 and 150 million years ago. Stegosaurus bones have been found in the western United States and Portugal.

How big was the Stegosaurus?

It could grow up to 9 m (29.5 ft) tall and weigh up to 5.3 to 7 metric tons (5.8 to 7.7 short tons)

When were the first remains of a Stegosaurus found?

The first remains of a Stegosaurus were found by Othniel Charles Marsh north of Morrison, Colorado in 1887. He found the first set of bones that inspired the Stegosaurus name. Marsh believed that the plates on its back overlapped like shingles on a roof.

What are some unique features of the Stegosaurus?

One of the most distinctive features of the Stegosaurus is the double row of kite-shaped plates that point upward on its back and the two long spikes that point outwards at the end of its tail. There were a total of 17 plates with some of the largest plates around 60cm (2ft) tall and 60cm (2ft) wide.

The plates and spikes served as armor against predators, which was important because the Stegosaurus lived alongside large predatory dinosaurs like the Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus.

What are other interesting facts about the Stegosaurus?

Scientists believe that the Stegosaurus had maximum speed of around 7kph (5mph).

The state of Colorado in the United States considers the Stegosaurus to be the state dinosaur.

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