Stegosaurus is one of the most famous dinosaurs. and a firm favourite with all ages. With its huge plates and spiked tail it is instantly recognizable from any other dinosaur.
It was a large dinosaur weighing as much as a large elephant but it was much smaller than the long necked dinosaurs it shared the world with.
Although there is still questions on why it had those 2-3ft long plates on its back, which we look at below, there is plenty we do know about stegosaurus. it is one of the best studied dinosaurus there is!
So let’s take a look at this roofed lizard, that was neither roofed nor a lizard! With our 20 (more actually) questions and answers on the super Stegosaurus.
We also have lot of other dinosaur facts that you can access in the menu above and the list at the side. Feel free to check them out as well!
20 Stegosaurus Questions and Answers.
We have 20 of the most common questions kids ask about the stegosaurus here for you. Did we miss anything?
How Long was a Stegosaurus?
The stegosaurus about the weight of an elephant, though much longer. It was a large dinosaur. It could be up to 21 ft long (9 metres) and up to 14 ft tall (4 metres) when including the bony plates along its back which stood up and didn’t lay flat as was first thought.
How Big was Stegosaurus Brain?
The Stegosaurus was not the smartest of dinosaurs. it had the brain the size of a dog, and a body bigger than an elephant! for a long time some scientists thought it might have 2 brains one in its backside!
How heavy was a Stegosaurus?
Stegosaurus could weigh up to 5 tons, which is about 9000 lbs or 5000 Kg! This is over 110 7th graders! It is as much as a very large elephant, but was longer.
What Dinosaur Family Did Stegosaurus belong too?
The Stegosaurus was a member of the thyreophoran, or armoured dinosaur group These dinosaurs had bones or armour on their body. There were other family members in this group that included the kentrosaurus and Huayangosaurus. Stegosaurus was the largest of this family though.
Why Did Stegosaurus Have Plates on its Back?
Stegosaurus had 17-22 Bony plates, called scutes, on its back, although they were not fixed to the bones. They were up to 3 ft tall.
There is still debate on what they were used for, they could have been used as a warning or to attract mates, protect from attacks though they appear to be quite thin and to control heat in their bodies.
How Many Spikes on a Stegosaurus Tail?
Stegosaurus had a spiked tail 4 long spikes that could be up to 3ft long! It would have been used in defence against any large predatory dinosaurs hunting it.
How Long were the Spikes on a Stegosaurus Tail?
As mentioned above the spikes on a stegosaurus tail, like the plates on its back, could be 2-3ft, (60-90cm) long. The tail spikes are called the thagomizer after a cartoon by G Larson. Which you can see here.
Where have Stegosaurus Fossils been Found?
Stegosaurus is mostly a North American dinosaur and its fossils have been found Colorado, wyoming and Montana. A lot has been found in colorado and it is the state dinosaur there. However, there have been stegosaurus fossils found in Europe as well, in Portugal.
Where Did Stegosaurus Live?
As we mentioned above the stegosaurus has been found in what is now North America, which at the time would have forests and floodplains close to water and rivers. As there was no grasses at the time Stegosaurus would have eaten low bushes and shrubs and other plants.
Dinosaur Coloring Pages Download.
What did Stegosaurus eat?
The Stegosaurus was a plant eater (herbivore) it had tiny teeth for its size and a beaf like front of the mouth. We are not sure how it managed to eat enough food for its size, but recent studies have shown it may had a powerful bite for a herbivore dinosaur!
How many Stegosaurus have been found?
There have been over 81 fossils if stegosaurus that have been found and luckily some of these are very complete fossils of all of the dinosaur. So we have a REALLY good idea what this dinosaur looked like.
When was the Stegosaurus alive?
Although lots of books, movies and comics show stegosaurus fighting with T-Rex, or walking with triceratops it simply could not have happened. The stegosaurus lived in the Late Jurassic period which was 155-145 million years ago. T-Rex and triceratops were alive 80 million years later!
When was Stegosaurus discovered?
Othniel Charles Marsh first discovered in 1877 the stegosaurus. it was found in colorado. He first though the plates were flat and that stegosaurus looked like a large turtle, it was a few years till it was realized they stuck up from the body. we look at his below as well.
What does Stegosaurus name mean?
Stegosaurus means “roof lizard” Stego means roof and saurus means lizard in Greek. Dinosaurs are often named on how they looked or where they were found, and we have a whole article on dinosaur names and their meanings here for you.
How Fast was a Stegosaurus?
Although plenty of websites will say this dinosaur could run at 32 km an hour this is NOT true with the information we have to date. . The legs, especially as it had longer back legs and really short front legs meant that stegosaurus would fall over fairly soon after it started to run. Current estimates say that stegosaurus could move at about 5 miles an hour (7kph.)
Did Stegosaurus Live in Herds?
The Stegosaurus was thought to be a semi-social creature but there is no evidence that it lived in herds with other dinosaurs. Although , it didn’t live in herds, it may have lived in small groups or even solitary life styles.
Why Did Stegosaurus Have Shorter front legs?
Stegosaurus legs were very different. to each other, and to other dinosaurs, although it moved on four legs its front legs were much shorter than its back legs,
The reasons for stegosaurus having shorter front legs are unknown, but possible theories include: to make its head lower to the ground to help feeding, to present its back more effectively and to be able to have its spiked tail higher for defence.
Did Stegosaurus Have two Brains?
The Stegosaurus only had one brain. For quite a few years paleontologists thought that stegosaurus might have two brains, one in its head and close to its tail. This theory has been changed and the common knowledge is that stegosaurus had only one brain, a really small one!
Which Dinosaurs could hunt Stegosaurus ?
Stegosaurus was alive at the same time as both the allosaurus and ceratosaurus meat eating dinosaurs. However Stegosaurus was both big, and that tail could certainly cause some damage. Like lions to day a juvenile or young stegosaurus would have been a much more tempting that taking on a fully grown adult.
What movies feature a Stegosaurus?
Stegosaurus are a popular dinosaur and have been shown in both the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World series of movies,. it is the first dinosaur we see when they get to the Island in Jurassic Park 2: the Lost World, when we see it protecting its babies.
Which state is the Stegosaurus the State Dinosaur of?
The stegosaurus was made the state dinosaur of Colorado, On April the 28th 1982 which is suitable as it was where it was first discovered! It was because of this reason and not the small brain it was chosen we are sure! ( joke!)
Which Dinosaurs Did Stegosaurus evolve from?
Like all dinosaurs evolved from older dinosaurs that came before it. these dinosaurs also also had armour. One of these was the dinosaur called Scelidosaurus which lived in the early Jurassic period (206 million to 180 million years ago)
Did Stegosaurus lay Eggs?
Most if not all dinosaurs laid eggs, it is one of the features that makes a dinosaur a dinosaur ( see here) so as far as we know today the stegosaurs did lay eggs, we are unable to prove this yet though as no eggs have been found that can be identified as stegosaurus eggs. it is actually very difficult to know what eggs belong to what species 100 million years after they were laid!
Could Stegosaurus Swim?
It is likely that stegosaurus could swim. It would not have won any races though. Most animals are able to move in water in some form or another.
The stegosaurus may have been as heavy as an elephant, and it certainly was not designed to move quickly through water, but don’t forget elephants can swim too! There was only one swimming dinosaur ( so far) and that was Spinosaurus.
We are lucky that so many full skeletons have been found of a stegosaurus, it has helped scientists learn a lot about this famous dinosaur. Hopefully these stegosaurus questions and answers can you so information you didn’t know and don’t forget to check out other articles on the site to learn more about the wonderful world of dinosaurs.
Don’t forget to print out the 20 Stegosaurus fact sheet we have in on our facts about stegosaurus pages to add to your collection.
Some of My Dinosaur Resource Recommendations for Home and School.
Thanks for taking the time to read our facts and questions articles, as a teacher myself i have struggled to find resources in one place and that is why this website was born. I simply love teaching students about dinosaurs both in my role as a language and General Studies teacher. However there is sometimes a need for something more concrete than a printout (as useful as we think ours are! )
There is something awesome about the feeling of awe that these amazing creatures instil in our children and students. To further help you, and potentially me, i have included a few resources below that i have found to be incredibly successful when explaining dinosaurs to children, these range form books and resources, to toys fossils and dinosaur figures.
Sometimes having something tactile to touch in those tiny hands help to focus and cement learning and develop those big brains! Hope they are helpful too.
Dinosaur Books and Readers
There are of course hundreds of excellent, and not so excellent books on Dinosaurs for Children out there. So rather than, yet, go into huge detail. I will highlight the ones I love to use with my students from ages 6 to 10. We have include AR in these as well. ( nothing quite like a moving dinosaur in front of you!
I cant say how great these are to use in a classroom while reading with a group. the chance to read about a dinosaur and then touch a real piece is simply great. I have a selection ( self confessed dinosaur geek) but a cheap set of 10 or so will do the trick just as well. Dinosaur poop is great as well!!! i pass it round and ask them to guess what it is first!
I actually use realia in a lot of classes especially with animals and dinosaurs, and figures help to show the kind of animal we are reading about. It is possible to spend hundreds of dollars on dinosaur figures but ther eis no need, either as a teacher or a parent. The set below and similar we have used to help students picture dinosaurs to great effect.
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.