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stegosaurus ab

stegosaurus ab

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Published by Donnette Davis

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Published by: Donnette Davis on Sep 27, 2009
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02/01/2013

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Footsteps on the Road to Learning
St Aiden\u2019s Homeschool
St Aiden\u2019s Homeschool
St Aiden\u2019s Homeschool
St Aiden\u2019s Homeschool

I\u2019m Learning About I\u2019m Learning About I\u2019m Learning About

I\u2019m Learning About Dinosaurs Dinosaurs Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs
Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus
Includes activities on Earth Science & Palaeontology
Lesson Plans, Crafts, Activity Sheets & Teacher/Parent Guides/Resources
Gr K-6
www.staidenshomeschool.com
Donnette E Davis
Learning About Dinosaurs K-6
Donnette E Davis 2009 www.staidenshomeschool.com
30
Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus is Greek for "plated lizard", this name is given to the dinosaur due to a
heavy armour of plates down its back. It is also sometimes known as one of the
dumbest dinosaurs, because it had a very small brain compared to its large body.
What did they look like?

An averageSt egosaurus was about 12 m long (40 ft) and about 2.75 m tall (9 ft). TheSt egosaurus weighed about 2,000 kg! TheSt egosaurus's front feet had five toes on each foot and there were three on each back foot. The feet resembled gigantic horse hoofs and the people who first discovered them actually thought they might have come from giant horses!

Size Compared to a Human

The most prominent feature of aSt egosaurus was the row of plates running down its back, along the spine. These plates could be larger than 75 cm in height. It was once thought that these were used as protection against predators such as the Allosaurus, but in fact they were not solid bone and would have been easy to break. They were also covered with thin skin and lots of blood vessels.

Nobody knows for sure what the back-plates were used for, but many scientists now believe that they were used for temperature control \u2014 to gather heat from the surroundings. They would have been used like solar panels. When the animal needed to warm up, it would stand with its side toward the sun. The thin skin and many blood vessels covering the plates would soak up the heat of the sun. When theSt egosaurus got too hot, it could stand in the shade, or turn itself to face the sun (or face away from it). Then the blood vessels could be cooled.

For defenceSt egosaurus did have four (or eight) heavy spikes on their tails, which
could be used to hit attackers in defence.
Stegosaurus's mouth was shaped a bit like a beak and had no teeth in the front \u2014
probably for snipping plants.
Learning About Dinosaurs K-6
Donnette E Davis 2009 www.staidenshomeschool.com
31
What did they eat?
Stegosaurus were herbivores, meaning they ate plants. They mainly liked to browse

the lower levels of plant life because those were the easiest to reach with their short necks. These plants were mostly low-nutrition plants such as ferns, moss, cycads, and baby evergreen trees. Most of the plant life was as low as 3\u20134 feet. The Stegosaurs may have been able to rear up on their hind legs for short periods of time to graze plants that were otherwise out of reach when food on the ground was scarce.

Because the plants they ate had little nutrition in each bite,St egosaurus had to eat
a lot. They would spend most of their day eating.
When did they live?
They lived during the late Jurassic period about 156\u2013140 million years ago.
Where did they live?

They lived in Subtropical forests in the USA, though there have been closely related dinosaurs living in other parts of the world including Africa, China, Mongolia, England and Europe.

Stegosaurus fossils have been found in these US states: Colorado, Utah and
Wyoming.
How were they discovered?
The firstSt egosaurus fossil was found in Colorado, USA, in 1876 by M. P. Felch. They
were named in 1877 by Othniel C. Marsh.

The most completeSt egosaurus fossil ever found was nicknamed "Spike". It was discovered in Colorado, USA by Bryan Small, Tim Seeber, and Kenneth Carpenter in 1992.

What do we need to learn?
\u2022

We would like to know whySt egosaurus had the big bony plates on its back. Did they coolSt egosau ru s? Did it use them to show off? Or protect itself? We don't know.

\u2022
Stegosaurus's back plates were not solid \u2014 they were filled with long hollow
tubes or tunnels. What were they for?
\u2022
Stegosaurus had cousins, known as Stegosaurs. Some of the cousins lived in
herds (like cows and horses do today), and some did not. We would like to
know ifSt egosau ru s was a herd animal, or if it lived mostly alone.
\u2022
Stegosaurus had a very small brain. Scientists used to think it had a second
brain, back in its hip area. Now we think that this structure just helped
Stegosaurus control its tail and hind legs. We would like to know for sure.
\u2022
Discuss herbivores and carnivores. What is the difference between the two.

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