Chapter

Stegosauria

Peter M. Galton and Paul Upchurch

in The Dinosauria

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780520242098
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941434 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520242098.003.0019
Stegosauria

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Stegosauria is recognized as a Jurassic clade of Ornithischia. Stegosaurs are medium-sized to large quadrupedal herbivores with proportionally small heads, short and massive forelimbs, long columnar hindlimbs, short metacarpals and metatarsals with hoof-like unguals. The largest stegosaur is Stegosaurus (up to 9 m) and is represented by numerous remains from the late Kimmeridgian or Tithonian of the United States, mostly from Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Stegosaurs are also characterized by parasagittal osteoderms, which developed as a double series of small plates and spines. The best known example of this configuration is Kentrosaurus, presumed to have carried fifteen paired plates and spines on its back, but only the position of the terminal pair of tail spines is fixed. The pattern of plates and spines is characteristic for each species, and it was probably important for intraspecific recognition.

Keywords: Stegosauria; Ornithischia; Stegosaurs; Stegosaurus; parasagittal osteoderms; Kentrosaurus

Chapter.  15201 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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