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Minmi
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PostSubject: Stegosaurus   Stegosaurus Icon_minitimeTue Jan 17, 2017 12:41 am

Let's talk about Stegosaurus, in my opinion, one of the most bizarre dinosaurs imaginable (and one of my personal favourites). There are no modern animals that even bear the slightest resemblance to this unusual saurian. We know the spikes on the tail were used as weapons but what was the true function of the plates that stood up along the back like a giant fence? Obviously, the plates had some kind of function, otherwise they wouldn't have been there.
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PostSubject: Re: Stegosaurus   Stegosaurus Icon_minitimeTue Jan 17, 2017 11:49 am

The most likely function of the plates was for display. We know that modern dinosaurs (birds) are very visual animals so it's logical to assume the same of non-avian dinosaurs.
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PostSubject: Re: Stegosaurus   Stegosaurus Icon_minitimeTue Jan 17, 2017 6:19 pm

I also agree with the theory that the plates were used for display as there seems to be a problem with the theory of the plates being used for regulating body temperature: it would only have worked with Stegosaurs that had large, broad plates. Therefore, Stegosaurs such as Kentrosaurus and Dacentrurus couldn't use their plates as heat exchangers because the plates were too small and narrow. I can imagine the plates being brightly coloured or having patterns like a Peacock's tail, so they were probably used either as part of a threat display to frighten off predators or as a sexual display to attract a mate.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always been taught that the plates weren't attached to the skeleton but were simply embedded in the dinosaur's thick skin.

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PostSubject: Re: Stegosaurus   Stegosaurus Icon_minitimeTue Jan 17, 2017 10:20 pm

@Minmi wrote:
Let's talk about Stegosaurus, in my opinion, one of the most bizarre dinosaurs imaginable (and one of my personal favourites). There are no modern animals that even bear the slightest resemblance to this unusual saurian. We know the spikes on the tail were used as weapons but what was the true function of the plates that stood up along the back like a giant fence? Obviously, the plates had some kind of function, otherwise they wouldn't have been there.

Hope this helps: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/stegosaurs-and-the-species-recognition-hypothesis/
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PostSubject: Re: Stegosaurus   Stegosaurus Icon_minitimeWed Jan 18, 2017 12:04 am

Thanks for providing a link to that article, JD-man. Basically, the article appears to be saying that the plates were a way for Stegosaurs to recognize members of their own specific species. I believe the same thing has been said about the head crests belonging to various Hadrosaur species.


One thing we know for certain is the function of the tail spikes. It's quite clear they were weapons. Titled "Bloodiest Battle", episode 4 of the documentary series "Jurassic Fight Club" depicts a female Stegosaurus killing an attacking Allosaurus by jabbing a tail spike through the predator's head. Ouch!

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PostSubject: Re: Stegosaurus   Stegosaurus Icon_minitimeWed Jan 18, 2017 11:45 pm

@Minmi wrote:
Thanks for providing a link to that article, JD-man.

Anytime! Smile
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