"Stegosaurus was a quadrupedal planteating dinosaur known for the distinctive rows of large upright plates on their back."
- Armor (Speed):
"By developing bony plates, spikes, and scales that were embedded in their skin, some dinosaurs were able to stay protected against attacks from predators."
- Flat Teeth (Payout):
"Broad, blunt teeth help to grind fibrous plant material into a digestive state. These are necessary for an herbivorous diet."
- Quadrupedal (Speed):
"A creature that walks on four legs, with a horizontal posture, is called a quadruped. Many dinosaurs were quadrupedal, including Stegosaurus and Triceratops. A quadrupedal gait gave these dinosaurs increased sturdiness and the ability to carry lots of weight."
- Herbivore (Payout):
"Animals that feed entirely on plant matter are called herbivores. About half of all dinosaurs were herbivores. They had teeth that were specially designed for grinding leaves, twigs, and shoots."
- Jurassic Age (Discount):
"The Jurassic (201.3 MYA—145 MYA) was the second period of the Mesozoic Era. During this period, dinosaurs became the dominant species on Earth as the supercontinent Gondawana began to split, replacing the deserts of the Triassic with lush rainforests."
- Hollow Bones (Speed):
"The development of hollow or semi-hollow bones gave some dinosaurs a lighter but stronger skeleton system. This development would later enable them to evolve the ability to fly."
- Herd Behavior (Payout):
"Some dinosaurs concregated in social groups, living in loose family units for defense against predators."
- Feathers (Discount):
"It is still unknown to what extent therapodian dinosaurs were feathered, but evidence exists that shows that at least some of them presented with varying degrees of feathery skin coverings."
- Warm Climate (Payout):
"During the Mesozoic Era, the Earth's temperature was very warm, which led to a great amount of geological and biological transitions. This climate set the stage for the major changes of the era."
- Beak Smart (75 Stegosaurus):
"Paleotologists believe that stegosaurus probably grazed on low-lying bushes and foliage, due to its lack of front teeth. This indicates that stegosaurus may have had a bird-like beak."
- No-Brainer (200 Stegosaurus):
"Despite its large size, Stegosaurus' braincase was no larger than that of a modern dog. In fact, Stegosaurus had the smallest brain-to-body-size ratio of any known dinosaur."
Stegosaurus (/ˌstɛɡəˈsɔːrəs/), from Greek stegos (στέγος), which means roof, and sauros (σαῦρος), which means lizard, is a genus of herbivorous thyreophoran dinosaur. Fossils of this genus date to the Late Jurassic period, where they are found in Kimmeridgian to early Tithonian aged strata, between 155 and 150 million years ago, in the western United States and Portugal. Of the species that have been classified in the upper Morrison Formation of the western US, only three are universally recognized; S. stenops, S. ungulatus and S. sulcatus. The remains of over 80 individual animals of this genus have been found. Stegosaurus would have lived alongside dinosaurs such as Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, Allosaurus, and Ceratosaurus; the latter two may have preyed on it.
These were large, heavily built, herbivorous quadrupeds with rounded backs, short fore limbs, long hind limbs, and tails held high in the air. Due to their distinctive combination of broad, upright plates and tail tipped with spikes, Stegosaurus is one of the most recognizable kinds of dinosaurs. The function of this array of plates and spikes has been the subject of much speculation among scientists. Today, it is generally agreed that their spiked tails were most likely used for defense against predators, while their plates may have been used primarily for display, and secondarily for thermoregulatory functions. Stegosaurus had a relatively low brain-to-body mass ratio. It had a short neck and a small head, meaning it most likely ate low-lying bushes and shrubs. One species, Stegosaurus ungulatus, is the largest known of all the stegosaurians (bigger than related dinosaurs such as Kentrosaurus and Huayangosaurus).