Stegosaurus Facts for Kids – 5 Spectacular Facts about Stegosaurus

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Stegosaurus had a special name for his tail! What do you think it is? Let’s discover five spectacular Stegosaurus facts for kids.

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids Fact Number 1: The Stegosaurus Was a Herbivore

The Stegosaurus was a herbivore, meaning they were plant eaters. For this reason, stegosaurus didn’t need many teeth as all it ate was leaves and grass. The teeth that they did have were quite small and they were not sharp. To help them chew their food, Stegosaurus would have eaten small rocks to help chew and crush the plants they ate in their stomach.

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Stegosaurus Dinosaur toy standing on orange background

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids Fact Number 2: The Stegosaurus Had Big Bony Plates along Its Back

The Stegosaurus dinosaur lived about 150 million years ago, during the late Jurassic Period and the Early Cretaceous Period. The first thing you picture when you hear stegosaurus is their big bony plates on their back. This distinguishes them from other dinosaurs. It is said that these rows of bony plates were roughly three feet long. The bony plates were not actual bones. Instead they were very hard bone-like plates that grew out of the Stegosaurus’ skin and were not a part of the skeleton.

Stegosaurus tails also had two spikes at the end and some had four. These were used for defence against predators. It is also thought that they were used to regulate their body temperature. The spiked tail is called a Thagomizer. Cool name for a tail!

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids Fact Number 3: The First Fossil of Stegosaurus Was Discovered by Othniel Marsh in 1877

Othniel c. Marsh discovered the Stegosaurus andhe also discovered the Apatosaurus dinosaur the same year.  When Marsh first discovered the Stegosaurus he thought that the bony plates looked like roof tiles. This led him to name the Stegosaurus the “roofed lizard”, by combining the Greek word “stegos” for roof and  the Greek word “saurus” for lizard.

The first Stegosaurus fossil was found in Colorado. For this reason, the US state of Colorado has named the Stegosaurus as the “state dinosaur of Colorado”.

Stegosaurus fossils have been found in western North America and more recently in Portugal, indicating that they lived in Europe as well.

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids
Stegosaurus Facts for Kids: Stegosaurus fossil

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids Fact Number 4: The Stegosaurus Had a very Small Brain

The Stegosaurus brain was about the size of a ping pong ball. You would think because of the size of the Stegosaurus, it would have a big brain, however its head was quite small. They had a very short neck and small head.  The Stegosaurus could reach up to 9 metres in length and 4 metres in height. 

The Stegosaurus dinosaurs could live for a very long time. Many lived to be between 75 and 100 years old. It is thought that because of their weight and size of their legs. The Stegosaurus would have had a maximum speed of around 7 kph. If you ran fast you would likely outrun a Stegosaurus.

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids Fact Number 5: The Stegosaurus Is a Part of a Group of Dinosaurs Called Thyreophorans

Dinosaurs in this group were all armoured dinosaurs. Armoured dinosaurs were those that had different types of bony plates on their bodies in order to protect themselves. The Stegosaurus is the most famous dinosaur from a group of dinosaurs known as Stegosauria. Stegosaurus is  pronounced as ‘steg-uh-sawr-us’.

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids LearningMole
Close-up photo of tiny orange dinosaur toy

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about Stegosaurus as much as we loved teaching you about them. Now that you know how majestic this dinosaur is, you can move on to learn about other dinosaurs like: Iguanodon, Gallimimus, Giganotosaurus and Allosaurus.

Stegosaurus Facts for Kids

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