Definition of stegosaur in English:


(also stegosaurus)


  • A small-headed quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur of the Jurassic and early Cretaceous periods, with a double row of large bony plates or spines along the back.

    Infraorder Stegosauria, order Ornithischia: several genera, including Stegosaurus

    • ‘Coupled with the lack of evidence for sexual dimorphism, we conclude that the simplest explanation of the diversity of plate patterns in stegosaurs is species recognition, a function also noted by Carpenter.’
    • ‘Such canals are often ringed internally by lamellar bone, as in stegosaurs.’
    • ‘Museum visitors eager to walk with the dinosaurs can also see stegosaurus, which brandishes a long swinging tail studded with sharp spikes but has a brain the size of a walnut.’
    • ‘Originally thought to have been a form of armour-plating, the plates of advanced stegosaurs were, as can be seen here, actually quite thin and full of holes for the accommodation of blood vessels.’
    • ‘A new study of the finlike plates that lined the backs of the Jurassic-period plant-eaters known as stegosaurs suggests that the plates served a rather simple purpose: dinosaur I.D.’
    • ‘Other dinosaurs lacked them, and the forms of plates and spikes vary among stegosaurs without respect to body size.’
    • ‘The thyreophorans are the armored ornithischians: the stegosaurs and ankylosaurs.’
    • ‘They snaked with the contours, curling and buckling, even twisting vertically in places and splaying like the back plates of a stegosaur.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the much smaller ornithischian dinosaurs - the ornithopods and stegosaurs - browsed on the undergrowth.’
    • ‘The small stegosaur Kentrosaurus closely resembles primitive European and Chinese forms, but is quite unlike the large and advanced American Stegosaurus.’
    • ‘He's warm-blooded, or at least warm-bodied, has the wings of a bat, the tail of a stegosaurs, the spikes of a relative of a stegosaurus, the sail of a spinosaurus, and the shield of a triceratops.’
    • ‘Dr William Atherstone and Andrew Geddes Bain discovered the first cretaceous stegosaur in the Bushman's River Valley.’
    • ‘Other highlights will include the awesome Velociraptor - made infamous by the film Jurassic Park, one of the world's oldest stegosaurs, and a child-sized, parrot-beaked dinosaur.’
    • ‘Other herbivorous dinosaurs of the Jurassic included the plated stegosaurs.’
    • ‘Whether it's horned dinosaurs, crested duck-billed dinosaurs, plated stegosaurs, or dome-headed dinosaurs, paleontologists identify different species largely by these bizarre structures.’
    • ‘The neighbouring Museum of Natural History has the third-largest dinosaur collection in the world, including skeletons of tyrannosaurus rex, diplodocus and stegosaurus.’
    • ‘A mathematical analysis of a fossil stegosaur's bones leaves little doubt that the creature's spike-studded tail was an effective defense against predators.’
    • ‘Although, as for stegosaurs, we have no independent evidence of mate competition, we can use the features of their plates to identify species.’
    • ‘However, this would not be as effective in stegosaurs that had smaller plates, some plates and some spikes, or all spikes.’
    • ‘Birds are highly dimorphic sexually, and imprinting is important; however, stegosaurs (like other dinosaurs) do not appear to be highly dimorphic sexually, and the role of imprinting in dinosaurs cannot be assessed.’


Modern Latin, from Greek stegē ‘covering’ + sauros ‘lizard’.