Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Geological Time The Story Of A Changing Earth
Fossil Evidence
Evidence Image
Specimen/Evidence:
Stegosaurus

Common Name:
plated dinosaur

Scientific Name:
Stegosaurus stenops

Time Period:
200-146 mya

Age range:
Late Jurassic, 145 mya

Key Localities:
Colorado


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The Smithsonian has two Stegosaurus displays in our Dinosaur Hall. The standing mount (bottom photo) first went on display in 1917, and was only the second life restoration model in existence. The second Stegosaurus (top photo) is displayed as it was found in the field by paleontologists in 1886. This specimen first showed that the plates along the neck and back overlap somewhat, and that there were osteoderms (bones in the skin) under its neck that acted as armor to protect the animal. This is the holotype specimen for the species stenops, meaning that this specimen was the actual one after which the species was named. There is only one holotype specimen for every species named. Top photo by Steve Jabo, NMNH; bottom photo courtesy of NMNH.

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