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Re: Charles Knight dinosaur calendar

> There is a debate as to whether all species of Stegosaurus had four spines
> (as in S. stenops).  Ancestrally, all stegosaurid plates were spines, and
> they became progressively more plate-like front-to-back over time.  It is
> likely that more primitive species of Stegosaurus may have had four or more
> pairs.

> Also, we now know that the spikes of Stegosaurus (the "thagomizer") were
> directed horizontally outwards and backwards, not upwards (as has been
> thought for 120 years).

Which leads me to two questions.  The plates are generally depicted 
these days as alternating (rather than opposing pairs) whereas the spines 
are always depicted as opposing pairs.  If the spines are ancestral plates
then surely the same configuration would apply to both spines and plates.

Also, if the thago^h^h^h^h^h spikes were directed horizontally outwards and 
backwards could this also be the case for the plates?  In fact is there 
any reason to suspect that the plates weren't also horizontal or even 
drooping downwards. This configuration would make more sense if the plates
were intended to be protective.

>From what I've read the plates were not fused solidly to the skeleton 
which leads to the differences and difficulties in interpretation of the 

Derek Tearne.   --   derek@fujitsu.co.nz   --    Fujitsu New Zealand   --
Some of the more environmentally aware dinosaurs were worried about the
consequences of an accident with the new Iridium enriched fusion reactor.
"If it goes off only the cockroaches and mammals will survive..." they said.