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Re: Stegosaurus



>Does anyone know how the stegosaur plates are arranged? Is it paired,
>alternating or flapped outward or possibly double rowed? I think
>that they are alternating but can be flapped outward by muscles in
>it's skin.

The honest answer is "No, nobody does for certain."

The problem is that the plates were held on to the bone by muscle and
cartilege. When these rotted away, the plates just fell away. There doesn't
seem to be a lot of agreement about exactly how they were attached (other
than they were attached to the spine).

I think we have a better picture of "Spiky" stegosaurs such as Kentrosaurus.
All the reconstructions I've seen show two rows of spikes (does anyone know
the reason for this? Are the spines more firmly attached). This is possibly
the reasonigy behind reconstructions of Stegosaurus with two rows of plates.

Personally I kind of favour the single row, just because it looks better
(very scientific, eh?).

James Shields  -  jshields@iol.ie  -  http://www.iol.ie/~jshields
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