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Re: Stegosaur plates as protection......
Sean Connell wrote:
> I see their (stegosaurus at least)plates as very effective defensive
> structures.Think about it.If your a large theropod attacking your prey
> what would be the most effective strike? The spinal column.
My thoughts exactly. When people talk of thermoregulation they tend to
have Stegosaurus in mind with its tall plates (if that is the correct
generic name for this beast that is). But what of the many other
stegosaur species, many of which had quite small plates, such as
Kentrosaurus or those unpronouncable (and unspellable) Chinese species?
These plates (and often spikes) make the creatures look
less like a magnetic termite mound (the shape of which has to do
with thermoregulation) than the taller plates of Stegosaurus. Given
the tail weaponry which is obviously defensive, I prefer to see the
plates as just an extention of this. They were probably sharp at the
tips, shaped somewhat like rose thorns, and even if they were too
weak to provide physical protection they would still give the impression
of being adequately protected. Springboks use physical displays
to discourage attacks, as do many other modern species, so often
a creature only has to look formidable to keep it relatively safe.