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Re: Long-necked stegosaur coming out in Proceedings B

Dann Pigdon wrote:

> Unfortunately most upright, quadrupedal 
> mammals tend to have pathetic tails that are little more
> than fly-swatters, so modern 
> stegosaur/ankylosaur analogues are somewhat lacking.

Nevertheless, certain stegosaurs such as _Kentrosaurus_ and maybe 
_Chungkingosaurus_ and/or _Tuojiangosaurus_ could have defended themselves 
courtesy of the spike-like armor on the hindquarters and tail.  _Kentrosaurus_ 
had long shoulder (parascapular) spines too.  So the porcupine analog holds for 
these guys, insofar as these stegosaurs could have inflicted damage at close 
quarters by simply backing into the predator.  Although swinging the tail 
undoubtedly helped as well, the terminal tail spines weren't their only means 
of defense.

On the other hand (or tail), _Stegosaurus_ would have relied principally on its 
thagomizer to fend off predators (assuming that its tall, flat plates were not 
defensive devices).  This meant the tail had to be swung, to allow the 
thagomizer to strike the predator.  _Tuojiangosaurus_ (which also had a 
thagomizer) could have relied on either strategy.