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Stegosaurus stenops postcranial skeleton redescribed
New in PLoS ONE:
Susannah Catherine Rose Maidment, Charlotte Brassey & Paul Michael
The Postcranial Skeleton of an Exceptionally Complete Individual of
the Plated Dinosaur Stegosaurus stenops (Dinosauria: Thyreophora) from
the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Wyoming, U.S.A.
PLoS ONE 10(10): e0138352.
Although Stegosaurus is one of the most iconic dinosaurs,
well-preserved fossils are rare and as a consequence there is still
much that remains unknown about the taxon. A new, exceptionally
complete individual affords the opportunity to describe the anatomy of
Stegosaurus in detail for the first time in over a century, and
enables additional comparisons with other stegosaurian dinosaurs. The
new specimen is from the Red Canyon Ranch Quarry, near Shell Wyoming,
and appears to have been so well preserved because it was buried
rapidly in a pond or body of standing water immediately after death.
The quarry is probably located in the middle part of the Morrison
Formation, which is believed to be Tithonian in age in this area. The
specimen is referable to Stegosaurus stenops based on the possession
of an edentulous anterior portion of the dentary and elevated
postzygapophyses on the cervical vertebrae. New information provided
by the specimen concerns the morphology of the vertebrae, the
iliosacral block and dermal armor. Several aspects of its morphology
indicate the individual was not fully skeletally mature at the time of
death, corroborating a previous histological study.