A Study in Stegosaurus

It was announced the other day that the Natural History Museum in London has started to do the most detailed study of a Stegosaurus.  Info for this can be found at the BBC news website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30301895 and the Natural History Museum’s website http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2014/dec/come-and-meet-the-worlds-most-complete-stegosaurus133779.html.  It’s worth a look.  The museum has managed to get hold of the most complete Stegosaurus skeleton found and has used 3D scanning technology to study the creature.  So we’ve known about Stegosaurus for about 100 years, what new stuff can we found out?  Well for one thing the biggest mystery involves the dinosaur’s most distinguishing characteristic; the back plates.  What they were used for is still debated; sexual or territorial display, defence or body temperature regulation are the favourite ideas, but the jury is still out on these.  The second mystery with them is the alignment.  Were they in two parallel rows, with each plate next to each other or did they alternate.  There can also be other things that we just don’t expect, so I look forward to when they’ve completed the study and my next trip to London.

Stegosaurus in the Earth Hall

Images from the Natural History Museum and BBC News websites.

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