Length: 40 feet
Height: 18 feet (in hips) />Weight: 7 tons
Isla Sorna's Stegosaurus species is much larger than fossil specimens, hence the "gigas" in its name.
- Adult and juvenile (both sexes): Gray and green mottled bodies with gray plates (golden yellow in sunlight; tinted red or orange when flushed with blood).
Diet: Low to medium-growth plants. Stegosaurus prefers tender shoots due to its simple tooth structure.
Preferred Habitat: Broken forests with ample water supply.
Social Structure: Stegosaurus is a very herd oriented species - a fellow Stegosaurus doesn’t even need to be in the same herd to offer its protection for another. Herds usually consist of four to seven individuals, however multiple herds will occassionally group together. Stegosaurus has been known to herd with other animals as well, such as hadrosaurs, if conditions of life calls for it.
Stegosaurus is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs on Isla Sorna, and probably most famous for its tiny brain, which is the size of a walnut. Despite its brain size, this dinosaur is actually as intelligent as a dog. It is able to form defense formations and is also mildly strategic and capable of organizing simple plans.
Stegosaurus is a well-protected animal - its main weapon is the four lethal spikes on the end of its tail (thagomizer) which it can wield with incredible skill. The tail is highly flexible so that the animal can strike predators of any size and in any direction. In addition, the animal's throat is protected by small, bony scutes. The most distinguishable feature of this dinosaur is the double row of large pentagonal plates running down its back.
At one time, it was thought that these plates were used for defence, however InGen soon discovered that this was not the case. Stegosaurus plates are far too thin to offer good protection, and filled with blood vessels. Instead they are used for display; when the animal is alarmed or displaying to other Stegosaurus, blood flows through the vessels, creating a vibrant red/orange coloration in the plates. This is to warn/scare carnivores; while males use this ability to intimidate rival males and to attract females.
Stegosaurus are normally docile and calm animals, however they are fiercely protective of their young. Each herd member helps keep a look out for danger. The young are particularly vulnerable to attack from predators, but they can produce a very distinctive alarm call which causes an immediate defensive reaction from any adult Stegosaurus nearby. Stegosaurus' poor eyesight is made up for its excellent sense of smell.
Stegosaurus herds are nomadic and have no defined territory. They migrate from location to location, stripping one area of plants before moving on to the next.
For more information, see: Stegosaurus stenops “gigas” (S/F)