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Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus aethiopicus
Meet the Kentrosaurus, a member of the Stegosaurus family whose fossils have been found exclusively in the African country of Tanzania.

Kentrosaurus lived during the Late Jurassic, between 155 and 150 million years ago. They were smaller members of the Stegosauridae family, and only measured around 15ft from head to tail. Kentrosaurus had hind legs that were longer than their front legs, which means they fed primarily on low lying vegetation. These Dinosaurs were herbivores, possibly traveled in herds, and were most likely not very intelligent (very small brain size compared to body size).

This Dinosaur had a double row of bony plates that ran from the head to the mid back. No one is especially sure what the plates were used for-- temperature control and for mating displays are two theories. Where the plates end, a double row of long spikes begins. There were most likely used for defensive purposes. The name "Kentrosaurus" is actually inspired by those spikes-- Kentron is Greek for "point" or "prickle."

I can't talk about Kentrosaurus without mentioning some of the history surrounding their discovery. The first fossils were uncovered by a German team in 1909, and over the following years around 1,200 bones were dug up and sent back to Germany. Unfortunately, many of these bones (around 70%!) were destroyed during World War II. All of the remaining material is located in Berlin and Tubingen, so if you are interested in checking out some Kentrosaurus fossils, you know where to go!

Status : Extinct since the Late Jurassic, around 150 million years
Location : Found in Tanzania
Size : Length around 15ft (4.5m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : †Ornithischia
Family : †Stegosauridae -- Genus : †Kentrosaurus -- Species : †K. aethiopicus

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