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any quadrupedal herbivorous ornithischian dinosaur of the suborder Stegosauria, esp any of the genus Stegosaurus, of Jurassic and early Cretaceous times, having an armour of bony plates
Word Origin
C19: from Greek stegos roof + -saur
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for stegosaurus
type of dinosaur, 1892, from Mod.L. order name Stegosauria (O.C.Marsh, 1877), from comb. form of Gk. stegos "roof" (from stege "covering," stegein "to cover," from PIE base *(s)teg- "cover," especially "cover with a roof" (cf. Skt. sthag- "cover, conceal, hide;" L. tegere "to cover;" Lith. stegti "roof;" O.N. þekja, O.E. þeccan "thatch;" Du. dekken, Ger. decken "to cover, put under roof;" Ir. tuigiur "cover," tech "house;" Welsh toi "thatch, roof," ty "house") + sauros "lizard." The back-armor plates in the fossilized remains look like roof tiles.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for stegosaurus


one of the various plated dinosaurs (Stegosauria) of the Late Jurassic Period (159 million to 144 million years ago) recognizable by its spiked tail and series of large triangular bony plates along the back. Stegosaurus usually grew to a length of about 6.5 metres (21 feet), but some reached 9 metres (30 feet). The skull and brain were very small for such a large animal. The forelimbs were much shorter than the hind limbs, which gave the back a characteristically arched appearance. The feet were short and broad.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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