STL Science Center

STL Science Center

10 April 2013

Gigantic Spikes and Not Fully Grown

©Vladimir Nikolov
The skeleton of Gigantspinosaurus with those wonderfully large spikes is not even thought to be an adult skeleton. Imagine if these spikes were still growing when this individual died. Hopefully they did not grow too much larger, due to the stresses of carrying even larger spikes, and, if they were to stop growing in this sub-adult then they would appear somewhat smaller in comparison to the adult skeleton. If that turns out to be the case, as it could with future discoveries, then the name may almost be a misnomer because the shoulder spikes will not be as enormous or gigantic. Other issues arise with the idea that this is a sub-adult skeleton rather than a full grown adult skeleton. Some of these issues could be, of course, different bone sizes, muscle attachments and sizes, differences in dorsal plates, and even the "thagomizer" could be radically different; though I doubt that the "thagomizer" would be different. The skull is also mostly absent from this skeleton, meaning that the head is based on the basic stegosaur model rather than skeletal material. It is thought, though, that head was rather enormous as well; the lower jaw remains that were found seated about 30 teeth in each side.

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