STL Science Center

STL Science Center

16 May 2015

Comparisons of Then and Now

The interpretations of Stegosaurus over the years have changed, as they have with all kinds of dinosaurs. Originally, the iconic stegosaurs of yesteryears were small headed tail dragging plate bearing arches with stubby little legs. As with many other dinosaurs the original interpretations were also swamping dwelling monsters with little intelligence and slow ponderous gait. The reality of dinosaurs, we know now, was rather different, and Stegosaurus was more than likely no different. Since the older interpretations fell out of favor the limbs have become more erected and the tail, hips, and back have changed their orientations sufficiently to change the entire look of the dinosaur dramatically. No longer do stegosaurs appear to be shuffling lizards of the swamps, but a believably active and high energy herbivore has come to exist in the minds of dinosaur enthusiasts and casual dinosaur recognizers alike. Most people may not draw the connection between stegosaurs of then and now, but they can tell you, without any knowledge of Stegosaurus that the newer illustrations look far more dynamic and energetic. They certainly look as though they would be able to swing that tail with much more vigor and probably chase down an intruder or conspecific territory encroacher, assuming they were ever territorial.

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