STL Science Center

STL Science Center

05 March 2016

Day Later

My laptop is acting ludicrous, so I missed Saturday's post because I did not sit down at the computer until after 6, which is when the computer decided to stop working correctly. I have it limping along at the moment and can use it until the one I ordered this morning is shipped.

(C) Bob Nicholls
Today is dedicated to both Saturday and Sunday (these will be split on the external blogger page to be "published" on their respective days. Saturday sees wonderful paleoart that has not been posted from Bob Nicholls. Stegosaurus was one of the heavily armored dinosaurs that most likely used their spikes and plates for defensive/offensive reasons much more than for signalling or sexually dimorphic reasons. There are certainly potential signalling and dimorphism connotations for both the plates on a stegosaur and the tail spikes. However, there has been wound evidence attributed to the tail spikes and their use as a weapon is fairly likely given the evidence of musculature in the tail and hip and posture of the dinosaur overall. These appear to indicate an animal capable of generating a great deal of momentum and force with its tail end. The plates may have also had more physiological attributes and applications. Hypotheses of this nature have been considered many different times since the discovery of Stegosaurus and the debate about them is silently pulsing even now. It is a debate that really has not gone away over the years. The Brynn Metheney artwork featured a Stegosaurus with solar panels attached to its plates, which at least one side of the debate considers a perfectly logical use of the plates. In that scenario the plates could be used for heating or cooling the animal.

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