10 March 2016
Popularity and the Plated Dinosaur
Stegosaurus is popular because it was one of the first widely known North American dinosaurs with highly complete skeletons. Having very interesting anatomy always helps dinosaurs to become very well known also. Stegosaurus has appeared in many of the avenues of popular culture that we think of when we are trying to find out how popular dinosaurs are (this may just be myself as I write about the popularity of a given dinosaur every week). There are kids books and television shows and there are documentaries and movies. Stegosaurus has appeared in video games and even as wine bottle holders. The fact that we see Stegosaurus, as a genus, everywhere is tied directly to its prominence as one of the big recognizable symbols of dinosaur life. That set of dinosaurs includes the dinosaurs that I once got on a birthday cake: Stegosaurus, Triceratops, a sauropod often labeled Brontosaurus (even now), and Tyrannosaurus.