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Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus is a genus of herbivorous dinosaurs that lived around 150 million years ago. Its name is derived from the Latin word ‘Kentron,’ meaning sharp point or prickle. It lived on soft grounds like the banks of rivers or lakes.

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Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Clade Dinosauria
Order Ornithischia
Suborder Stegosauria
Family Stegosauridae
Genus Kentrosaurus
Species Aethiopicus

Quick Facts

Pronounced KEN-TROH-SORE-US
Geological Period Jurassic Period
Size 5 m
Weight About 1.1 tons
Location/Distribution Tanzania, Africa
Birth Type (Reproduction) Eggs
Locomotion Quadrupedal

History and Discovery

Werner Janensch, the leader of German Expedition of Tendaguru Beds, a fossil-rich formation in Tanzania, first discovered and recognized the fossils of Kentrosaurus in 1909.

In 1915, German paleontologist Edwin Hennig described and named the species Aethiopicus to mark its relation with Africa. More than 1200 bones were found, which belonged to around fifty dinosaurs. A significant portion of which was destroyed during the Second World War and the remaining portion is kept in the Museum Fur Naturkunde, Berlin.

The museum of the Eberhard-Karls-University Tubingen also possesses a composite mount, of which half are the original ones. Charles Gilmore found some fossil materials at Wyoming and named them Stegosaurus longispinus in 1914. However, in 1993, they were classified as the North American species Kentrosaurus longispinus.

Physical Description

Kentrosaurus had a typical stegosaurian body, featuring a small head, a long neck, short front legs and long rear legs along with a long and healthy tail. Hennig’s first monograph describes only a single tooth, while later studies found a tooth-bearing bone with just an emerging tooth.

Their body posture was like that of bipedal dinosaurs because of their long tail and distribution of mass in front of their hip. Their thigh bones were straight, defining the vertical limb position.

They had spikes on back and tail along with small bony plates on head and anterior trunk. The spikes, not attached to the bones, were used for protection against predators.

Diet

Kentrosaurus ate low-lying plants because of its small structure, and the fodder was swallowed in large chunks, without much of chewing. It used to consume a substantial amount of low-calorie plant foliage and fruits from non-flowering plants to sustain.

Behavior

Just like Stegosaurus, Kentrosaurus might have led a social life and lived in herds.

Interesting facts

  • The small plates were believed to help Kentrosaurus to adjust with the weather. During cold weather, the plates absorbed heat from the sun, whereas, during hot climate, it contributed to radiate out the heat, keeping the body cool.
  • It had a long and narrow skull with a minuscule brain, like the size of a walnut, which indicates low intelligence.
  • Kentrosaurus had an olfactory bulb that means it had a well-developed sense of smelling.

Published on February 21st 2017 by under Dinosaurs.
Article was last reviewed on 21st February 2017.

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