|1st Species||Kentrosaurus aethiopicus|
|Time Range||155-150 mya|
|Name Meaning||Spiked reptile|
|Physical Dimensions||4.5 meters long|
Kentrosaurus is a stegosaurid stegosaurian thyreophoran dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of Tanzania. It was named in 1915 by Edwin Hennig. It is one of the most studied stegosaurs (right behind Stegosaurus itself), as well as one of the smallest.
Tuojiangosaurus resembled its close relative, Stegosaurus; it was a round-bodied, robust thyreophoran with 4 erect legs, a relatively long neck, a large thagomizer on its tail, a row of keratinous plates running down its back, and a small head with a beaked mouth. However, it had a few major differences; the plates on its back were shaped like large spikes (as opposed to the diamond-shaped plates boasted by Stegosaurus) and were limited to its upper body (with spikes running down the rest of its body), and it had large spikes on its shoulders as well. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin, with a large clump of osteoderms covering its throat, and a few crocodile-like scutes running down its hips.
Kentrosaurus was an herbivore, feeding on soft vegetation. Its small, flat teeth were used to shred leaves, as well as to chew on soft food.
Kentrosaurus was a low-level browser, plucking soft vegetation on the ground and swallowing it up; however, it might have been also capable of rearing up in order to reach higher vegetation. Due to many small bonebeds containing many individuals, we can assume that the stegosaurians moved in groups. Kentrosaurus' tail was highly mobile, and was able to swing in a 180 degree arc (covering the distance behind its lower body); combined with the many massive spikes on its tail, this would have allowed it to cause great harm to attacking theropods. With its presumed social behavior, Kentrosaurus may have formed a wall in order to fend off predators.
In popular cultureEdit
Kentrosaurus was first introduced to the public in the 2002 business simulation video game, Zoo Tycoon, where it is shown as a species that prefers to live in coniferous forests. Since then, it has managed to gather a little bit of popularity; however, it is still nowhere near as popular as its American cousin, Stegosaurus.