Name meaning

"Roofed lizard"

Code name





4 meters (13 feet)


9 meters (30 feet)


4 tons (8,000 pounds)


Isla Nublar
Isla Sorna

Birth type


Novel canon appearances

Jurassic Park
The Lost World

Movie canon appearances

The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park III
Jurassic World

Game appearances

Jurassic Park
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park: Trespasser
Jurassic Park III: The DNA Factor
Warpath: Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
Jurassic Park III: Park Builder
Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender
Jurassic Park: Explorer
Jurassic Park Dinosaur Battles
Jurassic Park: Builder
Jurassic World: The Game
LEGO Jurassic World

Toy appearances

Jurassic Park Series 1
The Lost World Series 1

Trading card appearances

Inkworks Jurassic Park III Premium Trading Cards #63

Theme park appearances

Jurassic Park: River Adventure

Template Source

Stegosaurus is easily one of the best known dinosaurs and is recognized all over the world. It is the biggest and most famous member of the stegosaur family. It roamed the open plains of the Late Jurassic Period in what is now North America. The plates along its back, its small head and spiked tail make it a peculiar and unique dinosaur. This plant-eater evolved to find its food in the low-growing plants of the late Jurassic. The spikes on its tail would have made a powerful weapon against any hungry predators.

Stegosaurus is often called the dumbest dinosaur because of its incredibly small brain. In fact, most scientists believe that its brain was too small to control such a large creature and that it used an auxiliary "brain" located above it's rear legs to help control its movements. This was not actually a brain, but a bundle of nerves that helped relay information from its real brain. Its brain was once thought to have been the size of a walnut, but CAT-scans proved that it was actually the size of a kitten.

Most fascinating to people are the plates along its back. There has been a great deal of debate about their use and arrangement. The plates were up to 2-feet tall and 2-feet wide (.6 m). The most prevalent theory is that they were used for cooling or heating the animal. A more recent theory, however, suggests that they could have been used as a display during courtship and that they may have been brightly colored. It is also possible that they could move up and down, perhaps to intimidate predators.

The spikes on its tail are also the subjects of some controversy. For years, every model of Stegosaurus showed it with the spikes sticking up into the air. It is only since the 1990s that it has become accepted that these spikes stuck out horizontal to the ground, which would have been a potent defensive weapon when swung at a hunter.[1]

Stegosaurus would have lived in family groups and herds, moving slowly through forests while eating the low-growing plants. Its front legs were considerably shorter than it's hind legs, making it adapted to nibbling the plants closest to the ground. Stegosaurus is the namesake for a large family of dinosaurs whose members were found all over the world. The Stegosaurus (its code name "Stego") was a peaceful herbivore, and probably roamed the prehistoric highlands in herds that size from small to large numbers, grazing on low ground plants. An average Stegosaurus was about the size of an elephant, standing about 11 feet tall. It had a very low intelligence (it's brain was the size of a kitten). The bony plates on it's back may have served a dual purpose of a body temperature regulation and protection from large flesh-eating predators. Different species had different numbers of tail spikes. For example, Stegosaurus stenops had 4 spikes, Stegosaurus ungulatis had 8 spikes.[2]Different species also varied in the number of plates on their backs.

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Stegosaurus

Behind the scenesEdit

Tumblr lkqn34jURl1qhsdu1o1 1280

The Lost World: Jurassic Park Stegosaurus concept art.


Jurassic World Stegosaurus concept art. Note that the pose of the Stegosaurus in this conceptual art is identical to the one above.

In the film adaptation of Jurassic Park, the sick Stegosaurus is replaced by a sick Triceratops.

Steven with Steg

Steven Spielberg with the adult Stegosaurus animatronic made for The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Stegosaurus was added to the roster of dinosaurs that would appear in The Lost World: Jurassic Park early in its development cycle. The reason for the plated dinosaur being in the film was because director Steven Spielberg received "literally thousands" of letters, many of which came from children, inquiring why Stegosaurus was absent in the first film.[13] Conceptual artist for the dinosaurs for the first three films, Mark "Crash" McCreery, had previously expressed in the Jurassic Park Topps trading cards his regret that Stegosaurus was not among the dinosaurs that appeared in Jurassic Park.[14] As Colin Wilson recalled, "Steven made that his mission—to come up with a really good stegosaurus [sic] sequence."[13] Two animatronic Stegosaurus was created for the film. One was an adult, whose maquettes[15] and animatronic were created by a five-person team headed by Mark Maitre and Scott Stoddard with Al Sousa and Kirk Skodis being in charge of the mechanical armature of the animatronic.[16] The second animatronic was a juvenile that was assigned the name "Claire".[9] Claire's animatronic was sculpted and painted by Dave Grasso and mechanized by Bob Mano.[16]

Despite concept art and one of the maquettes of the adult Stegosaurus depicting it with its tail dragging like older restorations, the stegosaurs in The Lost World and following film Jurassic Park III lacked this trait, though 2015's Jurassic World would later feature a Stegosaurus that briefly tail dragged along with a Triceratops that did the same. Like with the Pachycephalosaurus that appeared in TLW with the Stegosaurs, the Stegosaurus went through many changes in terms of its coloration. Mark Maitre, was responsible for creating a total of six of these conceptual skin colorations.[15]

Both Stegosaur animatronics were transported to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in California for the filming of the Stegosaurus skirmish. The juvenile animatronic was the only practical stegosaur that was filmed as Steven Speilberg, Stan Winston, and stunt coordinator Gary Hymes agreed that stunts with the adult Stegosaur animatronic would be potentially dangerous—particularly because of its spiked tail—and filming with the adult was rescheduled for one of the stages of Universal Studios feeling these stunts would be safer inside a controlled environment.[17] Ultimately, almost all of the shots of the adult Stegosaurus were created in CGI with the animatronic only being used in close-up shots, such as the caged Stegosaur that Nick and Sarah approach when infiltrating the camp of the InGen Hunters.[18]

For Jurassic World, Industrial Light and Magic's Steve Jubinville created the maquette that would be used to create the computer generated model seen in the film.[19]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Stegosaur information at the Dinopedia section of the JPI site
  2. Inkworks Jurassic Park III Premium Trading Cards #63.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jurassic Park III
  5. In the book The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, John Rosengrant describes the length of the Stegosaurus animatronic used in the film as being "almost twenty-six feet in length."
  6. Jurassic Park III Size Chart
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jurassic Park
  8. Stegosaurus does not appear in any version of the Jurassic Park brochure, nor in the InGen Field Journal, InGen Field Guide and Tour the Island website.
  9. 9.0 9.1 In the DVD The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Julianne Moore says that "Claire" is the name assigned to the animatronic of the juvenile Stegosaurus.
  10. The book The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park identifies the Stegosaurus that chases Sarah as being male.
  11. Jurassic Park (novel), page 156
  12. Jurassic Park (novel), page 206
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, p.15
  14. Jurassic Park Topps trading cards #84
  15. 15.0 15.1 - The Lost World Jurassic Park
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, p.48
  17. The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, pp. 90-92
  18. Return to Jurassic Park: Finding "The Lost World"
  19. - Jurassic World 2015.

Navigation Edit

The Lost World: Jurassic Park Dinosaurs
CompsognathusEdmontosaurusGallimimusMamenchisaurusPachycephalosaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonStegosaurusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
Jurassic Park III Dinosaurs
AnkylosaurusBrachiosaurusCeratosaurusCompsognathusCorythosaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonSpinosaurusStegosaurusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
Jurassic World Dinosaurs
AnkylosaurusApatosaurusDimorphodonGallimimusIndominus rexMosasaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonStegosaurusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor