Kentrosaurus

Name: Kentrosaurus‭ (‬Spike lizard‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ken-tro-saw-rus.
Named By: Edwin Hennig‭ ‬– 1915.
Synonyms: Kentrurosaurus,‭ ‬Doryphorosaurus.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Ornithischia,‭ ‬Thyreophora,‭ ‬Stegosauria,‭ ‬Stegosauridae.
Species: K.‭ ‬aethiopicus.
Type: Herbivore/low browser.
Size: Commonly 4.5 meters, isolated remains indicate larger individuals potentially up to‭ ‬5.5‭ ‬meters.
Known locations: Africa,‭ ‬Tanzania,‭ ‬Tendaguru formation.
Time period: Kimmeridgian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Many individual bones.‭ ‬When first discovered at the Tendaguru beds,‭ ‬the remains of upto‭ ‬70‭ ‬individuals were found together.‭ ‬From these,‭ ‬two composite skeletons were assembled.

       After Stegosaurus itself,‭ ‬Kentrosaurus is easily the best known of the stegosaurs.‭ Many herbivores were known to have herded,‭ ‬and support for this in Kentrosaurus comes from the massive collection of bones from the‭ ‬Tendaguru beds.‭ ‬Like other Stegosaurs,‭ ‬Kentrosaurus was considered to be a low browser,‭ ‬although it‭’‬s considered possible for Kentrosaurus to rear up on its hind legs.
       The weight distribution of Kentrosaurus is interesting as the centre of mass is placed just forward of the hip,‭ ‬unusual in a quadrupedal animal.‭ ‬This means that very little of the body weight was supported by the front legs,‭ ‬and suggests that Kentrosaurus had‭ ‬a very tight turning circle.‭
       Defensive wise,‭ ‬the plates on the body of Kentrosaurus would not have offered a lot of protection.‭ ‬Even the plates on Stegosaurus were not able to provide sufficient protection from large predators,‭ ‬and those on Kentrosaurus were even smaller.‭ ‬They probably were left more as a display mechanism for attracting mates.‭ ‬However the spikes on the tail were a different matter.‭ ‬The tail had a large number of vertebrae,‭ ‬at least‭ ‬forty,‭ ‬and would have been extremely flexible.‭ ‬Coupled with Kentrosaurus’s ability to pivot round on its hind legs,‭ ‬it would have easily been able to keep its spikes pointed towards an attacking predator.‭ ‬Because the spikes ran the entire length of the tail,‭ ‬it would have been virtually unassailable from behind.‭ ‬Assuming‭ ‬that‭ ‬Kentrosaurus was a herding animal,‭ ‬this defence may have even been combined with others to produce a wall of swaying spikes making only isolated individuals potentially vulnerable.
       Kentrosaurus once almost lost its name because of the ceratopsian dinosaur Centrosaurus.‭ ‬This gave rise to the alternate names of Kentrurosaurus and Doryphorosaurus.‭ ‬However not only are Kentrosaurus and Centrosaurus spelled diferently they are pronounced differently,‭ ‬Kentrosaurus with a‭ ‘‬kicking K‭’‬,‭ ‬and Centrosaurus with a soft C pronounced more like an S.‭ ‬This is why renaming was never really required and Kentrurosaurus and Doryphorosaurus are considered synonyms.


Stegosaurus, Miragaia, Tuojiangosaurus, Dacentrurus.

Further reading
- Kentrosaurus aethiopicus, der Stegosauride des Tendaguru." ("Kentrosaurus aethiopicus, the stegosaur of Tendaguru") - E. Henning - 1925.
- Ein aufgestelltes Skelett des Stegosauriers Kentrurosaurus aethiopicus HENNIG 1915 aus den Tendaguru-Schichten Deutsch-Ostafrikas." ("A mounted skeleton of the Stegosaur Kentrurosaurus aethiopicus HENNIG 1915 from the Tendaguru layers of German East Africa.") - W. Janensch - 1925.
- Kentrurosaurus aethiopicus. Die Stegosaurier-Funde vom Tendaguru, Deutsch-Ostafrika." ("Kentrurosaurus aethiopicus. The Stegosaur find from Tendaguru, German East-Africa") - E. Henning - 1925.
- The postcranial anatomy of stegosaurian dinosaur Kentrosaurus from the Upper Jurassic of Tanzania, East Africa - P. M. Galton - 1982.
- Skull bones and endocranial casts of stegosaurian dinosaur Kentrosaurus HENNIG, 1915 from Upper Jurassic of Tanzania, East Africa - P. M. Galton - 1988.
- CAD assessment of the posture and range of motion of Kentrosaurus aethiopicus HENNIG 1915 - H. Mallison - 2010.
- The real lectotype of Kentrosaurus aethiopicus HENNIG 1915 - H. Mallison - 2011.



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