(Named after the location of its discovery).
Named By: Octávio Mateus, Susannah C.R. Maidment & Nicolai A. Christiansen - 2009.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Thereophora, Stegosauria, Stegosauridae, Dacentrurinae.
Species: M. longicollum (type).
Size: Estimated between 5.5 and 6 meters long.
Known locations: Portugal - Sobral Formation.
Time period: Kimmeridgian to Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial skull, mainly snout, and partial post cranial remains including cervical (neck) vertebrae, forelimbs, ribs, pelvic elements and neck plates. Further isolated remains have been attributed to the genus.
first glance you might be forgiven for thinking that Miragaia
kind of hybrid between a stegosaur
and a sauropod.
Well in actuality
Miragaia is a stegosaur, although the long neck
and long forelimbs
make it quite different from classic examples such as Stegosaurus
The most likely cause for this different body morph
is that Miragaia specialised to feed upon taller
vegetation, and a
longer neck would not just increase reach but could cover a larger area
without the need for Miragaia to physically move
The long neck was composed of at least seventeen vertebrae, some of which appear to be specially positioned dorsal vertebrae that were carried further forward. The vertebrae also seem to be more elongated than other stegosaurids. Because the front limbs were almost as high as the rear limbs, the overall posture of Miragaia would be more horizontally level to the ground. Most other stegosaurids had bodies that sloped down to the ground so that their heads were better situated for low browsing. The tail for Miragaia is still unknown but is usually reconstructed with a four spiked thagomizer like many other stegosaurids possess.
- A new long-necked ‘sauropod-mimic’ stegosaur and the evolution of the plated dinosaurs. Octavio Mateus, Susannah C. R. Maidment and Nicolai A. Christiansen - 2009.