Averaging around 30 feet long and 14 feet tall, the quadrupedal stegosaurus is one of the most easily identifiable dinosaurs, due to the distinctive double row of kite-shaped plates rising vertically along its arched back and the two pairs of long spikes extending horizontally near the end of its tail. Although a large animal, it is dwarfed by its contemporaries the giant sauropods.

The hind feet each have three short toes, while each forefoot had five toes; only the inner two toes had a blunt hoof. All four limbs are supported by pads behind the toes. The forelimbs are much shorter than the stocky hind limbs, which result in an unusual posture. The tail is held been held well clear of the ground, while the head of stegosaurus is positioned relatively low down, usually no higher than 3.3 feet above the ground.

The long and narrow skull is small in proportion to the body. The skull’s low position is to allow the stegosaurus to browse on low-growing vegetation. There is an absence of front teeth which is replaced by a horny beak or rhamphotheca. Stegosaurian teeth are small and triangular.



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