Stegoceras was a herbivore (plant-eating) dinosaur that
lived in North America
during the late Cretaceous period,
about 83 and 65 million years ago.
It was one of the dinosaurs that died out in the Cretaceous-Tertiary
65 million years ago.
Stegoceras was about 6½ feet (2 meters) long, and stood about
3½ feet (1.1 meters) tall. It weighed somewhere in the region
of 100 to 150 pounds (45 to 70 kilograms).
(like its much larger cousin,
was equipped with bony dome on its skull,.
In the case of Stegoceras, this dome which was about 3 inches (8 centimeters)
many scientists once thought that Stegoceras would have used the dome
on its head may have been used inbutting contests for mates (in a way similar to the behavior
modern big-horned sheep), or to defend against predators.
In recent years, however doubt has been cast on this theory, in particular because it was not
anatomically possible for the animal to align its head, neck, and body in a line, which
would have been necessary to transmit force. An alternative theory that has been suggested,
is that perhaps Stegoceras engaged in flank-butting contests - however, further research in
this area is needed.
One interesting aside is that when Stegoceras was first discovered,
only a few fragmentary fossils
were found, and from these, for a number of years, it was thought that
Stegoceras was the same animal as
However, after further
discovered, it was clear that Stegoceras was in fact a different animal entirely.
Stegoceras was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived from 83 to 65 million years ago
Related Information & Resources
Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Stegoceras:
- Stegoceras was a genus of dinosaur.
- "Stegoceras" means "horned roof". This name was chosen by Lawrence Lambe in 1902.
- Stegoceras was a member of the Ornithischia ("bird-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Stegoceras was not closely related to birds, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.
- Stegoceras was a Pachycephalosaur - a member of a group of related herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaurs with bony domes on their heads.
- Stegoceras lived between about 83 million years ago and 65 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.
- Stegoceras was one of the dinosaurs which died out during the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction at the end of the Mesozoic Era.
- Stegoceras lived in North America.
- Stegoceras was a herbivore (plant-eater).
- Stegoceras was about 6½ feet (2 meters) long, and about 2½ feet (80 centimeters) tall.
- Stegoceras weighed between about 66 pounds (30 kilograms).
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