Vegetarian dino 'Stegosaurus' used sharp tail as deadly weapon

Vegetarian dino 'Stegosaurus' used sharp tail as deadly weapon

 

Washington: A new research has revealed that Stegosaurus dinosaurs, who were mostly portrayed as plant eaters, were also lethal fighters and used their spiky tails to fight against their enemies.

Paleontologists have uncovered new evidence of a casualty of stegosaurian combat. The evidence was a fatal stab wound in the pubis bone of a predatory allosaur. The wound, in the conical shape of a stegosaur tail spike, would have required great dexterity to inflict and shows clear signs of having cut short the allosaur's life.

Robert Bakker, Houston Museum of Natural Science paleontologist, said that a massive infection ate away a baseball-sized sector of the bone.

Similar wounds are seen in rodeo cowboys or horses when they are gored by longhorns and since large herbivores, like longhorn cattle, rhinos and buffalo today defend themselves with horns; it's reasonable to assume spiky herbivorous dinos did the same, he further added.

A big difference was that stegosaurs wielded their weapon on their tails rather than their heads. Skeletal evidence from fossil stegosaurs suggests their tails were more dextrous than most dinosaur tails.

The researcher mentioned that in order to deliver the mortal wound to the allosaur, a stegosaur would have had to sweep its tail under the allosaur and twist the tail tip, because normally the spikes point outward and backward. That would have been well within the ability of a stegosaur.