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The Covered Lizard
The Stegosaurus Skeleton is a moderately difficult Metal Earth model that comes on two sheets of metal. Assembled, it measures 5.5"x1"x3". The double row of plates on its back distinguishes this 150 million-year-old beast.
Each Metal Earth model is laser etched in meticulous detail on one, two, or three 11 cm (4.33") metal sheets. Pop out the pieces by hand (or use wire cutters to get especially crisp lines), bend the tabs using needle-nose pliers, and fit them together as shown in the simple pictorial instructions. Metal Earth models are a little less challenging than our 3D wooden puzzles, but you do need some patience and dexterity because they're also much smaller. For maximum dramatic effect, display your model on the LED Display Base or the Solar Spinner (sold separately, see below).
Please note that Metal Earth models have sharp edges and are not suitable for small children. Metal Earth was formerly called MetalWorks.
Are you curious...?
Stegosaurus is immediately recognizable from the plates on its back and its spiked tail. In fact, the name means "roof lizard" or "covered lizard." The spikes were pretty obviously for defense, but the function of the plates is less certain; current thinking says that they were primarily for display and secondarily for temperature regulation, like big radiators. The idea that they were defensive went out of favor because they only protected the animal's spine, leaving its sides vulnerable. They certainly made stegosaurus look taller, possibly intimidating predators and attracting mates, although since both males and females had plates, they probably weren't used specifically for mating displays. Paleontologists have found more than 80 individual animals, so stegosaurus is well known to science, but because the earliest finds were fragmentary, it took some time to come into focus.
Stegosaurus was an herbivore, but unlike most plant eaters, its teeth were not designed for grinding, and no evidence of gastroliths (gizzard stones) has ever been found...so we aren't sure what stegosaurus actually ate. Based on its environment, mosses, ferns, and conifers were probably on the menu. Its bite was comparable to a cow so it might have also eaten woody plants (grass hadn't evolved yet). Stegosaurs shared their environment (probably peacefully) with Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Brachiosaurus; they would have feared Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus.