Length: up to 6m
Diet: Herbivore (plant-eater)
Period: Upper Cretaceous
Time Span: 150 Million Years Ago
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Miragaia (meer-UH-guy-UH) was a stegosaur that lived in Late Jurassic Portugal about 150 million years ago. It was discovered in 2009 by a paleontologist named Octávio Mateus. Miragaia also has one of the shortest names for dinosaurs. Miragaia stands for "Beautiful Earth Goddess" and to the village where it was first found and longicollum is in reference to its very long neck.
Miragaia was herbivorous, like all stegosaurs. It's closely related to the more famous Dacentrurus. Together, they form the clade Dacentrurinae.
It had several plates that went down along its back, possibly for thermal regulating or attracting mates and scaring off rivals or predators. It had long spikes that came out of each shoulder, possibly for display. It also had several spikes on its tail (thagomizers) that it could use to hit predators with or scare them off. It was a quadruped, and walked around on four stout, slow-moving legs, but Miragaia was so well defended it didn't need to run fast. One feature that sets Miragaia apart from other stegosaurs is its extended neck with 17 vertebrae in it. It grew to be about 20 ft (6 m) long from nose to tail, with the extended neck making up a lot of it.
Suitable for ages: 3 plus
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