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Growth and Function of Stegosaurus Plates: Evidence from Bone Histology

V. de Buffrenil, J. O. Farlow and A. de Ricqles
Paleobiology
Vol. 12, No. 4 (Autumn, 1986), pp. 459-473
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2400518
Page Count: 15
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Growth and Function of Stegosaurus Plates: Evidence from Bone Histology
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Abstract

Histological examination of Stegosaurus dorsal bony plates shows a thin wall of incompletely remodeled bone surrounding a large cancellous region containing some large "pipes" delineated by thin bony walls. Growth proceeded mainly from the basal region of the plates. Histological observations provide a test against which several functional interpretations of the plates are checked. While some interpretations (e.g., plates as armor) are clearly falsified, others (linked to thermoregulatory functions) seem to be more robust, although by no means can they be viewed as clearly vindicated on the basis of the evidence presently available.

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