1997 32¢ Stegosaurus
Issue Date: May 1, 1997
City: Grand Junction, CO
Printed By: Sterling Sommers for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 11 x 11.1
The World of Dinosaurs sheet depicts two scenes - one from Colorado during the Jurassic period (about 150 million years ago) and one from Montana during the Cretaceous period (approximately 75 million years ago.)
When first found, scientists named this creature Stegosaurus (STEG-uh-sawr-us), or “Roof Lizard,” because they thought his plates were protective armor that laid flat on his back, much like the shingles on a roof. Since then, scientists have determined that the plates ran vertically down the length of the spine.
Arranged alternately in a single row, the plates were thin and were also grooved and honeycombed with spaces. These facts have led to the theory that, rather than merely a form of defense, the plates actually functioned like solar panels, regulating the animal’s body temperature.
A mid-sized, Late Jurassic animal, Stegosaurus grew to be 30 feet long and weighed about two tons. At the hips he stood as tall as 12 feet high, due to the fact that his back legs were nearly twice as long as his front legs. Oddly shaped, he lumbered along with his nose almost touching the ground and his backside nearly eight feet in the air.
A peaceful herbivore, his main defense was his tail, which sported two pairs of foot-long spikes. And thanks to a special nerve center in his tailbone he was able to whip this around most effectively. For in his dangerous world, Stegosaurus could not wait for the nerve signals to travel 20 feet to his brain and back again to his tail.