Stegosaurus is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs, owing to its extravagant display of armored plates rising along the length of its back, and tall spikes near the end of its tail. Stegosaurus has been depicted in Hollywood movies, cartoons, comics, as children's toys, and has even been declared the State Dinosaur of Colorado. Despite its popularity, Stegosaurus is a relatively rare type of dinosaur with only a handful of skeletons housed in museum collections. Thus, every skeleton, no matter how incomplete, is significant in our understanding of the paleontology behind this amazing dinosaur.
In the summer of 2007, several complete and well preserved Stegosaurus plates and ribs were unearthed very close to the remains of the Allosaurus Dracula.
This discovery is most exciting in that it probably represents another complete skeleton in our quarry belonging to an adult Stegosaurus. In addition to the plates, the skull, lower jaws and associated cervical vertebrae were found together with a group of ribs all belong to this Stegosaur. The skull is complete with an intact braincase displaying no distortion. Only one braincase of the four previously known specimens (CM 106, USNM 4934 & 4946, YPM 1853) is as well preserved as the Dana Quarry example. According to Canadian authorities, our specimen compares best with Stegosaurus stenops in the distance between the supratemporal fenestra (at parietal) and in the configuration and placement of the supratemporal fenestra. Also the frontal parietal is not sloped, and the foraman magnum is much smaller then the occipital condyle as seen in S. stenops. However, a complete comparison including Hesperosaurus must wait final cleaning of the Dana Quarry specimen.
Our Stegosaurus specimen has been nicknamed “Fantasia” because of the close association to the Allosaurus, recalling the battle scene in Disney’s movie Fantasia. Our ‘Fantasia’ bears the novelty of being the only Stegosaurus fossil found in direct association with an Allosaurus as in this classic animation film.