Stegosaurs had need of such a war club because they faced predators nearly as large as elephants. (realistic dinosaur costume)Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus, the two most common Late Jurassic flesh-eaters, both grew to lengths of thirty feet and more and would have weighed between one and two tons. Even larger was Epanterias (possibly a very large species of Allosaurus), a forty-five-foot predator that must have reached four tons, six times heavier than a large lion.
If such huge flesh-eaters attacked in groups (a tactic widely believed possible), only the most heavily armed plant-eaters could have survived. Imagine the potential of the stegosaur’s tail spikes in such a confrontation. (animatronic dinosaur factory)If the three to four-foot-long spikes were driven full force into the chest or belly of even the largest predator, the result would have been devastating. Not even Epanterias would have survived a direct hit.
But to fight well, Stegosaurus would have had to maneuver quickly, pivoting about to keep its tail club facing the attacker. (dinosaur manufacturers)Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus were long-legged and nimble-footed, and could have danced around the stegosaur in order to lunge in for bites at the vulnerable neck or shoulders. How could evolution equip the stegosaur with the necessary maneuverability to employ its tail club to best advantage? (life like dinosaur)The solution was found in its unique body proportions and its short but thickly muscled forelegs. Stegosaurs appear ungainly at first sight—their hind leg was much longer than the fore, the hips much taller than the shoulder. The combination of a heavy rump and tail with short forelimbs placed the point of balance of the stegosaur’s body just forward of the hips, so that the beast could easily have pivoted around by pushing sideways with its forepaw.