This dinosaur measured around 24 feet in length. It had paired triangular plates down its spine, and four pairs of spikes on the end of its tail. This configuration closely resembles that of its relative, the African Kentrosaurus. Many books claim that Dacentrurus was a small stegosaur, when in fact finds such as a 4.9-foot long pelvis suggest that Dacentrurus was among the largest of them. Although Dacentrurus is considered to have the same proportions as a Stegosaurus, Dacentrurus' plate and spike configuration is known to be rather different, as Dacentrurus has both two rows of small plates and two rows of longer spines along its back. Its closet relative within Stegosauria is the recently described Miragaia, and the two are united in the subfamily Dacentrurinae.
Discovery and SpeciesEdit
When it was first described in 1875 by Richard Owen as Omosaurus armatus, it was the first stegosaur ever discovered, although the genus name had to be changed to Omosaurus was preoccupied.
Other proposed species of Dacentrurus include D.durobrivensis (included with Lexovisaurus durobrivensis), D.phillipsi (sometimes mistakenly included with Priodontognathus phillipsi, due to having the same species name and a confused history), and D.vetustus (included with Lexovisaurus vetustus).
Fossil evidence has been found in Wiltshire and Dorset (including a vertebra ascribed to D.armatus in Weymouth) in southern England, France, and Spain and five more historically recent specimens from Portugal.