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Lexovisaurus ("speech lizard") was one of the first dinosaurs from mid-to-Late Jurassic Europe, 165 mya to be discovered. It was a stegosaur. Its fossils (pieces of armor and limb bones) have been found in France and northern England.


Lexovisaurus fighting off an allosaur

The French specimens show that Lexovisaurus was probably rather like Stegosaurus. Traditionally, this dinosaur was depicted as having either large spines over the hips or shoulders, with a selection of flat plates and round pointed spines that ran along the back and tail. Lexovisaurus was probably about 5 meters long. The type specimen, Lexovisaurus durobrivensis, was formalized by Hoffstetter in 1957. The specimen was originally placed in Omosaurus (now Dacentrurus) 70 years earlier. Recent work by Susannah Maidment and colleagues indicates that Lexovisaurus is based on undiagnostic remains, so these workers coined Loricatosaurus to hold other remains that had been assigned to Lexovisaurus.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Sauropsida

Superorder: Dinosauria

Order: Ornithischia

Suborder: Thyreophora

Infraorder: Stegosauria

Family: Stegosauridae

Genus: Lexovisaurus Hoffstetter (1957)

Species: Lexovisaurus durobrivensis

Article by Brian Tinnon 3/8/2012

In popular culture

  • Lexovisaurus appeared in the documentary series PBS The Dinosaurs! in episode The Nature of the Beast.
  • Lexovisaurus appeared on Thomas and Friends series.
  • Lexovisaurus appeared on Dinosaur King.