All About Siegfried
Since the Stegosaurus became extinct millions of years ago, ours is not live. He’s a statue. Siegfried was commissioned in 1963 and built at the Louis Paul Jonas Studios in Hudson, New York. The Jonas Studio has produced life-size fiberglass dinosaurs for more than 50 museums and parks and also created nine famous dinosaur sculptures for the New York World’s Fair.
“Siggy” was the centerpiece at The Great Excavation of 1964, a fund-raising drive for the EcoTarium (then the Worcester Science Center). He has had some adventures off the property since his arrival in 1964. In 1997, Siegfried lived at the Bruce Museum in Connecticut on loan for three years. He made quite a few friends before returning home to Worcester. He’s also starred in two storybooks where he’s made the rounds in Worcester, traveling to Mechanics Hall, Worcester Art Museum, and other local hot spots, and being treated by the physicians at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
A Stegosaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the later Jurassic Period (about 140-156 million years ago). It was named in 1877 for the 17 bony plates along its back and tail – Stegosaurus means ‘armored’ or ‘plated roof lizard’. They had long spikes at the end of their flexible tails that could be used as a weapon. These dinosaurs grew up to 30 feet long and weighed as much as 6,800 pounds! While a Stegosaurus could grow to the size of a school bus, its brain remained the size of a walnut.
Stegosaurus fossils have been found in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Since we only have bones to understand how these dinosaurs looked, sometimes mistakes are made in putting them together. At first, scientists thought the plates were flat along the back like scaly armor or sticking out to the side. Then they realized they are upright and form two rows on the back. Scientists today are still debating the purpose served by these plates.