Could stegosaurs swim?

You might think, as many might have, that by virtue of the characteristic rows of heavy plates along their back and the spiny terminations of their tail, stegosaurs (and other armoured osteoderms) probably would have encountered considerable problems if they attempted to swim. Or did they? A new paper in PYGS : Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, v. 60, no. 3, pp. 227-233, May 2015, authored by Dr. Mike Romano and the late Dr. Martin Whyte, of the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield, UK throws a new light on the question.stego_swim

Their hypothesis is based around recently discovered geological evidence found at the Middle Jurassic (Ravenscar Group) of the Cleveland Basin of Yorkshire, UK – in the form of footprints. The authors suggest that a swimming stegosaur could well have dragged or paddled its feet through muddy river sediment as it swam – leaving impressions for us to contemplate some 150 million years later. They provide substantial evidence, with photos and artist’s illustrations, in : ‘Could stegosaurs swim? Suggestive evidence from the Middle Jurassic tracksite of the Cleveland Basin, Yorkshire, UK’

Also see: What is your favorite dinosaur, and why?