Stegosaurus Fact #2 - Answer

Phew! If I published in a book that my favourite dinosaur also has a butt-brain, I’d be the laughingstock of the dino-expert community.

It might sound like I made this one up. But that would also be a stinky poop, as in the early days of paleontology, this was the leading theory. As mentioned in the previous fact, the stegosaurus was heavy and huge. So, naturally, the dino-experts were very confused by how small its skull was, especially the part that holds the brain. In studying the rest of the skeleton, they discovered a weird empty space that was bigger than its brain cavity at the base of its spine. And because they were convinced the animal needed more brainpower, they assumed it housed a second brain.

Let’s make one thing clear. Having a teeny tiny brain wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Mr Spikey Hotdog Brain didn’t need to learn astrophysics or decode algebraic equations in its head. The Stegosaurus didn’t need a bigger brain to survive day-to-day life, so it never bothered to evolve that way.

No-one challenged the bottom-brain theory for a long time. It eventually got thrown out because no other animal with a spine has a secondary brain. They are yet to figure out what it was for, so the bottom line is (pun-intended), it remains a mystery. Plus, it’s probably the silliest theory in the history of paleontology.

And before you ask—yes, the fact this dinosaur has a mysterious bottom only strengthens my love for the mohawked beast.

The Truth or Poop Book Series