More than 100 million years ago she lumbered around an ancient subtropical forest in Wyoming. Today Sophie the stegosaurus has a new home: London’s Natural History Museum, where her stunning presence dominates the Earth Hall.
With 85 per cent of her skeleton intact – 18ft long and 9.5ft tall – she is the world’s most complete specimen of the easily recognisable dinosaur.
Although museum scientists do not actually know the sex of their stegosaurus, “she” has been informally named Sophie after the daughter of the wealthy hedge fund manager whose donation made the acquisition possible.
Sophie died as a young adult around 150 million years ago. Her fossilised bones were found in 2003 at Wyoming’s Red Canyon Ranch .
Professor Paul Barrett, the museum’s chief dinosaur scientist who found Sophie while at an international fossil fair in the US, said: “Stegosaurus fossil finds are rare. Having the world’s most complete example here for research means we can begin to uncover the secrets behind the evolution and behaviour of this intriguing dinosaur species.”