Discovered in Portugal in 1999, Miragaia is unique for having the longest neck of any known stegosaur, with at least seventeen vertebrae. Its name refers both to the parish where it was discovered and the Latin for “beautiful earth goddess.”
The 2012 CollectA Miragaia appears to have been caught in a moment of surprise. Its head is raised high and its thorny tail even higher, as though it has just had the very unfortunate luck of crossing paths with a hungry Torvosaurus. In which case, it will surely require every single spike on its body to preserve its life.
From snout to tail tip, the Miragaia measures 17 cm long. Its main colours are light brown and grass green with black eyes, a pink mouth, and dark brown for the hooves and the faint stripes on the sides. This muted colour scheme is offset by the red on the animal’s throat and the long spikes jutting out from the shoulders. These would serve well either for sexual display or warning off a predator.
The Miragaia‘s skin is covered in pebbly scales with round osteoderms running along its sides. The plates on the neck and back have faint grooves in them, while the spikes are mostly smooth. The animal’s proportions appear to be correct, especially the extra long neck, and the feet have the proper number of toes. The skull, however, has a very hook-shaped rostrum. And unlike the Carnegie Collection Miragaia, this rendition is packing a much spikier thagomizer as well as those red shoulder spikes. But lest you assume CollectA hasn’t been paying attention, keep in mind that the rear portion of Miragaia‘s body currently remains unknown. Indeed, some paleontologists have suggested that it is actually the same animal as Dacentrurus. Only time and luck will tell.
In the mean time, this Miragaia is one of CollectA’s best stegosaurs. Good sculpting, decent colours, impressive armament, and, aside from the rostrum, accurate within reason. Overall, strongly recommended. Available from Amazon.com here.