The spines and plates which are very distinct to stegosaurs have led to much controversy on what their function was. One thought is they were used for defense from predators, some have suggested the plates were mobile and able to fold up against the body of the stegosaur to provide a maximum amount of protection. The spines or spikes on the tail were most likely used to as defense too, the stegosaur would swing its tail trying to pierce its attacker. Another function suggested for the use of the plates and spines is that they were used to distinguish one stegosaur from another and possibly be a display of dominance in a herd like setting. A third possible function suggested for the use of the plates was thermal regulation. The large plates have a internal structure like a honey comb and may have easily circulated blood through the voids making them suitable for dispensing heat from the stegosaur to the atmosphere when the animal was hot and absorbing more heat from solar energy when the animal was cold.