Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus wetherilli

  • Pronounced:  die - Loaf - o - Saw - rus

  • Diet:  Carnivore (Meat-Eater)

  • Name Means:  "Double Crested Lizard"

  • Length:  22 feet (7 m)

  • Height:  10 feet (3 m)

  • Weight:  1,000 pounds (450 kilos)

  • Time:  Early Jurassic - 190 mya

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Western United States, China

Dilophosaurus was the largest meat-eater of the early Jurassic. It was made famous by the movie Jurassic Park, but the movie did not present an accurate picture of this dinosaur. Because it was the biggest and most ferocious of its time, it would not have needed to be poisonous (it was probably not a "spitter" like in the movie). It is also much larger than the movie version.

Dilophosaurus gets its name from the two thin crests of bone on the top of its head. These were probably used as a display for courtship purposes (scientists don't believe it had a frill on its neck like the movie version). Dilophosaurus has been found in both the U.S. and China, which, although part of the same huge landmass, were still quite a long distance from each other.

As an early predatory dinosaur, Dilophosaurus did not have forward facing eyes to give it stereo vision. It may have used scent as an integral part of its hunting technique. It had long and slender, rear-curving teeth in long jaws and strong front arms which would have been effective in grabbing prey. It was fast - probably with a top speed of about 30-mph. It also had a long tail that could have been used as a whip in a fight. Footprints attributed to Dilophosaurus appear in groups, so it may have hunted in small packs. It shares the same overall body configuration as its ancestor the Coelophysis.



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