Dilophosaurus (Two crested lizard)
Samuel Paul Welles - 1970
Estimated up to 20 feet in length
D. wetherilli (type)
USA, Arizona – Kayenta Formation
Early Jurassic, 193-183 million years ago
Dilophosaurus, meaning “two-crested lizard,” was a large theropod dinosaur that lived during the Early Jurassic period, approximately 193 to 183 million years ago, in what is now the western United States.
Dilophosaurus was a bipedal dinosaur that could grow up to 20 feet in length and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. It had a distinctive pair of crests on its skull, which were thin, bony ridges that projected from above the eyes.
Although early depictions of Dilophosaurus in popular media showed it as having a frill around its neck and the ability to spit venom, there is no scientific evidence to support these features.
Dilophosaurus was a carnivore that likely preyed on small and medium-sized animals, such as reptiles and early mammals. It had a long, slender body, powerful jaws, and sharp teeth that were ideal for tearing flesh.
The fossil record of Dilophosaurus is limited, with only a few partial skeletons having been found. This has made it difficult for paleontologists to determine its exact classification and relationships with other theropods. Some scientists have suggested that Dilophosaurus may be a member of the Coelophysoidea family, while others have proposed that it may be more closely related to the Ceratosauria.
Despite its limited fossil record and uncertain relationships, Dilophosaurus is an important dinosaur in the study of theropod evolution and the diversity of Early Jurassic ecosystems. Its distinctive crests and possible social behavior make it a fascinating dinosaur to study and speculate about, and new discoveries may shed more light on its place in the dinosaur family tree.