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Build & Characteristics

  • Dilophosaurus means “Double-Crested Lizard” because it had two crests atop its head. These crests were flattened and semicircular in shape.
  • The Dilophosaurus measured about 20 feet (6 meters) from head to tail and weighed around 1,000 pounds (1/2 ton).
  • It is possible they were warm-blooded, based on the meat eaters of the time, and taking into effect the endothermic metabolism, it is safe to say they most likely possessed some feathers.
  • Despite its weight, its feet were unusually light for hunting prey
  • Scientists believe it was more of a scavenger based on the animal’s teeth. The front were used more for plucking and tearing rather than biting and the back portion of teeth were used for piercing and slicing.


  • Dilophosaurus roamed what is modern North America and possibly China during the Jurassic Period (201-189 million years ago)
  • During Dilophosaurus’ time, there were many Theropods ranging in size from small to medium. Dilophosaurus would have been the largest of them.
  • The environment of Dilophosaurus live in had a seasonal climate with flowing water, on the edge of a desert conditions.


  • Dilophosaurus was discovered by Jesse Williams, a Navajo man, in 1940 on the Navajo Nation land near Tuba City, Arizona.
  • It was once named Megalosaurus, a name that was mostly used as a throw away name for many Theropods. In 1954 however, a dozen years after it was first discovered in Arizona it was given its species as Megalosaurus, and finally in 1970 it was given its name of Dilophosaurus.
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