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Dilophosaurus

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.

History

  • 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.

Discovery

  • 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.