The Dilophosaurus was a genus of dinosaurs that inhabited our planet during the Jurassic period, approximately 125 million years ago.
This specimen that occupies the present article has been classified within the group of the dinosaurs saurisquios theropods dilofosáuridos and it is considered that it would have had a really showy aspect.
Starting with its jaw, it would have been very similar to the current crocodiles, although this was not the most peculiar thing since its most outstanding feature was that it had a double rounded crest on its skull.
The Dilophosaurus was a really fast animal. This is because it needed to run to catch its prey and therefore had long and robust legs.
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- This specimen belonged to the kingdom of Animalia.
- We found it classified within the Chordata phylum.
- Dilophosaurus belonged to the Sauropsida class.
- It is obviously within the super-order Dinosauria.
- The order in which it is classified is Saurischia.
- We found it within the suborder Theropoda.
- This specimen was classified in the clade Neotheropoda.
- It belonged to the family Dilophosauridae.
- The genus we are referring to in this article is Dilophosaurus.
Within the genus Dilophosaurus we can find only one species, the D.wetherilli. Although in any case we should not rule out the possibility that in the future new species belonging to the same genus will be discovered.
If this happens, from this platform we commit ourselves to try to keep this section updated in case of any change that could occur in the taxonomy of this extinct animal.
Basic information about this dinosaur
The Dilophosaurus was a very fierce animal and would have been a tireless predator. It is unlikely, if not impossible, that any animal that might have seen this specimen would have survived, in fact, as soon as it saw it, it would have considered itself as dead.
If tomorrow they were to invent a time machine, in order to observe this dinosaur we would have to go back a few million years as we have already seen, however, thanks to the studies carried out we can make a first approximation to its appearance.
- How long was it? – Approximately seven meters in length.
- What was its height? – About one and a half meters high.
- What was his weight? – He weighed approximately 3 tons.
- When did he live? – He inhabited our planet about 126 or 125 million years ago.
Description of Dilophosaurus
The Dilophosaurus had quite a striking size. They were no less than 7 metres long and would have weighed about 400 kilograms. Considering that this is a carnivorous dinosaur, these dimensions are really big.
The Dilophosaurus also had long, sharp teeth and they were abundant, as it had 12 maxillary teeth and up to 18 teeth.
The way the teeth of the upper jaw were arranged is very reminiscent of the shape of a saw. The back teeth were longer and progressively reduced in size, with the tip teeth being much smaller than the back teeth.
Dilophosaurus were fast animals, typical of their carnivorous nature. For this, this specimen would have had long and muscular legs located vertically under the pelvis.
It also had upper limbs, or arms, but they did not use them for support. The main function of its arms was to tear apart its prey with sharp claws.
The formation of its jaw is reminiscent of that of a crocodile, because it has a notch just behind the first row of teeth, as is the case with these animals. Although undoubtedly one of its most distinctive features lies in the skull case, it had an absent upper lateral wall in other similar genera.
Male specimens have been compared with female specimens and it has been concluded that with respect to the sexes there were hardly any notable differences.
In anatomical terms, the males were similar to the females, there was no type of sexual dimorphism in the gender.
The main characteristic that we find in the Dilophosaurus is the rounded crests that they had in their skull. These crests are formed by the extensions of both the nasal and the lacrimal bones.
This ridge would have been totally fragile and would not have had any additional function other than adornment and thus probably also an important role in the courtship of reproduction.
Another peculiarity is that it would not have been a symmetrical animal. The right arm of the Dilophosaurus would have been much more muscular, large and robust than the left arm.
This seems to indicate a “fluctuating asymmetry”, that is, that due to different ecological, genetic or pathological pressures it had an “atrophied arm”.
The discovery of this dinosaur
The year 1942 was when the first samples of Dilophosaurus were found. The merit of the discovery is of Sam Welles, who during the summer of that same year would have found the first remains in the Kayenta Formation located in Arizona.
In the area there were fossil remains of three different individuals, although it could be considered that there were only two because one was in very bad condition. The samples found were taken to Berkeley where they were cleaned and the reconstruction of the skeleton was done.
All this was done by Wann Langston’s team, who made the UCMP 37302 holotype. During the following years more remains of this genus were found, of the only known species Dilophosaurus wetherilli.
Initially it was considered as a Megalosaurus, and it was not until 1970 that it was named as a new genus, the Dilophosaurus. The meaning of this name makes sense in the Greek language.
The word di translated into our language means two, the word lophos would come to mean ridge, and the translation into our language of saurus is lizard. If we put all the meanings into one, it would mean like the two-crested lizard.
The life of this dinosaur on planet Earth
Dilophosaurus are really ancient animals and the remains of this dinosaur have been dated from the Early Jurassic period based on scientific studies.
Specifically about 193 million years in the past, no doubt a lot of years compared to “just” 200 000 years that humans have been on Earth and is that the dinosaurs exercised a clear hegemony over our planet for a very long time.
The area where they found the remains of this genus was in the Kayenta Formation, located in Arizona, specifically in the northwest. During the era of the dinosaurs, this area would have been dominated by a field of dunes and where there were some shallow lakes.
The social relationship he had with others of his kind is really strong. This is because to attack the huge herbivorous dinosaurs they had to do it in groups.
It is proposed that the Dilophosaurus moved in small groups, this is in contrast to the fact that many fossil remains of this genus were found relatively together.
What did the Diplophosaurus feed on?
The jaws of these dinosaurs were really muscular and as we have seen before, provided with very sharp saw-like teeth. This would have allowed it to bite and feed on the flesh of other animals.
They would not always have hunted their prey, some theories indicate that they could also have been scavengers, that is, they would have also fed on animal remains left by other predators.
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