Dilophosaurus – Fossils Tell a Story

Dilophosaurus Fossil Dilophosaurus was a theropod who lived in North America roughly 190 million years ago. The first of the fossil specimens of this species have been found in Northern Arizona in 1940, but it wasn’t determined to be worthy of its own unique classification until the 70s, after additional skull specimens had been found. Atop this dinosaur’s skull was a large crest which sets it apart from many other theropods. In the locations where Dilophosaurus remains have been found, few fossils have been successfully preserved. The area, spanning Northern Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, is the home of many trace fossils, but for some reason skeletal fossils are more scarce than usual. A few of the Dilophosaurus fossils found showed indications of scavenging. These signs include the skull being rotated unnaturally, as the dinosaur would not have been able to do in life, as many crushed bones, possibly done by teeth.


Dilophosaurus Drawing

It is believed, through studying the jaw of the Dilophosaurus specimens which are mostly intact, that this dinosaur had a rather weak bite and that they probably used a tearing motion rather than a biting or shearing motion ot eat. There has been a lot of debate in the past about exactly what Dilopohosaurus would have eaten and how they came by their prey. Some think that they were scavengers, but many researchers posit that the jaws and neck of the dinosaur would have been conducive to active hunting. Their prey was likely to be small animals and dinosaurs rather than large animals around their own size.



Dilophosaurus Size to ManUnlike other later theropods, the arms of Dilophosaurus were longer and capable of grabbing and slashing, as well as meeting one another. The back legs of this dinosaur were very strong, but its pelvis seems unusually weak. This had led many to believe that Dilophosaurus could have spent a significant amount of time in the water, where the weight could have been taken off of the hips slightly. Many dinosaurs with crests used them for thermoregulation. Heat would be transferred away from the body through a dense network of veins in the crest. The crest of Dilophosaurus, however, contains no indications of veins, so the use of their crest is only guesswork at this point.

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