Dinosaur Sculptures at Crystal World – Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus ‘two-crested lizard’ is a genus of theropod dinosaurs that lived in what is now North America during the Early Jurassic, about 193 million years ago. At about 7 m (23 ft) in length, with a weight of about 400 kg (880 lb), Dilophosaurus was one of the earliest large predatory dinosaurs and the largest known land-animal in North America at the time. It was slender and lightly built, and the skull was proportionally large, but delicate. The snout was narrow, and the upper jaw had a gap or kink below the nostril. It had a pair of longitudinal, arched crests on its skull; their complete shape is unknown, but they were probably enlarged by keratin. The mandible was slender and delicate at the front, but deep at the back. The teeth were long, curved, thin, and compressed sideways. Those in the lower jaw were much smaller than those of the upper jaw. Most of the teeth had serrations at their front and back edges. The neck was long, and its vertebrae were hollow, and very light. The arms were powerful, with a long and slender upper arm bone. The hands had four fingers; the first was short but strong and bore a large claw, the two following fingers were longer and slenderer with smaller claws; the fourth was vestigial. The thigh bone was massive, the feet were stout, and the toes bore large claws.

Dilophosaurus would have been active and bipedal, and may have hunted large animals; it could also have fed on smaller animals and fish. Due to the limited range of movement and shortness of the forelimbs, the mouth may instead have made first contact with prey. The function of the crests is unknown; they were too weak for battle, but may have been used in visual display, such as species recognition and sexual selection. It may have grown rapidly, attaining a growth rate of 30 to 35 kg per year early in life.

Dilophosaurus is known from the Kayenta Formation, and lived alongside dinosaurs such as Scutellosaurus and SarahsaurusDilophosaurus was featured in the novel Jurassic Park and its movie adaptation, wherein it was given the fictional abilities to spit venom and expand a neck frill, as well as being smaller than the real animal.

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