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DILOPHOSAURUS

a meat-eating dilophosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of North America.
dilophosaurus.png
Pronunciation: die-LOAF-o-SOR-us
Meaning: Two-ridged lizard
Author/s: Welles (1970)
Synonyms: Megalosaurus wetherilli
First Discovery: Arizona, USA
Chart Position: 157

Dilophosaurus wetherilli

After their discovery in 1942 by the late Sam Welles, the remains of what would eventually become Dilophosaurus were carted back to Berkeley for cleaning and mounting and given the name Megalosaurus wetherilli in 1954. A decade later a second discovery was made not far from the first and, in 1970, the current name was coined, based on twin skull crests that were clearly visible on the new specimen.

The two ridged lizard is one of the earliest known Jurassic theropods, but the least understood. What we do know, however, is that it was a lump bigger than the ones portrayed in Jurassic park, and it didn't have a frilly neck-piece. Nor is there any evidence of it being able to spit venom, though what it did have has also caused considerable debate.

Dilophosaurus has a kink in its snout just behind its front row of teeth (the premaxilla) which led to an early hypothesis that it's jaws were too weak to tackle live prey. The assumption was that this kink caused a fault in the jaw that could be snapped by struggling prey, but a similar design quirk doesn't seem to hamper modern-day crocodiles.
(John Wetherill's two-crested lizard)Etymology
Dilophosaurus is derived from the Greek "di" (two), "lophos" (crest) and "sauros" (lizard), for a pair of curved parallel crests running the length of its skull. The species epithet (or specific name), wetherilli, honors Kansas-born explorer John Wetherill.
Discovery
The first fossils of Dilophosaurus were unearthed on a Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona's Kayenta Formation by Sam Welles in 1942 (at a site that was stumbled upon by local resident Jessie Williams two years earlier), with more fossils being found in the same area in 1952, and still more found at Arizona's "Rock Head" in the same quarry as Sarahsaurus in 1997. A few bits and bobs of what was initially thought to be a new species were also found in China, but the remains of "Dilophosaurus" sinensis turned out to belong to Sinosaurus.
Trackways
Tracks in Arizona's Kayenta Formation that were named Kayentapus hopii and Dilophosauripus williamsi by Sam Welles in 1971, including five three-toed footprints (UCMP 83668) at Moenkopi Wash, may have been made by Dilophosaurus.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Jurassic
Stage: Hettangian-Simemurian
Age range: 199-189 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 7 meters
Est. max. hip height: 2 meters
Est. max. weight: 450 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Neotheropoda
Dilophosauridae
Dilophosaurus
wetherilli
Synonyms
Megalosaurus wetherilli (Welles, 1954)
Dilophosaurus breedorum (Welles & Pickering, 1999)
References
• Welles, Samuel Paul (1954) "New Jurassic dinosaur from the Kayenta formation of Arizona". Geological Society of America Bulletin, June 1954, 65(6): 591-598
• Welles, Samuel Paul (1970) "Dilophosaurus (Reptilia: Saurischia), a new name for a dinosaur". Journal of Pa1eontology, 44(5): 98.
• Welles, Samuel Paul (1971) "Dinosaur footprints from the Kayenta Formation of northern Arizona". Plateau 44(1): 27–38.
• Welles, Samuel Paul (1984) "Dilophosaurus wetherilli (Dinosauria, Theropoda), osteology and comparisons". Palaeontographica, Abteilung A, 185: 85–180.
• Shaojin Hu (January 1993) "A Short Report On the Occurrence of Dilophosaurus from Jinning County, Yunnan Province". Vertebrata PalAsiatica Vol. XXXI(1): 65-69
• Gay R (2001) "New Specimens of Dilophosaurus wetherilli (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Jurassic Kayenta Formation of Northern Arizona". Mesa Southwest Museum Bulletin, 8:19-23.
• Tykoski TS and Rowe T (2004) "Ceratosauria" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition". University of California Press.
• Marsh A D (2013) "The Osteology of Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis and Geochemical Observations of the Dinosaurs from the Type Quarry of Sarahsaurus (Kayenta Formation), Coconino County, Arizona". Geological Sciences: 34–35.
• Xing LD, Bell PR, Rothschild BM, et al. (2013) "Tooth loss and alveolar remodeling in Sinosaurus triassicus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Lower Jurassic strata of the Lufeng Basin, China". Chin Sci Bull, 2013, 58: 1931-1935. (Sinks Dilophosaurus sinensis into Sinosaurus triassicus.)
• Senter P, Juengst SL (2016) "Record-Breaking Pain: The Largest Number and Variety of Forelimb Bone Maladies in a Theropod Dinosaur". PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149140.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DILOPHOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 19th Aug 2017.
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