Species: D. wetherilli
Length: 7 metres long
Weight: 400 kilogrammes
When it lived: Early Jurassic, 193 million years ago
Where it lived: USA (Arizona)
Official Dilophosaurus model by Callie C.
With their competition wiped out by the end-Triassic mass extinction, the dinosaurs were free to become the new top dogs. As one of the first theropod apex predators, Dilophosaurus was the epitome of this. Outsizing any terrestrial predator alive today, it was the largest animal in its ecosystem. Equipped with bone-puncturing jaws, powerful arms, and stout legs, it was an efficient and deadly hunter.
Dilophosaurus was also noteworthy for the iconic crests present on top of its head. These could have been used as a display tool in mating (a large and colorful crest being a sign of strength and health) or species recognition.
A family of Dilophosaurus will be the main focus of Through the Eyes of Dinosaurs’ second episode. We’ll explore several aspects of their lifestyle, especially their growth from hatchlings to adults.