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The Dilophosaur and Coelophysoid Thread


  • An impressive looking sculpture. I look forward to seeing it in full colour.


    Sinosaurus triassicus (which was actually Jurassic) is once again the official name of "Dilophosaurus sinensis", the short-snouted cousin to the larger North American Dilophosaurus... although it seems its more closely related to Cryolophosaurus. What a mess.
    It looked pretty much like the Jurassic Park dilophosaur minus the frills.

    Oh, btw, I don´t really like the headline "dinosaurs earliest animals to get toothache"... I figure animals have been suffering from dental problems ever since, well, they had teeth...


  • That it apparently survived so long after such compromising injuries raises an interesting possibility; namely that maybe it was supported to some degree by the rest of the flock/herd?

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.

  • It is a possibility. In fact, there's plenty of evidence suggesting they lived in groups.

    On the other hand, modern day birds and crocodiles are sometimes able to survive alone even with part of their jaws missing, so who knows...

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  • Wibbs, I find your suggestion very interesting. Have you seen my post about the lioness which "adopted" a helpless baby baboon? (This has been transfered to the Zoology board). If creatures of completely different, even antagonistic, species are willing to come to the assistance of the sick and suffering, then homogeneous herds or packs must be even more willing to show solidarity and support. In the animal kingdom, many females will gladly babysit for other mothers of their own kind. Dogs, cats and apes are particularly sensitive to the suffering of others. Chimpanzees lovingly comfort members of their group which are ill or injured. Young chimps will often climb trees to pluck bananas for their elderly parents which are too old or arthritic to do this for themselves.

    Dinosaurs were not mammals, of course, but they may have possessed a degree of sensitivity and compassion nonetheless.

  • One thing to be considered, tho; Dilophosaurus, like many other large theropods, looks like it would probably hunt and feed using its jaws mostly.



    If this was the actual standing posture of the animal, its jaws would've been first to make contact with prey anyway; the neck is long and the arms are too short and located too far behind to be of much assistantance in catching small prey.
    Compare, for example, to the skeleton of Deinonychus and Velociraptor:



    Their arms are much longer, with large clawed fingers, and in the right position to be used along with the jaws in the capture of prey.
    Seems to me that even with the injury to its arms, the Dilophosaurus would've been perfectly capable to hunt by itself without help from other members of the group.

    Consider also that according to all recent evidence, Dilophosaurus may have been a fish eater at least most of the time. It lived near water (there's even footprints that show it waded and spent much time in shallow water), and there's a very characteristic notch at the tip of its snout which gives it a hooked profile, perfect for catching slippery fish:


    The same notch evolved in other waterside dinos such as Eustreptospondylus:


    And of course, spinosaurids:


    Not to speak of many crocodilians. One could even compare it to the hooked tip in the beak of some sea birds. All in all, I don´t think Dilophosaurus was using its arms for hunting that much.

  • In Spanish. Basically, it looks exactly like Coelophysis, and lived at the same time, but in Argentina where no such creatures had been found. I suspect this will be reclassified as a species of Coelophysis eventually...

  • A very interesting study on Dilophosaurus' forelimb range of motion- basically confirms what I said in a previous post:

    The limited ROM at the shoulder, combined with the shortness of the forelimbs, prevented the animal from manually seizing prey that was located anywhere but beneath the predator’s chest or the base of its neck, or immediately lateral to the space beneath its chest. At best, manual capture would only have been an option when attacking prey small enough to fit beneath the predator’s chest, or larger prey that had been forced down with the predator’s mouth. In addition, the great head and neck length of D. wetherilli (Welles, 1984) would have enabled the snout to extend much further forward than the hands could reach, making the mouth much more likely than the hands to have made first contact with prey.
    In contrast, theropods with a dorsolateral extension of the glenoid, such as members of Dromaeosauridae, had a greater range of shoulder motion and could have seized prey considerably further forward than the predator’s chest

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  • Adam Khor wrote: »

    this reminds me of something I learned in school many years ago. "Take nothing but photographs. leave nothing but footprints" :)

  • Rubecula wrote: »
    this reminds me of something I learned in school many years ago. "Take nothing but photographs. leave nothing but footprints" :)

    Now I want someone to photoshop a camera onto the Dilophosaurus' hands XD

  • Interesting video:

  • New in depth study on Dilophosaurus' anatomy, including new specimens, paints a somewhat different picture of this iconic dinosaur. Often described as having "weak jaws", and recently suggested to have been a fish eater, the new study finds its jaws were actually quite powerful, with strong muscles, and it was well suited for hunting all sorts of game; there's even potential bite marks on the bones of prosauropods found along with shed Dilophosaurus teeth.

    It would've been the apex predator of its ecosystem. It also appears to have had a series of air sacs that went through the skull and crest, protecting and reinforcing them, and it may have had some sort of soft-tissue sac for display, like many modern birds.

    Most importantly, its anatomy strongly suggests it was not as closely related to coelophysoids as previously believed; instead, it was more closely related to Cryolophosaurus and Zupaysaurus, and probably closer to the late Jurassic Ceratosaurus than to earlier theropods.




  • "The real Dilophosaurus would have eaten the Jurassic Park version for breakfast":