Our young Dilophosaurus is ready and waiting to say hello at the Museum

NAME: Dilophosaurus

Meaning: Weatherill’s two-crested lizard

Pronounced: dy-LOHF-o-SOR-əs

By: Samuel Paul Welles in 1954 as Megalosaurus weatherilli

DIET: Carnivore


Length: 23 ft (7 m)

Height: 4.5 ft (1.36 m) at hip

Weight: 880 lbs (400 kg)

WHEN IT LIVED: Early Jurrasic 201.3 to 182.7 million years ago

WHERE IT LIVED: North America. Fossils have been found in Ariozona. The same geologic formation also occurs in New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado.


Kingdom Animalia (animals)

  Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)

    Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)

      Order Saurischia (lizard hipped dinosaurs)

        Suborder Theropoda (bipedal carnivores)

            Superfamily Carnosauria

             Family Dilophosauridae

              Genus Dilophosaurus

                Species: One species, Dilophosaurus weatherilli



an Arizona Dinosaur

By Dana Slaughter

Dilophosaurus was first discovered in 1940 by Navajo Jesse Williams near Tuba City, Arizona. The name means, “double crested lizard”. Paleontologists from the University of California, Berkeley were working in the area in 1942 and heard news that a possible dinosaur had been found earlier in the area and asked for help locating where the discovery had been made. Jessie Williams escorted a small group to the site and three skeletons were partly exposed and a quick ten-day excavation produced two skeletons.

Originally the striking double crest on the skull was not recognized and was thought to be cheekbones that had been crushed and moved out of position. The dinosaur was proposed as the new species Megalosaurus wetherilli in 1954. It was not until 1964 that the skull feature was recognized as a crest, when a new and better skeleton was unearthed during an expedition to determine the age of the rock formation. Finally, Dilophosaurus wetherilli was described and named in 1970.

The bones are found in the Kayenta Formation and are about 193 million years old. The male dilophosaurus was about 23 feet long and weighed about 880 pounds. Despite its popular depiction in the movie Jurassic Park, there is no evidence to suggest that the dinosaur could spit venom or sported a neck frill.

The model in the museum is smaller and has only one crest.  Maybe the builders did not know it had two?

A "wild" Dilophosaurus with two crests.

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