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Dilophosaurus Wetherilli (Dinosauria, Theropoda). Osteology and comparisons



Dilophosaurus Wetherilli (Dinosauria, Theropoda). Osteology and comparisons



Palaeontographica Abteilung A Palaeozoologie-Stratigraphie 185(4-6): 85-180



Three skeletons of moderate sized carnivorous dinosaurs were found in the lower part of the Kayenta Formation on the flat below Tuba City, Arizona [USA]. These are of the theropod Dilophosaurus, a dinosaur peculiar in having 2 parasagittal crests on the top of its head, their shapes unknown but restored from those on another different theropod, also from the Kayenta Formation. It is also strange in having a weakly attached premaxilla and a subnarial gap and pit between the premaxilla and maxilla. This precluded a powerful bite and indicates that the animal plucked at its prey. It probably scavenged, and it is ever killed large animals, it did so more with its powerful grasping hands and its feet than with its jaws. The cervical vertebrae are deeply planoconcave and hollowed out. The general structure indicates an active animal, rather like an enlarged ostrich. The dorsal process of the astragalus ossified separately. The skeleton has characterisitics of both Coelurosauria and Carnosauria. This raises the question of the validity of the separation of these 2 groups. The occurrence of 3 skeletons close together, and the randomly oriented trackways not far stratigraphically below the skeletons, indicate that Dilophosaurus traveled in herds. Detailed comparisons with 37 Triassic and Jurassic taxa indicate that 2 of these, Coelophysis longicollis Cope, and Halticosaurus liliensterni Huene are distinct genera and are discussed.

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Accession: 005162726

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