Jurassic Park InGen Files:
Early Jurassic (around 200-190 million years ago)Diet:
Around 7 meters when full grown.Weight:
Dilophosaurus is one of the most iconic dinosaurs to feature in Jurassic Park. It gets its name from the two thin crests of bone that it sports on the top of its head, which are used as a display for courtship purposes. Dilophosaurus is nocturnal, hunting only at night (and sometimes early in the morning). We have found that Dilophosaurs are mostly ambush predators that live in the most remote parts of the jungle. This elusive predator spends the daylight hours sleeping in the foliage near rivers and streams in the dense jungle, out of sight of larger predators.
They are very inquisitive, likely a characteristic that gave these Jurassic age dinosaurs the edge over other reptiles of the day. As an early predatory dinosaur, Dilophosaurus does not have forward facing eyes, and thus it lacks stereo vision. They hunt in small packs, using scent as an integral part of their hunting techniques. Young Dilophosaurs can be deceptively harmless, but they are just as dangerous as their full grown counterparts. Nicknamed the “Spitter” by InGen staff, it is one of the most difficult dinosaurs to handle.
The connection between the premaxillary and maxillary bones of fossil specimens was very weak. This created a notch behind the first row of teeth. This information led to the early hypothesis that Dilophosaurus scavenged off dead carcasses, with the front teeth being too weak to bring down and hold large prey.
Dr. Wu decided to use frill-necked lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) DNA in combination with amphibian DNA to fill in the gaps in the degraded Dilophosaur genome, as he found it to be a particularly good fit with certain gene sequences, and he hoped the frill or at the very least, the aggressiveness of Chlamydosaurus would give the Dilophosaurs an edge in the face of larger predators on Isla Sorna. The frill can be expanded like a cobra's hood when the animal is feeling threatened or about to attack. It was partly expected, and is a means for them to intimidate larger animals that may attempt to steal their food. But the venom was a surprise. This ability to spit venom may have been due to Dr. Wu also using snake DNA (most likely spitting cobra) to fill in other gaps in the Dilophosaur genome.
The venom is a toxic cocktail of seven different enzymes, which cause extreme pain and irritation, resulting in rapid blindness and eventually paralysis. Dilophosaurus is able to spit its venom with great accuracy from quite a distance (in some rare cases as far as fifteen meters). They can also introduce venom to a prey item by biting, but they rarely do so in order to avoid the risk of injury. In this way the animal is still a predator despite its weak teeth and jaws.
Both the frill and the venom glands (under the tongue) are the direct result of InGen scientists splicing the Dilophosaur DNA with that of an Australian frill-necked lizard and some form of venomous snake (such as the spitting cobra).
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