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The Dilophosaurus was discovered 80 years agoHowever, it had not been studied very thoroughly and was not well known.
This situation gave several creative permissions to Steven Spielberg to give this dinosaur the fearsome, yes, but imprecise and minimized characteristics that the script for his film Jurassic Park, released in 1993.
However, thanks to advances in science, we have had the opportunity to pay more attention to this jurassic reptile and knowing many of its characteristics that throw away everything that Spielberg had taught us about it, and that is, as researchers recently discovered, this dinosaur was much bigger and scarier than we were led to believe, without the need to even spit poison.
In Jurassic park We learned that this dinosaur was from small size, which at first glance was incapable of frightening anyone, until he extended his ruffles from his neck and began to spit poison, as happened to the evil character in the film, Nedry, who finds his death in the clutches of this animal.
However, new research, led by Adam Marsh, a paleontologist from Perified Forest National Park in Arizona, United States, which included the analysis of two fossil specimens of this classification of dinosaurs, threw the first picture of what the Dilophosaurus would look like in real life.
This dinosaur would have lived in the period Early jurassic, approximately 201 to 124 million years ago and was a powerful predator and one of the largest land animals in North America, according to the study published in the Journal of Paleontology.
«I call the Dilophosaurius the best known dinosaur«, Said Marsh to refer to the bad example that Spielberg gave us of him, because according to he assured, the reptile was so much bigger than people think after having seen Jurassic Park.
The reason for the error in Jurassic Park
But why did Spielberg make such a mistake? It was all due to other errors in the first investigation that was made on the fossils of this animal, when in 1940, they were found by Jesse Williams and transferred to the University of California Berkeley where it was listed as a new species in 1954.
The university team rebuilt the dinosaur for display using patches of plaster to replace the missing bones, and it was, in fact, built to look like the Allosaurus, without specifying which fossils were real and which were not, so for a long time it was believed that this reptile was more related to the carnivores of the Triassic that they were no bigger than a turkey.
Realizing the mistake, Marsh spent seven years studying the three most complete Dilaphosaurius skeletons in existence, owned by the Navajo Nation that are housed at the University of California and also studied two more specimens that had never been studied.
Early research concluded that the dinosaur had weak jaws and a fragile crest, so Marsh understands that this is where screenwriter Michael Crichton was inspired to describe this species.
But nevertheless, there was no scientific evidence on the crown of the neck or the expulsion of venom.
The real features However, Marsh discovered, with the new fossils, that in reality, the jaws of the Dilaphosaurius were quite strong and they were equipped with powerful muscles, according to National Geografic.
Furthermore, the study relates, the dinosaur was actually six meters long, half the size of a Adult Tyrannosaurus Rex and weighed three-quarters of a ton, so it hunted large prey with ease.
«The Dilophosaurus is clearly built to be a large macro-predator. It is a large-bodied animal that was built to eat other animalsMarsh explained.
On the other hand, something real that the movie shows us is its double crest, since the fossil remains do have evidence of its existence.
However, the researcher stressed, may have been brightly colored for courtship and used to intimidate rivalslike the antlers of a deer.
Due to its physical characteristics, Marsh stated that the Dilaphosaurius is a key animal for understanding more about theropods in the Early jurassic.