DescriptionDilophosaurus (two-ridge lizard) is the earliest big theropod that is well-known from adequate remains. Partial skeletons of about half a dozen young and adult specimens have been found in Arizona, and the late 1980s brought news of a discovery in China. Dilophosaurus was a long lithe hunter, lighter than its relative Ceratosaurus. The build and enormously long tail are reminiscent of Dilophosaurus smaller cousin Coelophysis. According to the current taxonomy of the carnivorous theropod dinosaurs (of which Dilophosaurus is undoubtedly a member), Dilophosaurus is considered to be a ceratosaur, the earliest and most primitive of the theropod groups. The manus has 4 digits (the fourth digit is vestigial, or reduced), and the pes has 3 digits. Actually, we know from other specimens of Dilophosaurus that it had a fourth and fifth digit on each pes, but these are extremely reduced, and were not preserved in the holotype specimen. Most of the formations in the area where Dilophosaurus was found and from that general time are of fairly arid habitat. Much of the sedimentary rocks from there and then is aeolian sand (that is sand dunes).
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