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Re: Dilophosaurus



At 04:09 PM 4/27/97 -0600, you wrote:
>I've heard the debate about how Dilophosaurus killed prey and have
>thought up my own conclusions.
>        Okay,we know this much. Dilophosaurus couldn't have used his
>teeth for killing prey. It was(from what I have observed)to weak. He
>could however bring down small prey. But I believe he could have used
>his fins for killing. His fins could have been razor sharp,and he
>could've used them to inflict deep wounds into opponents and prey. 
>When you read this message don't immediatlly start to attack it. Sit
>back and think about it for a while.

        All right, I sat back and thought about it. Here are some
alternative observations:

1. Dilophosaurus was not "too weak" in any aspect to dispatch even large
prey. Greg Paul, in PDW, mentions "a very unusual articulation between the
cheek's suspensorium bones, which help support the lower jaw." I don't know
how much truth there is to this, but Greg points out that this would make
the skull a bit better constructed than previously thought. The teeth are
thin, but quite long. This, along with the long, manuverable neck would seem
to indicate a good degree of slashing ability, a good adaption for wounding
big game. Albeit they could not have bit through bone like a tyrannosaur,
but fatal wounds could easily be administered. Like Greg, I belive that
Dilophosaurus could often prey on small game but mostly preyed upon the
prosauropods that shared its habitat.

2. The "fins" (I'll refer to them as 'crests') were not properly designed
for any kind of abuse. They are said to be "wafer-thin", all the way down to
the base, and thus lacked the strength for any combat-related activities.
Also, the crests are not configured for slashing. The converge rostrally, as
opposed to being parallel, which would subject them to tremendous strain if
they were used to slash. Lastly, the females may or may not have had the
crests (has any evidence either way for sexual dimorphism turned up?).

Sam Girouard
sampaula@pacificrim.net