Dilophosaurus sinensis

Well I had promised some more thorough and longer posts rather than just this near endless series of pictures, but that promise may have to be delayed a little longer. Fortunately the IVPP has switched some things around in the galleries and combined with my getting a new camera, I’m able to get some much better pictures of various specimens and so can stick them up here. Following on from Limusaurus, it’s a cast of the little studied Dilophosaurus sinensis (well, the skull anyway).

This animal has been a source of contention as despite the obvious presence of a pair of crests along the snout, there are a number of differences between this animal and the skull of Dilophosaurus wetherilli and thus likely belongs in its own genus but no one seems to have got around to restudying the original properly and in fact I’m not actually sure where the original is housed since I don’t have a copy of the original description.

This is hardly unusual though – a great many fossil specimens languish in collections which people agree need revision, but no one has the time, money or incentive to get around to doing the work (or of course it sits at the bottom of a ‘to do’ pile, or is held up by other factors). So while we continue to refer to this as Dilophosaurus, I can’t think of any theropod worker who has things this genuinely belongs in this genus. Ah, the travails of taxonomy!

Coming next, more theropods.

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17 Responses to “Dilophosaurus sinensis”


  1. 1 Mickey Mortimer 20/12/2009 at 12:39 pm

    The holotype’s at the Kunming Municipal Museum apparently.

    • 2 David Hone 20/12/2009 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks, that’s good to know. I also saw a cast / reconstruction in Zigong, so there are clearly a few copies floating around but I hadn’t tracked down the actual material.

  2. 3 Andrea Cau 20/12/2009 at 2:19 pm

    I red somewhere (perhaps in the recent _Cryolophosaurus_ description paper) that a re-description of “D.” sinensis is in preparation by a team including Currie.

    Could someone confirm?

    • 4 David Hone 20/12/2009 at 2:50 pm

      Well I can ask Phil when I next have cause to bug him. He’s never mentioned it to me, but then why would he. Would be good to see that done more fully, whoever gets the gig.

  3. 5 Paul Barrett 20/12/2009 at 6:31 pm

    I think the original is in Lufeng Dinosaur Museum, though it might be on tour overseas. Phil Currie and Dong Zhiming are working on a description I think.

  4. 6 John Hutchinson 20/12/2009 at 6:57 pm

    Yes there was an SVP abstract (Lamanna et al.???) a while ago about a restudy of ‘D.’ sin.

  5. 7 Hans Sues 20/12/2009 at 9:52 pm

    The material is in Kunming. I visited the locality from where the specimen was collected in 1994. Various groups were supposed to restudy “D.” sinensis, but nothing has ever been published on it.

  6. 8 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. 20/12/2009 at 11:27 pm

    I understand that Dong & Currie have a paper in the works on this beastie, that among other things sorts out the taxonomy. (Currie actually listed this reference in the bib of an extended abstract on Sinraptor quadrates a few years ago.)

  7. 9 Eric 21/12/2009 at 2:41 am

    Paul and Tom are correct: Phil Currie and Dong Zhiming are working on the specimen and its taxonomy. Phil discusses the specimen in his lectures and shows detailed photographs, so his undergrads probably know more than we do. :)

  8. 11 Christopher Collinson 21/12/2009 at 7:37 am

    This particular specimen/cast there of looks altogether completely different from the figure that appears in the original description. I had assumed it was just a crappy schematic drawing untill Adam Yates featured a photo of a skull said to be the holotype of “D.” sinensis, and which is identical to the discription’s figure.

  9. 14 Tracy Ford 27/07/2011 at 9:43 pm

    That skull you show isn’t the type. Do you know which specimen it is? The type has a shorter skull but higher crest.

    http://dracovenator.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html

    Scroll down to the image.

  10. 15 Tuomas Koivurinne 06/08/2012 at 5:25 pm

    Quick question: I read somewhere that “D” sinensis only has a single crest. Can we confirm that it has a double? I’d appreciate it, I’m intending to feature this animal in an illustration.

    • 16 David Hone 06/08/2012 at 6:48 pm

      Actually I really can’t. I mean, it looks like it on that cast and there are certainly reports that it has two, and I’ve seen a remodelled skull that does, but I can’t give you an absolute definitive answer. But then this often happens and you have to trust what people have said or written. I don’t think there’s any good reason to think it didn’t though.


  1. 1 Monolophosaurus and Sinraptor « Dave Hone’s Archosaur Musings Trackback on 21/12/2009 at 8:43 am

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