Review of the Wild Safari Dilophosaurus Model

With the release of the movie Jurassic Park, the early Jurassic Theropod Dilophosaurus became quite a familiar sight in dinosaur model series.  Despite the very dubious representation of this member of the Coelophysoidea in the film, Dilophosaurus models have appeared in the Carnegie Collectibles series, Bullyland, Schleich Dinosaurs and recently in the Procon/Collecta range.

Dilophosaurus was badly misrepresented in Jurassic Park, first of all it was undersized, the animals depicted in the film were much smaller than an adult Dilophosaurus (D. wetherilli) would have been.  In truth, Dilophosaurus could attain lengths in excess of 6 metres, making it one of the largest predatory dinosaurs around during the Sinemurian faunal stage of the early Jurassic (approx. 200 million years ago).  There is no evidence of a neck frill that could be extended to scare or intimidate other dinosaurs.  The neck frill idea was just part of the film designer’s imagination, perhaps they had been observing the Australian frill-necked lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii).  Another feature of Dilophosaurus depicted in the film, again a result of an over active imagination of the film designers, was the poison glands.  The fossil record has yielded very little evidence of any poisonous Theropods and certainly not with a Dilophosaur.  However, the delicate and light jaws of Dilophosaurus seem unsuited to coping with struggling prey so we can see where the design team got their idea from.  A disabled victim, poisoned by venom from a Dilophosaurus would present little danger to the light and delicate jaws.

The genus Dilophosaurus seems to be quite widespread with fossils found in western North America and China.

A Scale Drawing of Dilophosaurus wetherilli

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

One of the newest models of this particular dinosaur is the Wild Safari Dilophosaurus (Safari Ltd of the USA).  This new model is an updated representation of this meat-eating dinosaur and presents Dilophosaurus as a more lithe and lighter creature with a long slender tail.  This contrasts with the early representation of this dinosaur as depicted in the Carnegie Dinosaur Collectibles range.  In this earlier model, introduced in 1994, a pair of Dilophosaurs are portrayed together, a homage to the fact that since three skeletons of this dinosaur have been found in close proximity, they may have lived in packs.

The Wild Safari Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus (Carnegie Collectibles)

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Wild Safari Dilophosaurus shows a terrific amount of detail, the neck is much more slender in appearance and the two skull crests (after which this dinosaur is named), are narrow and delicate looking.  These crests are much more accurately reproduced when this particular model is compared with earlier versions such as the Schleich Dinosaurs series or the Bullyland Dilophosaurus model.  The legs are much thinner than on earlier models, although care has been taken to give the impression of a strong runner, after all, Dilophosaurus was probably quite agile and fast.    The model is painted in a dark brown pigment with a lighter tan under-body, with only the head showing any flashes of colour; flesh covering the anteorbital fenestra is coloured blue and the skull crests are a reddish hue.

A View of the Wild Safari Dilophosaurus Head

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the close up view of the head of the model, the blue flash on the side of the head can clearly be seen, the crests are prominent and the fine paintwork around the mouth is revealed.  The distinctive, kinked upper jaw of this particular dinosaur is visible on this replica.

This new addition to the Wild Safari Dinos model series is probably one of the best depictions of Dilophosaurus around at the moment.

To view the model: Dinosaur Models and Dinosaur Toys

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