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Jurassic Park Institute Artwork

Name meaning

"Double-crested Lizard"

Code name

Spitter or Dilo




3 meters (10 feet)[1]


6 meters (20 feet)[2][3]


1 Ton (2,000 lbs)[1]


Arizona, China[1]


Isla Nublar
Isla Sorna[3]

Birth type


Novel canon appearances

Jurassic Park

Movie canon appearances

Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park: The Game
Jurassic World (hologram only)

Game appearances

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
Jurassic Park III: Island Attack
Jurassic Park III: Park Builder
Jurassic Park: Explorer
Jurassic Park: Builder
Jurassic World: The Game
For full list click the the "Games" tab.

Theme park appearances

Jurassic Park: The Ride (Hollywood)
Jurassic Park: River Adventure

Template Source

Dilophosaurus was one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs of the Early Jurassic Period. Dilophosaurus gets its name from the two thin crests of bone on the top of its head. These were probably used as a display for courtship purposes (it's unlikely that it had a frill like the movie suggests). Dilophosaurus has been found in both the U.S. and China, which, although part of the same huge landmass, were still quite a long distance from each other.

As a more primitive predatory dinosaur, Dilophosaurus didn't have forward facing eyes to give it stereo vision. It may have used scent as an integral part of its hunting technique. It had long and slender, rear-curving teeth in long jaws and strong front arms which would have been effective in grabbing prey. It was fast - probably with a top speed of about 30-mph. It also had a long tail that could have been used as a whip in a fight. Footprints attributed to Dilophosaurus appear in groups, so it may have hunted in small packs. It shares the same overall body configuration as Coelophysis even though Dilophosaurus is currently classified as a member of a different group of theropods rather than Coelophysis and its relatives.[4]

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Dilophosaurus

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Early concept art by Mark Hallett.
  • Dilo's Profile Concept Art
  • Concept of the frill
  • Dilo's Head Concept Art

Dilophosaurus, along with Procompsognathus and Troodon, are the only known venomous dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park franchise.

Dilophosaurus lived during the early Jurassic Period, before mosquitoes are currently confirmed by the fossil record to exist. If Jurassic Park was able to find any viable DNA specimens, there would have been very little to go on. This would mean that there would be more gaps than normal in the DNA sequence, subsequently filled by more frog DNA. This could explain why the Dilophosaurus are so different from their prehistoric counterparts, far more so than other dinosaurs.

The movie's Dilo was also sized down to prevent confusion with the raptors.[19] Because of its minor role, the filmmakers were able to not fully follow the storyboards involving the Dilo completely.[20] Similarly, Shane Mahan—head of the Stan Winston Studio team who created the Dilophosaur—went ahead and created the full-sized animatronic without making a full-size maquette, his reasons being that he was confident that his team did not require a full maquette to create it and because he "wanted to get right into the actual character."[19]

Content jurassic-park-spitter-blog-8

Shane Mahan detailing the heads of the final design of the Dilophosaurus animatronic.

The Stan Winston Studio team responsible for the creation of the Dilophosaur animatronic analyzed frame by frame a documentary featuring an ostrich which the used to create the hopping gait of its animatronic. Initially, a cam operated mechanism was created for one of its legs to follow the gait of an ostrich before a different mechanism was chosen. This later mechanism were rods coming out of its feet going beneath the floor and operated by a puppeteer.[21] Inspired by the Steadicam, Rick Galinson created the concept for its neck.[19] Each spring in the neck and head were sprung differently with each spring being heavier from the head the to the body, providing realistic movements.[21] This had mechanism had originally been proposed for the raptor, but Stan Winston Studio was not convinced that it work had an animal that large, so the steady cam mechanism was transferred to the Dilophosaurus. After the mechanism was crated, Stan Winston was impressed by what Galinson had done and applied it to the animatronic of the Velociraptor's head and neck, scrapping an alternate design for the raptor animatronic.[19] The animatronic had three interchangeable heads: the frill in a lowered position, mechanized to allow the frill to open, and lastly the frill open and able to rattle as well as the ability to spit.[22] The frill itself was a sheet of latex rubber glued onto some support rods hooked to a pulley. When activated it rotate out and forward at the same time as it was coming off the animatronic Dilo's neck. Its ability to spit was a paintball mechanism with the spit itself being a mixture of KY Jelly and food coloring. Underneath the tongue of the third head were two holes for the tubing that would have high-pressure air pumped through them to allow the animatronic the ability to "spit". The rest of the body, such as the head, tail, and arms were radio controlled.[21] Cable-actuated insert legs were also created to portray the Dilo's hop when it initially approaches Nedry. The hopping was created by the legs being suspended from stage catwalks on bungee cords.[23][22]


Unused paddock icon.

For the filming of Nedry's demise, a trench was built on the set for the path the Dilophosaurus would take as well as so that Shane Mahan could support and puppeteer the Dilo's legs while a crane above supported its body and the rest of the team responsible for its creation radio-controlled the other body parts of the animatronic upstairs. Because of the copious amount of water that was to be on the set during shooting, the soundstage used in the filming of the scene had a water tank underneath the set and was supposed to drain into the Los Angeles River, but the drainage system did not function well. This caused water to overflow into the puppeteering area, which lead to Mahan being given a riser to stand on just to get at least some of the water off of him, but the water level only got higher. The roaring of the water made it difficult to hear out of his headset making him unable to hear the film crew, which made him rely on video monitor stacked onto some Snapple boxes. But water got so high that this monitor floated away from Mahan and was rising to his chest. However, this was toward the end of filming and filming of the scene was filmed without Mahan drowning.[22][21] Director Steven Spielberg thought that the Dilophosaurus was going to be the easiest practical dinosaur to film in Jurassic Park, but was disappointed by the problems that occurred when filming of the scene.[24] The Dilophosaurus and Triceratops are the only dinosaurs to appear in Jurassic Park that did not use CGI, only using animatronics.

The sounds of the Dilophosaurus came from various sources. The hooting sounds it made were created from a swan call while the screeches it made when preparing to spit were created from a mixture of a hawk, howler monkey, an egret (that has a raspy call), and sound designer Gary Rydstrom making a croaking sound to give the dinosaur some body and weight. The rattling of its frill was also created from a rattlesnake and a "very exotic" insect.[25][26] [27]

The Jurassic Park trading card of Dilophosaurus incorrectly states that it is forty feet in height.[28] If this were the case that would mean the crested dinosaur would be taller than Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus as well as both its real life and film counterparts. This seems to have been an error by the publisher as the card "A Dilophosaur Drops By" gives a more accurate height of four feet for the film's Dilo.[29]

The Jurassic Park depiction of Dilophosaurus has been taken up by others. Several other video games, such as ParaWorld, Jurassic: The Hunted, Nanosaur, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, feature Dilophosaurus modeled after the representations in Jurassic Park. In Primal Carnage, the Dilophosaur can spit poison over long distances, but it doesn't have a frill. The Whitest Kids U'Know sketch "Dinosaur Rap" (a music video for Trevor Moore's "Gettin' High With Dinosaurs") features a Dilophosaurus, complete with a short frill.

The holographic Dilophosaurus in Jurassic World was the size of Delta the Velociraptor, providing more evidence that the Dilophosaurus in Jurassic Park was a juvenile.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dinosaur Field Guide, page 64.
  2. InGen Field Guide, page 16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Seen on computer in Trailer, see picture in text.
  4. Dinopedia on the JPI site
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Jurassic Park
  6. Jurassic Park III
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Jurassic Park: The Game
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Tour the Island
  10. InGen Field Journal, Dilophosaurus
  12. Jurassic World
  13. Jurassic Park (novel), page 300
  14. Jurassic Park (novel), Control, page 142
  15. Jurassic Park (novel), Nedry (chapter), page 195.
  16. Jurassic Park (novel), page 147
  17. Jurassic Park (novel), Under Control, page 368
  18. Mike Taylor Interview. Retrieved from
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 The Making of Jurassic Park, pp. 35-36
  20. Jurassic Park Topps trading cards: #92 - Likeable But Lethal
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 JURASSIC PARK's Spitter - Building the Dilophosaurus Dinosaur puppet
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Mahan, Shane. (August 17, 2012) Jurassic Park's Spiter Attacks Nedry. Stan Winston School of Character Arts, excerpted from the book The Winston Effect: The Art & History of Stan Winston Studio.
  23. The Making of Jurassic Park, pp. 113-114.
  24. Sears, Rufus. (October 12, 2014) How Jurassic Park Became The Biggest Movie Of All Time. Empire Online, first published in Empire Magazine #50 (August 1993).
  25. The Making of Jurassic Park documentary
  26. The Making of Jurassic Park, p. 144.
  27. Buachann, Kyle. (June 9, 2015) You’ll Never Guess How the Dinosaur Sounds in Jurassic Park Were Made. Vulture.
  28. Jurassic Park Topps trading cards: #4 - Dilophosaurus
  29. Jurassic Park Topps trading cards: #44 - A Dilophosaur Drops By


Jurassic Park Dinosaurs
BrachiosaurusDilophosaurusGallimimusParasaurolophusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
Jurassic Park: The Game Dinosaurs
CompsognathusDilophosaurusHerrerasaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonTroodonTriceratopsTylosaurusTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor

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