Fossil Friday: Dilophosaurus

chibi_dilo

 

Species: Dilophosaurus wetherilli (dih-lohf-oh-saw-rus weh-the-rill-eye)

What it means: Two-crested lizard

Where I live: Arizona in the U.S.A.- The Kayenta formation

When to find me: The Early Jurassic period, about 196 million years ago.

My favorite food: Meat! I’m a carnivore.

Size_dilo_flat

dry floodplains_flat
During the dry season only the toughest cycads stay green

wet floodplains
During the wet season ferns and horsetails come to life

My neighborhood: The Kayenta formation used to be a tropical floodplain, a bit like African savannah today- but no grass or flowers. Ferns cover the open plains, dotted with islands of spiky cycad groves. Rivers crisscross the land with lush tree ferns, ginkgo trees, and conifers. Every year during the wet season the plains turn into a flooded marsh, but the hottest months bring no rain, and the rivers shrink until the plains are almost as dry as the great desert that lies to the north.

 

A few of my neighbors: Sarahsaurus (an early sauropod) and Scelidosaurus (armored dinosaur) are some tough neighbors. We don’t talk much. But if I’m lucky, little Scutellosaurus (small armored dinosaur) might join me for lunch. Coelophysis (smaller meat-eater) scurry around everywhere and are happy to take a few leftovers, or join me on a quick chase after frogs, turtles, or a crocodile cousin or two. They like to stay close to the rivers. A long-tailed pterosaur patrols the skies for insects like beetles, dragonflies, an ancient cousin of the moth, and something called a snakefly.

Critter of the Month: Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂

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Picasso continued his routine patrol of the fence with all the decorum of a peacock. Each step deliberate so that not a single scrubby twig shifted, his fur-like feathers barely brushing against the wire grid too high to jump. Dry ferns and prickly scrub grew through the mesh at the foot of the fence, but ahead there was an emptiness in the dense line of browning vegetation. And the fence…the fence was gone!

Continue reading

Critter of the Month: Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂

picasso_update

He could see her across the field with his keen, yellow eyes. A fence separated him from her as she rested beneath the shade of a tall, prickly cycad palm. Was that a hint of rosy pink wattles? A flash of golden eyes beneath the soft brown of the half-moon crest that crowned her delicate white head? He wasn’t sure, but a gentleman must always look his best in front of a lady, so he arched his long neck and raised his scaly tail.

Continue reading

Critter of the Week Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂

picasso_update

Picasso looks very happy to see you, and he wonders very much if you like his red crest.  He’s very proud of it, you see, and he’s been strutting around the field like a very large rooster. Continue reading

Critter of the Week Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂

picasso_update

Picasso looks very happy to see you, and he wonders very much if you like his red crest.  He’s very proud of it, you see, and he’s been strutting around the field like a very large rooster. Continue reading

Critter of the Week Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂

picasso_update

Picasso looks very happy to see you, and he wonders very much if you like his red crest.  He’s very proud of it, you see, and he’s been strutting around the field like a very large rooster.

He marches up and down the fence line with his chest puffed out and his neck arched like a stallion.  He watches over his patch of yard like the duke of the land, and if something doesn’t look quite right, he’ll stand as tall as he can and show off those blue feathers- just so you know he has things under control.

Oh yes, feathers!  Now we don’t know for sure if this critter had feathers or not, and the whole subject of feathered dinos deserves it’s own series of posts, but there’s a definite possibility. 🙂

If you want to find out more about dinosaurs and feathers, here’s a post on what makes a feather, and here’s a post on figuring out which dinos might’ve had them. 🙂

I’ve given Picasso a coat of feathers similar in texture to an emu’s, which gives him the furry look.  His fingers and feet are feathered too, like a snowy owl, but they have pads on them for walking and grabbing.

If you’ve watched a lot of Jurassic Park, take note that Picasso has awesome grabby hands that are good for hugs.  Not dangly zombie bunny arms.  What good are those for? 😛

 

Making progress…

 

Happy New Year!  I hope you’ve been having a good holiday season.

I have big plans for the new year…Here’s a basic list, kinda in the order I want to accomplish it.

  • officially set up Mailchimp so that I can launch Pete’s Postcards from the Shop.
  • Finish Dippy vs. Ball so I can publish my first book (ever.)
  • Earn my first 99 cents from said book. 😀
  • Prep Dippy vs. Ball to make a print version available.
  • Create more Critter Cam episodes until I have enough for the anthology, which will also be available in print.

And…

  • Publish “Little, Quiet Dinosaur” (working title) by my birthday this year!  We’ll see how realistic a goal that is later, but I’ll try my best to have it at least finished (if not ready to publish on Amazon).

I have a strategy in mind, to make sure this happens.  Once Dippy vs. Ball is published, I’ll then work on an illustration for the picture book.

With an illustration complete, I’ll prep Dippy vs. Ball so that it can be available in print as well.

Then another illustration for the picture book…then I’ll start a second Critter Cam episode…you get the picture. 🙂

This way I hope to have more books out there (and therefore more easily seen, so future readers know I exist) while still making progress on the picture book. 🙂

P.S. – In case you didn’t notice, Picasso got an update!  

  • He looks more like most of the other critters now, style-wise
  • He’s more balanced over his hips now, and doesn’t look like he’s about to fall on his face
  • His head crest is shorter, and more like the latest skeletal drawings
  • His body is leaner, since I gave his feathers a slightly shorter, more fur like look.

Here’s the older picture for comparison. 🙂

picasso

Coming Next Week…

This big guy is always ready to flash a big, toothy smile, especially at mealtime.

Share your guess in the comments! He’ll be one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

Critter of the Week?

Oh no! I opened the back pasture gate to let Picasso up the hill this morning, and Pete and I just can’t find him anywhere.  A bit odd that he didn’t come for his treat.  I hope Skittles doesn’t mind.  I did see Picasso playing tag with her once…

 

I’m sorry about that.  You never know with critters…they can have the most predictable habits, but sometimes things turn out differently.  He probably found a lizard or something in the brush and ran after it.

Picasso is a Dilophosaurus, a leopard-sized predator of Jurassic Arizona.  He’s quite good at catching small, slippery snacks, so it might take Pete a while to find him in the brush.

While we wait, here is a Youtube clip that squashes a lot of misconceptions about Dilophosaurus.  Enjoy! 🙂