(very very early painting!)
So hopefully enough people that have seen Jurassic Park have understood that the Dilophosaurus depicted in the movie is just…wrong. To be precise: the frill, the size, and the poison-spitting thing. Casual moviegoers could probably care less, but some dinosaur nerds like me go bonkers over these instances in the same way that Tolkien readers get uppity over Peter Jackson’s movies and some male moviegoers refuse to watch a comic franchise’s films unless the female lead is showing proper amounts of cleavage. We all pick our battles. I suppose, for me, the principle is that we have all this new technology and have made discoveries and scientific advances that allow us to see more and more with each passing year of what dinosaurs were like, and to see them with slapped-on, ridiculous appendages that bear no resemblance to reality simply feels…insulting. If your movie requires this, use monsters.
So people ask me,”How do you know Dilophosaurus didn’t have a frill? That’s just skin on it’s neck and skin rots away..”
Well, the skin to hold up a frill requires bones–you can even see the bones on the dinosaur in the film. And those bones simply aren’t found in Dilophosaurus skeletal remains. What are correctly shown are the paired crests on top of its skull, the function of which remains a mystery. Scientists generally believe the crests were for display.
Even generic toys portraying Dilophosaurus include the frill. Recently at a Target store, in their dollar bins, I found one like this blue one.
Dilophosaurus was much bigger than the little gal in the film–it actually measured about 20 feet from head to tail and weighed about 1,000 pounds. The film Dilophosaurus could have possibly been a juvenile, but I don’t think it was meant to be seen as such.
Lastly, the poison idiocy. Although there is no evidence to suggest that dinosaurs used poison as a defensive mechanism, I am not actually declaring they couldn’t have. What makes me nuts is the portrayal in the film of a venom-spitting creature using venom to snare prey.
Spitting venom is strictly for defense, experts say.
Think about it…if you are going to try to catch an animal for food, you don’t raise up, emit loud noises, extend a brightly-colored frill and spit.These are things you do to make something run like hell away from you. To catch food, you sneak up on it, pounce and bite. The Dilophosaurus is doing everything on the defense in the film; making noise,flashing color and making itself look bigger, and aiming venom at Dennis Nedry’s eyes. These are actions you perform to make Nedry run, not get caught and eaten by you.
To lean more toward the fantasy angle, I can go with this explanation:
These animals are genetically engineered and frog DNA was used. This can possibly explain away not only the females changing into males, but possibly the turbo-development of toxic secretions.
Possibly in the genetic processing, the Dilophosaurus inherited some sort of throat-sac mechanism like a frog.
I’m at a loss to explain Dilophosaur shrinkage, however.