Dinosauria Online

Say hello to: COELOPHYSIS


COELOPHYSIS (see-lo-FYS-iss) "Hollow Form" (Greek koilos = hollow + physis = form, referring to its hollow bones)

A Late Triassic COELUROSAUR. This small two-legged meat eater is one of the earliest and most primitive North American THEROPODS known. It was only 10 feet (3 m) long, counting the long, slender TAIL that it carried stretched out behind. It stood 3 feet (90 cm) tall at the hips and weighed about 100 pounds (45 kg). Its head was small. but it had very long jaws. The neck was long and slender. The legs were also long and slender; the bones were hollow like those of a bird. The FEET had three long forward-pointing toes and a dewclaw. The arms were short, like those of most other theropods, and the three-fingered HANDS could grip prey.

Some scientists think that Coelophysis probably lived in family groups. Whole families, from very small juveniles to adults have been found together in New Mexico. This seems to indicate that the parents gave some are to their YOUNG. Two adult skeletons were found with the remains of tiny Coelophysis skeletons inside their rib cages. This may mean that Coelophysis gave birth to live young, but more likely it means that adults sometimes ate the young. Traces of Coelophysis have been found in the eastern United States as well as in New Mexico. PODOKESAURUR may be the same as this dinosaur.

Classification: Coelurosauria, Theropoda, Saurischia