The Coelophysis was a small theropod that lived in the present-day southwestern United States in North America. This genus of dinosaurs was a part of the family, Coelophysidae, which also includes other carnivorous theropod dinosaurs during the Upper Triassic to the Lower Jurassic Period.
|Coelophysis pronunciation||The Coelophysis can be pronounced as “seel-OH-fie-sis”.|
|What does Coelophysis mean?||The dinosaur’s name was derived from two Greek words κοῖλος/koilos (meaning ‘hollow’) and φύσις/physis (meaning ‘form’) and when put together, the name Coelophysis means hollow form, this is because this dinosaur has hollow vertebrae.|
|On the menu||Carnivore|
|Length||3 meter (10 feet)|
|Height||1.3 meters (4 feet)|
|Weight||15-20 kilograms (33-44 lbs)|
|Life expectancy||The life expectancy of Coelophysis is still unknown as there is not enough evidence to prove how long they have lived.|
|Legs used to get around||Bipedal|
|Estimated top speed||The estimated top speed of a Coelophysis is 25 miles per hour or 40.23 kilometers per hour.|
|When they lived||This theropod was known to have lived during the Late Triassic Period, about 225-190 million years ago.|
|Where they have been found?||Their fossils were discovered in Abiquiu, located in New Mexico.|
When & Where
In 1947, a massive fossil of a Coelophysis group was found in the Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, in New Mexico. The fossils that were discovered in this were found to have been washed away by a flash flood, which is a common occurrence during the Late Triassic Period. It has also been concluded that the fossils deposited in the area were well-preserved.
Size & Weight
According to studies, the Coelophysis was one of the earliest dinosaurs and have been concluded that they can get fairly large for a dinosaur. Their heights can reach up to 1.3 meters (4 feet), with length reaching up to 3 meters (10 feet) and can weigh about up to 15-20 kilograms (33-44 lbs).
Mobility & Diet
Just like other theropods, the Coelophysis was a carnivore. They were considered predatory dinosaurs and have been believed to have fed on smaller reptiles as well as early relatives of different mammals.
- This genus existed from Upper Triassic Epoch to 182.7 million years ago.
- Compared to other theropods, this dinosaur had a body mass of approximately 15.3 kg.
- Thrived in a terrestrial environment.
- Just like most dinosaurs, they reproduced by laying eggs.
- Was a carnivore.
- 38 different specimens have been found by paleontologists.
- Aside from being an example of an early dinosaur, the Coelophysis was also one of the first dinosaurs that had a wishbone. Its skull was also the first fossil to be taken to space in 1998 when the Space Shuttle “Endeavor” delivered a specimen from the Carnegie Museum to the Mir Space Station.