Thursday, August 06, 2015


Jeff Martz, U.S. NPS
One of the earliest Dinosaurs known to be a Theropod, Coelophysis was a fierce, little Meat-eater who lived during the late Triassic (about 21 million years ago). Slightly built with hollow bones, Coelophysis ran swiftly on his two long legs. In fact, the most prevalent proof of his existence were his footprints found on fossilized trackways.

The Dinosaur Family that Coelophysis belongs to is extremely diverse. The Coelophysoida (Coelophysis and Friends) includes Birds and probably Tyrannosaurus Rex. Many paleontologists regard the taxonomy of His Family to be fluid, and under constant review. About the only thing that Members of this Family have in common is that They are more closely related to Birds than to Carnosaurs, who are the other Meat-eaters.

Discovered in 1881 by David Baldwin, Coelophysis was named by Edward Cope 1889. Then in 1947, a huge number of fossils were found at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico (U.S.). Apparently, these Coelophysis were caught in a massive flood. This huge cache of fossils gave paleontologists much to study about Coelophysis.

Built to hunt, Coelophysis had pointed, serrated, and bladed-like teeth to bite down on his victims. He could also tear out the flesh. With his long fingers and claws, Coelophysis could either grasp or clutch his prey. In other words, He hunted any way He could.

Whilst studying the fossils at Ghost Ranch, scientists found that Coelophysis came in two types. The gracile (the more slender ones) seemed to be females whilst the robust ones seemed to be males. Another find, which was quite troubling, was uncovering young Coelophysis inside the adults. After much investigation, scientists concluded that the adults did not eat the young, since the flood threw everyone together. Their bones had mixed together.

Small and light Coelophysis was a feared predator. Using his long legs, He could run at fast speeds to chase down his victims. Since He had quick reflexes, Coelophysis darted and dodged about to confuse his prey.

Although Coelophysis was small, He was big in terror. Moreover, He passed on that fierceness to his descendants like Velociraptor. Like Him, They inspired terror in their victims. Fierceness comes in all sizes, for it lies in the attitude of the person. Let Coelophysis show you how. But do not be so terrifying, that you frighten everyone.

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