11 Interesting Facts About Coelophysis

Coelophysis suggests a tongue twister for sure, but did you also know that it is one of the best representations of meat-eating dinosaurs? Although it is small and slender but it is one of the oldest known dinosaurs. Let us know more about these species through some interesting facts. So here we go!

cover coelophysis

1. Existence



The Coelophysis existed during the latter part of Triassic period, which is almost 109-230 million years ago when dinosaurs were not even the ruling lizards. They were third in position behind crocodiles and Archosaurs.
Source: wikipedia, Image: wikimedia

2. The “True” Dinos


Coelophysis were one of the earliest known dinosaurs and it has been inferred that all the other dinosaurs have evolved out of its predecessor ‘Archosaurs’.
Source: dinosaurs.about.com, Image: wikimedia

3. Named Like That

edward drinker cope

Edward Drinker Cope was the man behind its not-so-catchy name. He kept it in order to refer to his hollow bones which helped it to remain light and nimble on its feet and therefore making its adaptability easy in the ecosystem of North America.
Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

4. Wishbone


Nothing like the name suggests, though a wish bone is a bone formed by the fusion of two clavicles in some birds and, recently discovered that, in dinosaurs too. The Coelophysis was among the first few dinos that had furcula and the interesting part is that they were not even closely related to birds.
Source: wikipedia, Image: cultofweird.com

5. Cluster of Bones

ghost ranch

It was found by Edward H. Colbert that there are thousands of Coelophysis’ bones, intermingled and ranging from the hatchlings to the old dinos in Ghost Ranch of New Mexico.
Source: dinosaurs.about.com, Image: wikipedia

6. ….And


Well, and that’s why New Mexico’s state dinosaurs is no other than Coelophysis.
Source: dinosaurs.about.com, Image: factsofusarehere.com

7. Eating Their Babies?

coelpphysis eating

It was once alleged that Coelophysis eat their own young ones based on the smaller but similar bones found in its gut. Later on it was revealed that they didn’t eat the young ones but smaller archosaurs.
Source: dinosaurs.about.com, Image:tvtropes.org

8. Females or Males?

coelophysis female and male

The scientists have found fossils of many size and they are confused that which gender was bigger in size? Popularly, everyone would guess that the males were bigger. In many species of theropod, the females were bigger than males. And so the enigma continues to grow.
Source: dinosaurs.about.com, Image: about.com

9. Big Eyes

big eyes

Coelphysis were also known for their big huge eyes (oooh, dreamy!). This was because most predators relied on their sense of sight and smell to hunt. Correspondingly, they had bigger brains to formulate the visions.
Source: wikipedia

10. Komodo Lizards

komodo dragon

The fierce jaw of these guys was designed in order to make slashing bites just like present day komodo dragons (Chill, it’s not a dragon but just a lizard!).
Source: wikipedia, Image: nationalgeographic

11. Trip to Space


On January 22nd, 1998, the Endeavor shuttle took off for an eight-day mission with a Coelophysis skull. It had a symbolic meaning though. It was to “symbolize the bond between Earth’s history and mankind’s future.”
Source: wikipedia