Coelophysis walking on sand


Coelophysis were one of the earliest of the meat-eating dinosaurs from the late Triassic period. Analysis of the numerous well-preserved skeletons found in a quarry in New Mexico has suggested that Coelophysis were small, yet fast and agile predators, powered by strong hind limbs and aided by a long, slender tail. The long jaw was filled with typical meat-eater's teeth: sharp, serrated and blade-like. Small animals would have been hunted by sight as Coelophysis had relatively large eyes. So many skeletons all found together suggests they may have lived or hunted in packs.

Scientific name: Coelophysis

Rank: Genus

Common names:

hollow form

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

What their world was like

Desert Earth Desert Earth
A vast desert formed in Earth's prehistoric past when the supercontinent of Pangaea straddled the equator and stretched to the poles. Pangaea's position influenced ocean circulation patterns, and its huge size meant that there were vast areas where moist air from the oceans never penetrated.

BBC News about Coelophysis