Alamosaurus was my planned last article, but someone brought up one I missed. So here is…
Probably the most popular and notable dinosaur from the Triassic, Coelophysis was one of the first truly successful dinosaurs. Known by many species across the earth, the one most recognize is Coelophysis bauri, known from Arizona, United States. It’s notable for its slender and sometimes crested head, 4 fingers, and long S-curved neck. A slender and somewhat small dinosaur at 3 meters (9.8 feet) long, 1 meter tall, and at most 20 kg (44 pounds), it was a nimble predator. Alone it might’ve hunted for fish, lizards, or small ornithischian dinosaurs. However it was also known to hunt in large packs from fossil and footprint evidence, and it might’ve used it’s numbers to overwhelm large prey like sauropodomorphs or large dicynodonts like Placerias. It only would’ve feared the apex predator rauisuchids such as Postosuchus, or very rare larger dinosaur predators like Chindesaurus, though it may have been too agile for either to capture. Coelophysis was far more specialized than Eoraptor or Herrerasaurus in both its form and intelligence, which is likely why it lasted much longer as a genus with many different species in multiple locations. The locations it’s known from in the Triassic would’ve been Equatorial Tropical scrublands, where it would’ve flourished in the monsoons of the wet season, and tried to search out livable locations during the harsh dry seasons when all the riverbeds dried up in the searing heat.
- Coelophysis existed for a very long time, from the Late Triassic all the way into the beginning of the Middle Jurassic. Overtime, it adapted and began to resemble a smaller and leaner Dilophosaurus, with a snout kink and twin crests. It’s crests weren’t rounded like Dilophosaurus’s however, and instead more resembled horizontal daggers.
- Coelophysis had excellent vision, comparable and perhaps superior to modern birds of prey. It couldn’t see well in the dark because of its round pupils, but it could’ve spotted prey and resources from great distances in the daylight.
- At the Ghost Ranch quarry in New Mexico, United States, a mass grave of Coelophysis was discovered. It’s estimated up to 1,000 Coelophysis individuals are buried at this site, likely because of a catastrophic flash flood that swept across the entire area.
- It’s name means “Hollow Form.”
Would you like to see Coelophysis in Jurassic World: Alive?
How do you think it’d be in game?
Dinosaurs we would Like #24 - Alamosaurus