Coelophysis

Revision for “Coelophysis” created on March 10, 2015 @ 09:52:56

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Coelophysis
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[two_third]Coelophysis is an extinct genus of coelophysid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 203 to 196 million years ago during the latter part of the Triassic Period in what is now the southwestern United States. Coelophysis was a small, slenderly-built, ground-dwelling, bipedal carnivore, that could grow up to 3 m (9.8 ft) long. It is one of the earliest known genera of dinosaur. Scattered material representing similar animals to Coelophysis were found worldwide in some Late Triassic and Early Jurassic formations. The type species C. bauri, originally given to the genus Coelurus by Edward Drinker Cope in 1887, was described by the latter in 1889. The name Longosaurus and Rioarribasaurus are synonymous with Coelophysis. Another dinosaur, Megapnosaurus, has also been considered to be a genus synonym of Coelophysis. This primitive theropod is notable for being one of the most specimen-rich dinosaur genera. Coelophysis is known from a number of complete fossil skeletons of the species C. bauri, which was a lightly built dinosaur which measured up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) in length and which was more than a meter tall at the hips. Paul (1988) estimated the weight of the gracile form at 15 kg (33 lb), and the weight of the robust form at 20 kg (44 lb). Coelophysis was a bipedal, carnivorous, theropod dinosaur that was a fast and agile runner. Despite being an early dinosaur, the evolution of the theropod body form had already advanced greatly from creatures like Herrerasaurus and Eoraptor. The torso of Coelophysis conforms to the basic theropod body shape, but the pectoral girdle displays some interesting special characteristics: C. bauri had a furcula (wishbone), the earliest known example in a dinosaur. Coelophysis also preserves the ancestral condition of possessing four digits on the hand (manus). It had only three functional digits, the fourth embedded in the flesh of the hand. Coelophysis had narrow hips, forelimbs adapted for grasping, and narrow feet.[10] Its neck and tail were long and slender. The pelvis and hindlimbs of C. bauri are also slight variations on the theropod body plan. It has the open acetabulum and straight ankle hinge that define the Dinosauria. The hindlimb ended in a three-toed foot (pes), with a raised hallux. The tail had an unusual structure within its interlocking prezygapophysis of its vertebrae, which formed a semi-rigid lattice, apparently to stop the tail from moving up and down.[/two_third][one_third_last]<div class="yesborder"> <div align="center"><em><strong>Coelophysis</strong></em></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Coelophysis.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1256 size-medium" src="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Coelophysis-300x169.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="169" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Clade: <strong><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/learn/dinosaurs/categories/dinosauria/">Dinosauria</a></strong> Suborder: <strong><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/learn/dinosaurs/categories/theropoda/">Theropoda</a></strong> Family: <strong>Coelophysidae</strong></p> <a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Coelophysis_size.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1257 size-medium" src="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Coelophysis_size-300x177.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="177" /></a> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Size:</strong> 3 m (9.8 ft) long 1.1 meters (3.6 ft) tall</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Weight:</strong> 15 kg (33 lb)</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/mesozoic_latetriassic.png"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1258 size-medium" src="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/mesozoic_latetriassic-300x120.png" alt="" width="300" height="120" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">When: <strong><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/learn/dinosaurs/tags/triassic/">Triassic Period</a></strong> 203 to 196 million years ago</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/northamerica_worldmap.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-327 size-medium" src="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/northamerica_worldmap-300x132.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="132" /></a>Where: <strong><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/learn/dinosaurs/tags/north-america/">North America</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Diet: <strong><a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/learn/dinosaurs/tags/carnivore/">Carnivore</a></strong></p> </div> [/one_third_last]Coelophysis had a long narrow head (approximately 270 mm (0.9 ft)), with large, forward-facing eyes that afforded it stereoscopic vision and as a result excellent depth perception. Rinehart et al. (2004) described the complete sclerotic ring found for a juvenile Coelophysis bauri (specimen NMMNH P-4200), and compared it to data on the sclerotic rings of reptiles and birds and concluded that this Coelophysis was a diurnal, visually oriented predator." The study found that its vision was superior to most lizards' vision, and ranked with that of modern birds of prey. The eyes of Coelophysis appear to be the closest to those of eagles and hawks, with a high power of accommodation. The data also suggested poor night vision which would mean this dinosaur had a round rather than a split pupil. The teeth of Coelophysis were typical of predatory dinosaurs, blade-like, recurved, sharp and jagged with fine serrations on both the anterior and posterior edges. Its dentition shows that it was carnivorous, probably preying on the small, lizard-like animals that were discovered with it. It may also have hunted in packs to tackle larger prey. Coelophysis bauri has approximately 26 teeth on maxillary bone of the upper jaw and 27 teeth on the dentary bone of the lower jaw. Carpenter (2002) examined the bio-mechanics of theropods forelimbs and attempted to evaluate their usefulness in predation. He concluded that the forelimb of Coelophysis was flexible and had a good range of motion, but its bone structure suggested that it was comparatively weak. The "weak" forelimbs and small teeth in this genus, suggested that Coelophysis preyed upon animals that were substantially smaller than itself. Rinehart et al. agreed that Coelophysis was a "hunter of small, fast-moving prey". Carpenter also identified three distinct models of theropod forelimb use and noted that Coelophysis was a "combination grasper-clutcher" as compared to other dinosaurs that were "clutchers" or "long armed graspers". <a href="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Coelophysis_bauri_mount.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-1259 size-large" src="http://dinosaurstop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Coelophysis_bauri_mount-1024x526.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="526" /></a>
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