|“||Dinosaurs like this Coelophysis, a highly adaptable little carnivorous dinosaur that was both an active hunter and a scavenger, can survive on very little water. Probably solitary most of the time, but during the dry season would occasionally concentrate in large groups around food and water resources. They are also light-boned, fast, and beautifully adapted for killing.||„|
| — Allen, on Coelophysis|
in Dawn of the Mesozoic
Coelophysis (name meaning "Hollow Form") is a genus of coelophysid theropod dinosaur that originated during the Late Triassic period in what is now North America and Africa. One of the very first and earliest known genera of dinosaurs ever to evolve, Coelophysis was a relatively small carnivore of the Triassic, measuring only 3 meters long and weighing less than 20 kilograms. Therefore, it had a notably lightweight and yet lithe body, due to its sleek appearance and bone structure - though, for its time, it was actually a fairly sizable predator. This primitive theropod is notable for being one of the most specimen-rich dinosaur genera.
In the Series 2 premiere "Birth of a New Blood", a large number of Coelophysis was brought back from Arizona 225 million years ago.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
As some of the very first dinosaurs, Coelophysis lived in North America and Africa during the Late Triassic period 230–208 million years ago. It has been known to be one of the earliest species of dinosaurs that ever evolved. Coelophysis was first discovered and named in 1887 by Edward Drinker Cope. Since then, Coelophysis has become one of the best-known dinosaurs.
Coelophysis was small, about as large as a grown man, standing 3–5 feet (1–1.6 m) tall at the hips, measuring 9–10 feet (3–3.3 m) long, and weighing 15–20 kg (33–44 lbs). They can survive on very little water and are also light-boned, fast, and beautifully adapted for killing. They also could make noise without using much precious water.
As a dinosaur, what made Coelophysis unique were special hips and ankles that allowed them to stand perfectly balanced on two legs. With lightning-fast reactions, they were built to survive. To these swift predators, Placerias was a prey item. It was their speed and agility that gave them the edge in the Mid-Triassic. This was unlike other sauropsids at the time and a unique trait of the averesmentalians.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Though Coelophysis was a pack-hunter, allowing it to hunt other animals, during a dry season when food was scarce, their numbers were on the increase, this led to confrontations. They were opportunistic feeders and would eat anything that moves. Coelophysis was built to be a slender, agile reptile with long neck and tail, perfect for searching scorpions, lizards, and other small animals that may be hiding under rocks, in holes, or on trees.