(see-lo-FISE-iss)One of the very first dinosaurs, Coelophysis
was known to have lived more than 210 million years ago. in 1947, scientist found more
than a hundred skeletons at Ghost Ranch, New mexico. There were many animals of different
ages, and they ranged between 3 feet and 10 feet in length. This discovery has led
scientists to believe that thye lived in colonies and wandered about in large herds.
Coelophysis was a nimble dinosaur and could
probably run very fast. It had slim legs, a long neck and tail and a pointed head with
sharp teeth. Feeding on a diet of meat, Coelophysis had three fingers on each hand and a
strong muscle joining its hips to its spine. This muscle probably enabled it to twist and
turn as it ran, chasing small animals on which it fed.
Some fossil remains of a Coelophysis show babies
inside what would have its stomach. This causes some people to wonder if they were
cannibals, eating their young when other food got scarce. Some scientists think they gave
birth to live young. Other dinosaurs laid eggs.
Diet: Small vertebrates
Size: Length 3m (10ft)