STL Science Center

STL Science Center

07 January 2014

Ghost Ranch Writers

Many people have discussed, researched, and written about Coelophysis. Sometimes those writings appear in books, like this chapter on variation within Coelophysis bauri by Edwin Colbert that can be found in 1990's Dinosaur Systematics edited by Carpenter and Currie. That variation and the study of it leads to comparisons between taxa ultimately. The very similar Syntarsus rhodesiensis, recently renamed Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis due to a conflict of the name with a beetle, is a genus of coelophysid dinosaur recovered from North America and Africa that is extremely similar to Coelophysis morphologically. Because of the variation of Coelophysis, an in depth comparison of the two genera is necessary to point out the traits that separate them. Less direct comparisons have also been undertaken that look at the cranial mechanics of Coelophysis and later theropods that highlight the traits that began in Coelophysis and evolved over time in the derived specimens that were compared. Last but not least, it is important, in understanding the specimens that have been researched since the first Coelophysis skeletons were described, understanding the location and preservation of the largest deposits of skeletons. Ghost Ranch has been studied and the remains of many Coelophysis and other animals have been documented and researched within the area. Though from 1994, Schwartz and Gillette, discuss the geology and the taphonomy of Ghost Ranch, which provides important contextual information to Coelophysis since so many of the described specimens have originated at Ghost Ranch.

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