What other animals lived alongside Coelophysis?

Coelophysis lived on river floodplains dominated by the crocodile-like phytosaurs. Other contemporaries of Coelophysis include the armadillo reptiles (aetosaurs) and the large, shovel-headed amphibians, the metoposaurs.

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Coelophysis lived in a Late Triassic landscape populated by everything from insects to giant crocodile-like phytosaurs. The Coelophysis bonebed at Ghost Ranch contains fossils of some of the animals that lived (and died) alongside Coelophysis:

• crustaceans and bony fishes that lived in the pond where the dinosaur bones were buried

• phytosaurs, 22-foot-long/6.7-meter-long, crocodile-like reptilian predators

• rauisuchians, another kind of large reptilian predator

• the strange, toothless reptile Shuvosaurus

• small, lizard-like sphenodonts

• Vancleavea, a small early crocodile

• a bizarre tree climbing reptile, a drepanosaurid

Elsewhere in New Mexico, Triassic rocks that are the same age as the Coelophysis bonebed at Ghost Ranch also yield fossils of other contemporaries. These include the shovel-headed large amphibians (metoposaurs) and the armadillo-like reptiles, the aetosaurs. Coelophysis must have hunted the smaller animals, such as the sphenodonts and crocodiles, and tried to avoid the large predators, such as the phytosaurs and the rauischians.