Cope_1889_main

On a new genus of Triassic dinosauria

The New Mexico fossils that Cope previously described as new species of Coelurus or Tanystrophæus are given the name Coelophysis.

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Abstract

In this journal for April, 1887, I described two species of Goniopodous Dinosauria, under the names of Coelurus longicollis and C. bauri, from the Triassic formation of New Mexico. I subsequently discovered that they could not be referred to the genus Coelurus, and placed them provisionally (Proceeds, Amer. Philos. Society, 1887, p.221) in the Tanystrophaeus of Von Meyer. I have recently learned that the reputed vertebrae of the latter genus possesses no complete neural canal, so that the position in the skeleton of these elements, on which the genus was founded, becomes problematical. It becomes evident that the Triassic species in question must be referred to a genus distinct from any hitherto known, differing from Coelurus in the biconcave cervical vertebrae, and from Megadactylus in the simple femoral condyles, as well as in other points. I propose that it be called Coelophysis, and the three species, C. longicollis, C. bauri, and C. willistoni respectively.