An unusual adaptation in the caudal vertebrae of Coelophysis bauri (Dinosauria : Theropoda)

Describes unusual structures in the tail of Coelophysis that would have limited its motion in an up-and-down plane.

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A new look at the caudal vertebrae in the Triassic theropod Coelophysis bauri reveals an unusual adaptation of the prezygapophyses. The prezygapophyses overlap the centrum of the previous vertebra between one quarter the length of the preceding centrum and the entire length of the preceding centrum. While other workers have noted this feature, the implications for the movement and function of the tail have not been discussed in detail. Herein is a discussion of this feature, and its biomechanical implications.