The Triassic dinosaur genera Podokesaurus and Coelophysis

Discusses the similarities between Podokesaurus and Coelophysis, and concludes that they are the same kind of dinosaur.

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As one aspect of a large study of the North America Triassic dinosaurs, it has been necessary to investigate very carefully the status of the several included genera. Not many genera are involved in the revision that is at present under way, yet there are problems of definition and of status, derived to a large degree from the sad fact that some of the taxa are based on rather inadequate materials. Podokesaurus holyokensis Talbot is one of the forms of which the type fossil is far from satisfactory, and the more this monotypic genus (the type species of which was founded on a single fragmentary skeleton long since destroyed) is studies, the more surely does it appear that Podokesaurus is synonymous with the genus Coelophysis. The purpose of the present paper is to set forth evidence and arguments for such a conclusion.

It is thought advisable to discuss this particular matter separately, rather than to wait for completion of the comprehensive study. Podokesaurus is a name widely established in the literature and has long been recognized as the type of a family of coelurosaurian theropods. The name "Podokesaurus" is consequently significant in works on Triassic dinosaurs, and its status should be clarified as much as possible.