Sullivan_etal_1996_main

The type locality of Coelophysis, a Late Triassic dinosaur from north-central New Mexico (USA)

Discusses the location where the original type specimens of Coelophysis were collected in the 1880s, and argues that it was different from the Ghost Ranch Coelophysis bonebed discovered in the 1940s.

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Abstract

The dinosaur quarry at Ghost Ranch is not the type locality of any of the three named species of the Late Triassic ceratosaurian dinosaur Coelophysis (Saurischia: Theropoda). Instead, newly discovered localities near Ghost Ranch that produce Late Triassic ceratosaurs match the geographic and stratigraphic description of two of the Coelophysis type localities provided by DAVID BALDWIN, the original collector. Furthermore, the preservation and morphology of ceratosaur fossils from the new localities more nearly matches BLADWIN's original material than does the Ghost Ranch quarry material. We conclude that these new localities encompass BALDWIN's localities, so the newly collected ceratosaur fossils from these localities are probable topotypes of Coelophysis. These topotypes preserve unique morphology that suggests Coelophysis is a taxon distinct from Rioarribasaurus, the Ghost Ranch dinosaur.