Case 2840: Coelurus bauri Cope, 1887 (currently Coelophysis bauri; Reptilia, Saurischia): proposed replacement of the lectotype by a neotype

After the Ghost Ranch dinosaur was given the name Rioarribasaurus, these researchers proposed that a skeleton from Ghost Ranch be made the new type specimen of Coelophysis bauri, validating the name Coelophysis by the Rules of Nomenclature and permanently affixing it to the dinosaur from Ghost Ranch.

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The purpose of this application is to propose a neotype for the well-known Triassic dinosaur Coelurus bauri Cope, 1887, the type species of Coelophysis Cope, 1889. Hunt & Lucas (1991) have suggested that Cope's name is a nomen dubium because of the fragmentary nature of the original type material; they erected a new nominal taxon Rioarribasaurus colberti Hunt & Lucas 1991. This action is unnecessary and confusing. Extraordinarily abundant remains of this dinosaur are known from the general locality and the horizon where Cope's specimens were found. It is proposed that a complete skeleton, the holotype of R. colberti, be designated as the neotype of Coelurus bauri Cope, 1887 thereby rendering C. bauri a senior objective synonym of R. colberti and providing a much more informative type specimen.