Hunt_lucas_1991_main

Rioarribasaurus, a new name for a Late Triassic dinosaur from New Mexico (USA)

Argues that the fossils originally named Coelophysis were not collected at the Ghost Ranch bonebed and do not possess any features that could be used to identify a distinctive dinosaur species. Since the fossils from Ghost Ranch cannot be confidently referred to Coelophysis, the new name Rioarribasaurus colberti is proposed for the Ghost Ranch dinosaur.

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Abstract

The Late-Triassic dinosaur generic name Coelophysis COPE 1889 (type species C. bauri [COPE 1887]) is a nomen dubium because the lectotype of C. bauri, AMNH 2722, is four sacral vertebrae and a pubic process of the ilium that are not diagnostic. Dinosaur specimens from the famous Whitaker ("Coelophysis") quarry in the Rock Point Member of the Chinle Formation at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico thus lack a valid name. We create a new genus and species name, Rioarribasaurus colberti, for these specimens.