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Temporal range: Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, 220–183Ma
Coelophysis-bauri head.jpg
Artist's restoration of Coelophysis bauri
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Suborder: Theropoda
Superfamily: Coelophysoidea
Family: Coelophysidae
Nopcsa, 1923
Type species
Coelurus bauri
Cope, 1887
  • Podokesauridae Huene, 1914
  • Procompsognathidae Nopcsa, 1923
  • Segisauridae Camp, 1936

The Coelophysidae are a family of primitive carnivorous theropod dinosaurs. Most species were relatively small in size. The family flourished in the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic periods.

Under cladistic analysis, Coelophysidae was first defined by Paul Sereno in 1998 as the most recent common ancestor of Coelophysis bauri and Procompsognathus triassicus, and all of that common ancestor's descendants.

Coelophysidae is part of the clade Coelophysoidea. The older term "Podokesauridae", named 14 years prior to Coelophysidae (which would normally grant it priority), is now usually ignored, since its type specimen was destroyed in a fire and can no longer be compared to new finds.[1]



The cladogram below was recovered in a study by Matthew T. Carrano, John R. Hutchinson and Scott D. Sampson, 2005.[3]




Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis

Megapnosaurus kayentakatae

The cladogram below follows the topology from a 2011 analysis by paleontologists Martin D. Ezcurra and Stephen L. Brusatte.[4]

"Megapnosaurus" kayentakatae


Coelophysis rhodesiensis



  1. ^ Sereno, P. (1999). "Taxon Search: Coelophysidae". Accessed 2009-09-02.
  2. ^ Hai-Lu You, Yoichi Azuma, Tao Wang, Ya-Ming Wang and Zhi-Ming Dong (2014). "The first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia". Zootaxa 3873 (3): 233–249. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3873.3.3. 
  3. ^ Carrano, M.T, Hutchinson, J.R, Sampson, S.D. (2005). "New information on Segisaurus halli, a small theropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Arizona." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 25(4):835-849.
  4. ^ Ezcurra, M.D.; Brusatte, S.L. (2011). "Taxonomic and phylogenetic reassessment of the early neotheropod dinosaur Camposaurus arizonensis from the Late Triassic of North America". Palaeontology 54 (4): 763–772. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01069.x.