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Temporal range: Lopingian, 260.4–251Ma
Coelurosauravus BW.jpg
Life restoration of Coelurosauravus jaekeli
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Family: Weigeltisauridae
Genus: Coelurosauravus
Piveteau, 1926

Coelurosauravus elivensis (type) Coelurosauravus jaekeli

For the group of theropod dinosaurs, see Coelurosauria.

Coelurosauravus (meaning "hollow lizard grandfather") is a genus of basal diapsid reptile, with specialized wing-like structures allowing it to glide. These were rod like structures with skin stretched over them. These bony rods are not extensions of the ribs but are newly evolved dermal bones, a feature which is unique to the genus.

The average length of the specimens was 40 centimetres (16 in) and the body was long and flat, suitable for gliding. The skull was lizard-like with a pointed snout and contained a broad back with a serrated crest, superficially resembling the crests of ceratopsian dinosaurs.[1] It lived during the Upper Permian (Lopingian) period in what is now Germany, England and Madagascar.

In popular culture[edit]

A Coelurosauravus features strongly in the science fiction show Primeval. A male Coelurosauravus, later named "Rex", enters the present through a Time anomaly and, despite attempts to send it back to the Permian, quickly becomes a mascot for the team featured in the series. Coelurosauravus is incorrectly shown to be capable of powered flight rather than simple gliding, and far larger than its real size of 40 cm. In addition it is shown with a retractable head crest, which is entirely speculative.

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 83. ISBN 1-84028-152-9. 
  • Parker, Steve. Dinosaurus: the complete guide to dinosaurs. Firefly Books Inc, 2003. Pg. 98
  • Lambert D, Naish D, and Wyse E (2001) Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life, p.77, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. ISBN 0-7513-0955-9
  • Evans SE (1982) Gliding reptiles of the Upper Permian. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 76:97–123.
  • Evans SE, Haubold H (1987) A review of the Upper Permian genera Coelurosauravus, Weigeltisaurus and Gracilisaurus (Reptilia: Diapsida). Zool J Linn Soc, 90:275–303.
  • Frey E, Sues H-D, Munk W (1997). Gliding Mechanism in the Late Permian Reptile Coelurosauravus. Science Vol. 275. no. 5305, pp. 1450 - 1452 doi:10.1126/science.275.5305.1450