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Temporal range: Late Triassic-Early Jurassic, 220–183 Ma
Skull comparison of Coelophysidae (Coelophysis rhodesiensis at the top left, Panguraptor lufengensis at the top right, Coelophysis bauri at the bottom left, Coelophysis kayentakatae at the bottom right)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Superfamily: Coelophysoidea
Family: Coelophysidae
Nopcsa, 1923
Type species
Coelurus bauri
Cope, 1887
  • 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.[2]


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, modified with additional data by You Hai-Lu and colleagues in 2014.[1][4]

"Syntarsus" kayentakatae

Panguraptor lufengensis

Coelophysis bauri

Coelophysis rhodesiensis

Camposaurus arizonensis

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hai-Lu You; Yoichi Azuma; Tao Wang; Ya-Ming Wang; 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. 
  2. ^ Sereno, P. (1999). "Taxon Search: Coelophysidae". Accessed 2009-09-02.
  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.