Pronouncing “Hollow Form” The Agile Coelophysis
The Late Triassic theropod whose fossils have been famously found at the Ghost Ranch quarry (New Mexico, United States) causes one or two problems for young dinosaur fans when it comes to pronunciation. Coelophysis is pronounced “See-low-fy-sis”, it might be spelt with a “C” but in reality, the “C sound” is soft and “See-low-fy-sis” is how this dinosaur should be pronounced. One of the most successful dinosaurs of the Late Triassic, the brain of this dinosaur was larger than its reptilian ancestors and it had keen senses, making this three metre long theropod a formidable hunter. As for its diet, it would have been capable of catching and eating a range of small animals including insects, small reptiles, amphibians and fish. It was very probably a generalist carnivore eating a wide range of prey items.
An Illustration of Coelophysis (C. bauri)
Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks
The name means “Hollow Form”, a reference to this dinosaur’s hollow and light limb bones. Note the needle-like teeth in the long, narrow jaws.