Coelurus (Hollow tail)
Othniel Charles Marsh - 1879
Estimated 6-7 feet long
C. fragilis (type)
USA, Wyoming - Morrison Formation
Late Jurassic, 150 million years ago
Coelurus was a genus of small, bipedal theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period. This dinosaur was first described by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1879 and is one of the earliest known dinosaurs in the evolutionary lineage that led to the birds.
Coelurus was relatively small, with an estimated length of about 6-7 feet and a weight of around 50-70 pounds. Despite its small size, it was a fast and agile hunter, equipped with sharp teeth and claws that would have been used to catch small prey, such as lizards, mammals, and early birds.
One of the most interesting features of Coelurus is its long, slender tail, which was likely used for balance and agility. The tail was supported by strong vertebrae and was probably covered in long feathers, similar to those seen in other early bird-like dinosaurs, such as the more famous Archaeopteryx.
The fossils of Coelurus have been found in North America, primarily in the western United States, including Wyoming and Utah. The discovery of this dinosaur has been important in helping paleontologists to understand the early evolution of dinosaurs and the transition from dinosaurs to birds.
Overall, Coelurus is a fascinating dinosaur that provides valuable insight into the early evolution of dinosaurs and their relationships with birds. Its small size, agility, and hunting adaptations make it a fascinating subject of study for anyone interested in dinosaur biology and evolution.