New information has been revealed, shattering a preconceived notion that researchers have held regarding a particular dinosaur species. It has been long believed that the Coelophysis species of dino practiced cannibalism, as well as the killing of their own newborns. New evidence suggests that this was a false claim against the species.
Researchers have found new information through the reexamination of a Coelophysis fossil that resided in the American Museum of Natural History (also known as AMNH). By analyzing some of its anatomy, conclusions were made about their eating and hunting practices. Bones found in the ribcage area of the dinosaur’s fossil is actually not of its own species, but of that of a crocodile that roamed the earth many, many years ago.
It was also revealed that the remains of a young Coelophysis was located outside of the remains of an adult and not inside. It is now thought that the adult dino had crushed the younger dino to death and not on purpose. It took further scrutiny to realize that through the decaying process, their bones began to overlap, causing the picture that the adult dino had eaten the younger specimen.
Through these new pieces of information, researchers now want to set the record straight and let everyone know that cannibalism should not be associated with the Coelophysis species. They simply didn’t take part in those sort of eating habits.
These findings have also led to the questioning of many other theories related to cannibalism throughout the dinosaurs. These concerns were printed in the latest Biology Letters journal, which takes a look at how common the practice of eating their own really was, especially among the theropod category of dinosaurs. These dinos were the ones that gave way to the birds we see flying in the sky today. This is the group that the Coelophysis belonged to, millions of years ago.
The history of these Coelophysis specimens can be traced back to 1947, where many Coelophysis remains were uncovered within a mass grave in New Mexico. When it seemed that other dinosaur bones were found inside other specimens, it was concluded that these species must have eaten their own because the remains resembled the look of a younger Coelophysis. This is how the notion of cannibalism among this species group was concocted. It took more than 50 years for researchers to revisit this topic.
There were additional pieces of evidence, which at first, seemed to support the belief of cannibalism throughout the Coelophysis species. Looking back at them, they really didn’t provide much direct evidence to support the claim. The details centered on digested material and casts made from their intestinal tracts. Basically, the evidence was too weak to enter as substantial.
The Coelophysis was a small dinosaur that stood upright, as a member of the carnivorous biped group. These particular species originated from North America and was first traced back in the Late Triassic Period. This means that this species thrived more than 200 million years ago. His name is derived from the hollow bones that they possessed. They are considered to be one of the earliest known dinosaurs on record.