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Coelophysis and Rioarribasaurus
I was browsing around on the internet the other day -- read an article on
the FRIENDS OF PALEO home page about Coelophysis and Rioarribasaurus. For
those who do not yet know of this debate, the original fossil, from which
Coelophysis was named, was so fragmentary that some believe it couldn't be
distinguished as a new dinosaur. So the excellent, complete,
distinguishable fossils found at Ghost Ranch, POSITIVELY known to be a new
species of dinosaur, were recently named _Rioarribasaurus colberti_. Some
scientists have argued that the type specimen of Coelophysis is not THAT
bad, and that Coelophysis should be kept at a name. But right now,
Rioarribasaurus seems to be most favored.
So the dinosaur we knew as Coelophysis no longer carries that name -- in
fact, Coelophysis no longer exists, right?
The original Coelophysis has been reexamined and scientists seem to have
come up with a new idea -- Coelophysis (type specimen) and Rioarribasaurus
(Ghost Ranch specimens) are really two completely different dinosaurs!
I don't know what the original Coelophysis looked like -- if anyone knows
where I can find a photo of it please tell me.
Does anyone know where Coelophysis and Rioarribasaurus are at now? And,
if they really do turn out to be two completely different dinos, lumpers
face a problem. Some paleontologists, and some dino-buffs like me,
consider _Syntarsus rhodesiensis_ to be a species of the (former)
Coelophysis (Coelophysis rhodesiensis). But if the Ghost Ranch dinos are
now Rioarribasaurus, would lumpers have to change _Coelophysis
rhodesiensis_ to _Rioarribasaurus rhodesiensis_?
So many dinosaurs, so much confusion. (Bloody cladists! Burn them!)
Raptor RKC (Rachel Clark)