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Coelophysidae at Ghost Ranch



Franklin Galef wrote:

<<Also, again from the point of view of simple
curiosity, is not the mass fossilization of
Coelophysis groups proof of their living in large
groups? Or was this simply a result of the animal
being very numerous and its remains coming to rest in
a chance communal grave over a long period of time
(my, wasn't that a long and bogged down sentence)?

Not to appear overly uniformitarian, but I wonder if
the coelophysis assemblage could have been a winter
den.>>

and John Dollan wrote:

<Now that is an intriguing possibility that I hadn't
considered.  I suppose that it would depend on
climatic conditions seasonally, but it is feasible to
think that not just cold weather would promote
communal denning.>

  Chimin' in here,

  The sedimentary geology of the Ghost Ranch bed is
that of mudstones intermixed with *Araucarioxylon*
(related to monkey puzzle trees, looked kinda like
conifers: check out Doug Henderson paintings) and
*Coelophysis* (= Rioarribasaurus) fossils. This is
indicative of a flash-flood event, or the equivalent.
Theories range in cause of the mud accretion, but not
in the result. As for what the Coelos were doing
together at the time (communal denning, flocking
(ghosting? as in "a ghost of Coelophysis"?) that's not
something taphonomy will show, unless it's a _real_
good clue, such as evidence of aestivation (and I
don't want to start a metabolism thread!) in the
bones, or what the condition of the fossils of the
cannibalized baby Coelos.

-----

  Now, let me get this strait.

  *Coelophysis* is named from some very fragmentary
fossils. Time passes. Turns out the cotypes are crap,
and that the new Ghost Ranch fossils are better and
that Coelo's not a good name. Enter *Rioarribasaurus,*
new name for the new "Coelo" material. Oops. Drop Rio,
because Coelo's more popular; name a new holotype from
the Ghost Ranch assemblage. Hmm. Cope's original Coelo
cotypes become _*Eucoelophysis,*_. Then, we get
*Camposaurus*, a holotype that consists of an ankle?
Now *Gojirasaurus;* where does that fellow fit in?

  Don't hurt me....

  :)

-----

  There's an unintentional pun on "host" there with "a
ghost" and "ghosting."

===
- Greek proverb: "Knowledge is Inherent;
  Stupidity is Learned." -

Jaime A. Headden

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