Coelophysis was one of the first agile meat-eating dinosaurs. This relatively small theropod scurried around what is now New Mexico during the Triassic Period, at the dawn of the age of the dinosaurs, 200 million years ago.
Coelophysis was first discovered and described in the 1880s based on some partial fossils. It remained poorly known until 1947, when hundreds of complete and near-complete skeletons were discovered at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, USA. Excavated and studied by the American Museum of Natural History, this ‘graveyard’ of specimens contained both young and old individuals.