Monday, October 02, 2006
Prehistoric inhabitant of New Mexico.
And above all, a cannibal. So heartless, so cold, it ate its own young.
Or so the story went.
Now a new analysis of the fossil evidence indicates that scientists did not know Coelophysis (pronounced SEE-lo-FYE-sis) so well after all. Bones preserved inside the fossilized stomach of an adult Coelophysis, long believed to be the remnants of a snack-sized baby Coelophysis and the primary evidence for cannibalism by that species, are actually bones from a crocodile of sorts - the kind of prey that even the most ethically demanding paleontologist would find perfectly acceptable. [Science, Paleontology, Behavior, Evolution, Palaeontology, Dinosaurs]
Continued at "New Look Suggests This Dinosaur Is No Beast"
Based on the 'Biology Letters' open access paper "Prey choice and cannibalistic behaviour in the theropod Coelophysis" (pdf)
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