Monday, October 02, 2006

 

Re: The Cannibal Coelophysis: New Look Suggests This Dinosaur Is No Beast

UPDATE: The above link now contains a transcript of the online discussion referred to below:

Rick Weiss, the Washington Post Staff Writer who penned today's earlier entry "The Cannibal Coelophysis: New Look Suggests This Dinosaur Is No Beast" (below), will be online Monday, October 2nd 2006, at Noon ET to discuss his Science Page feature story "that debunks one of our long time theories about the dinosaurs." (Click here)

From the Washington Post (2-page article): Alas, poor Coelophysis! We thought we knew him well.

Birdlike dinosaur.

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"
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Based on the 'Biology Letters' open access paper "Prey choice and cannibalistic behaviour in the theropod Coelophysis" (pdf)

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