The Coelophysidae are a family of primitive carnivorous theropod dinosaurs. Most species were relatively small in size. The family flourished in the Late Triassic and and began to die off in the Early Jurassic periods.

Under cladistic analysis, Coelophysidae was first defined by Paul Sereno in 1998 as the most recent common ancestor of Coelophysis bauri and Procompsognathus triassicus, and all of that common ancestor's descendants.

Coelophysidae is part of the clade Coelophysoidea. The older term "Podokesauridae", named 14 years prior to Coelophysidae (which would normally grant it priority), is now usually ignored, since its type specimen was destroyed in a fire and can no longer be compared to newer finds.[1]

Coelophysis raul martin



The cladogram below was recovered in a study by Matthew T. Carrano, John R. Hutchinson and Scott D. Sampson, 2005.[2]




Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis

Megapnosaurus kayentakatae

The cladogram below follows the topology from a 2011 analysis by paleontologists Martin D. Ezcurra and Stephen L. Brusatte, modified with additional data by You Hai-Lu and colleagues in 2014.[3][4]

"Syntarsus" kayentakatae

Panguraptor lufengensis

Coelophysis bauri

Coelophysis rhodesiensis

Camposaurus arizonensis


  1. Sereno, P. (1999). "Taxon Search: Coelophysidae". Accessed 2009-09-02.
  2. Carrano, M.T, Hutchinson, J.R, Sampson, S.D. (2005). "New information on Segisaurus halli, a small theropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Arizona." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 25(4):835-849.
  3. (2014) "The first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia". Zootaxa 3873 (3): 233–249. DOI:10.11646/zootaxa.3873.3.3. 
  4. Ezcurra, M.D. (2011). "Taxonomic and phylogenetic reassessment of the early neotheropod dinosaur Camposaurus arizonensis from the Late Triassic of North America". Palaeontology 54 (4): 763–772. DOI:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01069.x.