Coelurus is a member of a clade of animals that are more closely related to birds than dinosaurs. This dinosaur lived in North America during the Late Jurassic Period roughly 155 million years ago. The Coelurus gets its name from the Greek words for “hollow” and “tail.”
In 1879, the only known fossils of Coelurus were uncovered in Wyoming’s Morrison Formation. Paleontologists have determined that Coelurus was a small dinosaur, only weighing forty-four pounds. Coelurus was about eight feet long and just over two feet tall. This tiny theropod ate a carnivorous diet and was a fast hunter. Coelurus hunted insects, lizards, and small mammals.