“"Hollow Tail"”

Coelurus is a poorly known genus.

From most of the skeleton of a single individual, the appearance of Coelurus can be reconstructed quite well. Numerous vertebrae, partial pelvic and shoulder girdles, and most of the arms and legs are present.

Prehistoric EraUpper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian) 155-152 million years ago
SpeciesCoelurus fragilis
Height0.7 meter
Length2 meter
Weight20 kilogram
North America (Morrison Formation)

So far only one species is recognized as valid: the type species, C. fragilis. It was described by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1879, who was impressed by the hollow inner sides of the thin-walled vertebrae, and gave it the name : Coelurus fragilis .

Coelurus means as much as "hollow tail".

Coelurus fragilis means "delicate hollow tail".

Coelurus had a relatively long neck and trunk. He had very long vertebral bodies, which is used to reconstruct his body structure.

He possessed a long metatarsal, which leads to the assumption that his hind leg was also long and slender. The thigh bone (femur) was 55 cm long. Possibly he had a small, slender skull. Unfortunately, however, no skull has been found so far.

Coelurus was not a great dinosaur.

Coelurus Teilskelett

Its weight was estimated at about 13 to 20 kilograms, with a length of about 2.4 meters and a waist height of 0.7 meters.

Coelurus fragilis was equivalent in size to an average adult human.


It was a small terrestrial predator that fed on small prey such as insects, mammals and lizards. It is believed that it was a fast animal.

Image source: Nobu Tamura (, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jaime A. Headden (User:Qilong), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

FanCollector; original artwork by User:ArthurWeasley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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