Raath was aware of the homonymy between the dinosaur Syntarsus and beetle Syntarsus, but the group who published Megapnosaurus were led to believe Raath was deceased and therefore unable to correct his mistake, and proceeded accordingly. The teeth of Coelophysis were typical of predatory dinosaurs, blade-like, recurved, sharp and jagged with fine serrations on both the anterior and posterior edges.Mortimer (2012) pointed out that "Paleontologists might have reacted more positively if the replacement name (Megapnosaurus) hadn't been facetious, translating to "big dead lizard". Its dentition shows that it was carnivorous, probably preying on the small, lizard-like animals that were discovered with it.
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Some, but not all, of the features in a diagnosis are also autapomorphies. bauri as the type species, However, these first finds were too poorly preserved to give a complete picture of this new dinosaur.
An autapomorphy is a distinctive anatomical feature that is unique to a given organism or group. In 1947, a substantial 'graveyard' of Coelophysis fossils was found by George Whitaker, the assistant of Edwin H.
Scattered material representing similar animals has been found worldwide in some Late Triassic and Early Jurassic formations. bauri, originally given to the genus Coelurus by Edward Drinker Cope in 1887, was described by the latter in 1889.
The names Longosaurus and Rioarribasaurus are synonymous with Coelophysis.
The name Coelophysis therefore became a nomen conservandum ("conserved name").