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Paleontology and Geology Glossary: CDinosaur Genus List - CEoraptorChasmosaurusCorythosaurusToday's featured page: The Wright Brothers Cloze Activity



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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Co
Ca Ce to Cf Ch Ci to Cl Co Cr to Cy



COAL

Coal is a combustible mineral formed from organic matter (mostly plant material) that lived about 300 million years ago (during the Pennsylvanian Period ). During the Pennsylvanian Period, the earth was covered with huge swampy forests of giant ferns, horsetails, and club mosses. As layer upon layer of these plants died, they were compressed and covered with soil, stopping the decomposition process, forming peat. Heat and pressure chemically forced out oxygen and hydrogen, leaving carbon-rich deposits, called coal. A 20-foot-thick layer of plant material produces a one-foot-thick layer (seam) of coal.


COELACANTH

The Coelacanth (pronounced SEE-la-canth) is a primitive lobe-finned fish, (Crossopterygii) that appeared about 350 million years ago. Coelacanth (meaning "hollow spine") is about 5 feet (1.5 m) long. This carnivore (meat-eater) was thought to have been extinct for millions of years, but a living Coelacanth was caught in the Indian Ocean off the coast of South Africa in 1938.


COELODONTA

(pronounced See-low-DONT-ah) Coelodonta, the woolly rhino, is from the Pleistocene epoch (which lasted from 1.8-0.1 million years ago) and survived the last ice age. It belongs to the family Rhinocerotids, which includes modern-day rhinos. This plant-eater was about 11 feet (3.5 m) long. It had two horns on its snout, the lower one larger than the one between its eyes (about 3 feet (1 m) long). It had long hair, small ears, short, thick legs, and a stocky body. Its fossils have been found in Europe (Britain) and Asia (eastern Siberia). Its shape is known from prehistoric cave drawings. Family Rhinocerotidae.


COELOPHYSIS

(pronounced SEE-low-FIE-sis) Coelophysis was a fast, bipedal, slender, carnivorous dinosaur from the late Triassic period. This fast-moving predator was about 8-10 ft (2.5-3 m) long and weighed about 30-65 pounds (15-30 kg). The femur (thigh bone) was 8 inches (21 cm) long. The type species is C. bauri. It was named by paleontologist Cope in 1887.

COELUROIDES

(pronounced SEE-luh-OY-deez) Coeluroides (meaning "hollow form") is a poorly known dinosaur genus . It was a large, bipedal, meat-eating dinosaur (a theropod) that lived during the late Cretaceous period, about 88.5 to 83 million years ago. Fossilized tail vertebrae (the vertebrae were 3.5-4.25 inches = 9-11 cm long) were found in India. The type species is C. largus. Coeluroides was named by paleontologist von Huene in 1932.


COELUROSAUR

(pronounced SEEL-oh-ro-SAWR) Coelurosaurs are a group of theropods that are closely related to birds (and includes the birds). These bipedal carnivores were relatively small, and included T. rex, Deinonychus, and Velociraptor.


COELUROSAURAVUS

(pronounced SEEL-oh-ro-SAWR-ah-vus) Coelurosauravus was a gliding reptiles that lived during the late Permian period, going extinct in the enormous Permian extinction, 250 million years ago. It is the oldest-known 'flying' reptile. This extinct, lizard-like reptile was about one foot (30 cm) long; its tail was about half the length of the body. It had a frill on its head and four legs. Its hollow bones and two wings enabled it to glide hundreds of feet from trees. It did not have feathers. Coelurosauravus was described by Eberhard Frey, Hans-Dieter Sues, and Wolfgang Munk in 1997. Fossils have been found in eastern Germany, in Great Britain, and in Madagascar. An earlier fossil of Coelurosauravus was found in 1910 by a copper miner, but was misidentified and broken apart by the German paleontologist Otto Jaekel, who couldn't believe that a reptile from that time could have wings. The type species is C. jaekeli.


COELUROSAURICHNUS

Coelurosaurichnus is an ichnogenus of dinosaur known only from small, late Triassic bipedal footprints from the Quarziti Viola Zonate Formation of Monte Pisano, Pisa, Italy. This meat-eating dinosaur dates from roughly 220 million years ago. Coelurosaurichnus was described by paleontologist von Huene in 1941. Coelurosaurichnus may be the same ichnogenus as Grallator (G. Leonardi and M.G. Lockley, 1995: A proposal to abandon the ichnogenus Coelurosaurichnus Huene, 1941: J.Vert.Paleont. 15(3, Suppl.): 40A).

COELURUS

(pronounced see-LURE-us) Coelurus (meaning "hollow") is a poorly known genus. It was perhaps a bipedal theropod dinosaur 6 feet (1.8 m) long, weighing roughly 20 kg. Its femur (thigh bone) was 55 cm long. It was a carnivore that lived during the late Jurassic period, about 156 to 145 million years ago. Its bones were hollow and lightweight, so Coelurus was probably light and fast. Its fossils were found in Wyoming, USA. Coelurus was named by paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh in 1879.
COLBERT, EDWIN
Edwin (Ned) Harris Colbert (September 28, 1905-November 15, 2001) was an American vertebrate paleontologist who named Staurikosaurus (1970) and Scutellosaurus (1981). Colbert discovered a Lystrosaurus (a dicynodont) in Antarctica; this cemented the continetal drift theory. He also found the huge dinosaur bonebeds at the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico in 1947. In 1955, Colbert suggested that Pachycephalosaurs' thick skulls may have been used as battering rams. Colbert published many papers and books on paleontology and dinosaurs, including Evolution of the Vertebrates (1955) and Men and Dinosaurs: The Search in Field and Laboratory (1968) . Colbert was the curator of the American Museum of Natural History and later, the Museum of Northern Arizona. The dinosaur Nedcolbertia (1998) was named to honor Colbert.

COLD BLOODED

Cold blooded (or ectothermic) animals rely upon the temperature and their behavior (like sunning themselves) to regulate their body temperature. Many reptiles are ectothermic. Many dinosaurs may have been cold-blooded.

COLORADISAURUS

(pronounced kol-oh-RAHD-uh-SAWR-us) Coloradisaurus (meaning "lizard from the Los Colorados formation" in Argentina) was a plateosaurid dinosaur, a plant eater that lived during the late Triassic period, about 225-219 million years ago. It was perhaps up to 10 to 13 feet long (3-4 m) as an adult, weighing roughly 290 kg. It had a small head, large eyes, and a large body. Coloradisaurus may be the adult version of Mussaurus. A fossil skull was found in Argentina and was named by paleontologist Lambert in 1983 .

COLUMBOSAURIPUS

(pronounced kol-omb-oh-SAWR-uh-pus) Columbosauripus (meaning "[British] Columbia lizard foot") is a dinosaur known only from its footprints (it is an an ichnogenus). It was a saurischian (lizard-hipped) dinosaur, a bipedal, meat eater (a coelurosaur). Fossilized footprints of Columbosauripus ungulatus were found in northeastem British Columbia, Canada (at the Dunvegan Formation). It was named by J. E. Storer in 1975. Columbosauripus lived during the late Cretaceous period, roughly 99-93 million years ago.


COMET

A comet is a celestial body that orbits around the sun. Its tail of gas and dust always points away from the sun.

COMMENSALISM

Commensalism is a situation in which two organisms are associated in a relationship in which one benefits from the relationship and the other is not affected much. The two animals are called commensals. The shark and the pilot fish (and remora) are commensals - the pilot fish benefits much more than the shark. Another example is bromeliads (plants living on trees in rainforests) and frogs; the frogs get shelter and water from the bromeliad but the bromeliad is unaffected. Commensalism is a type of symbiosis.

COMODACTYLUS

(pronounced KO-mo-DAK-ti-lus) Comodactylus (meaning "Como [Bluff] finger") was a pterosaur, a flying reptile that lived during the late Jurassic period. It was not a dinosaur, but a very closely related reptile. Comodactylus was named for the area where its fossil was found, Como Bluff, Wyoming, USA. Very little is known about this pterosaur; it is known only from a complete metacarpal (finger bone). Comodactylus was a short animal, indicating that it was probably a rhamphorhynchoid (an early pterosaur having a long tail, a short neck, and long, narrow wings). The type species is Comodactylus ostromi. Comodactylus was named by paleontologist Galton in 1981.


COMPSOGNATHUS

(pronounced COMP-sog-NAY-thus) Compsognathus was a theropod dinosaur the size of a chicken. This meat-eater dates from the Jurassic period. It is the smallest-known dinosaur, about 1.25 m long and weighing only about 2 kg. Its femur (thigh bone was only 11 cm long. The type species is C. longipes.


COMPSOSUCHUS

(pronounced COMP-so-SOOK-us) Compsosuchus was a theropod dinosaur. This meat-eater dates from the late Cretaceous period, about 70 to 65 million years ago. It is only known from a few neck vertebrae found in India - even its size in in doubt. It was named by paleontologist von Huene in 1932. The type species is C. solus.

CONCHORAPTOR

(pronounced KONK-oh-RAP-tor) Conchoraptor (meaning "conch shell robber") was an oviraptor, a meat-eating dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period. This fast-moving biped (a theropod) was about 5 ft (1.5 m) long and weighed about 6 kg. Its femur (thigh bone) was 8 inches (20 cm) long. Fragmentary fossils were found in Mongolia. Conchoraptor was named by paleontologist R. Barsbold in 1986. The type species is C. gracilis.

CONFUCIUSORNIS

Confuciusornis is a primitive extinct bird from the late Jurassic period . It resembled Archaeopteryx in having wing claws, but it didn't have teeth. It was found in Northeastern China.


CONIFER

Most conifers are evergreen trees and shrubs that bear naked seeds in cones (a woody strobilus). Examples of modern-day conifers include pine, fir, and spruce trees. Mesozoic Era conifers included redwoods, yews, pines, the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria), cypress, Pseudofrenelopsis (a Cheirolepidiacean). Towards the end of the Mesozoic, flowering plants evolved and began to overtake conifers as the dominant flora.
Food chain

CONSUMER

A consumer is a living thing that eats other living things to survive. It cannot make its own food (unlike most plants, which are producers). Primary consumers eat producers, secondary consumers eat primary consumers, and so on. There are always many more primary consumers than secondary consumers, etc. Plant-eating dinosaur (sauropods and ornithischians) were primary consumers. Dinosaurs that ate these dinosaurs (like T. rex, Carcharodontosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Allosaurus, etc.) were secondary consumers.

CONTINENTAL DRIFT

Continental drift is the movement of the Earth's continents. The land masses are hunks of Earth's crust that float on the molten core. The ideas of continental drift and the supercontinent of Pangaea were presented by A. Wegener in 1915.

CONVERGENT EVOLUTION

Convergent evolution (convergence) is when a trait develops independently in two or more groups of organisms. An example of convergence is the wings of Pterodactyls and bats.

COOKSONIA

Cooksonia is the oldest-known land plant. This primitive plant dates from Silurian period, about 428 million years ago Cooksonia was an erect plant with dichotomous branches and terminal sporangia (sacs that produce reproductive spores). Cooksonia fosils have been found in the USA, Canada and Czechoslovakia.

COPE, EDWARD D.

Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897) was a US paleontologist who named over one thousand species of fossil animals (some of these were duplicates), including Dimetrodon. He named the following dinosaurs: Agathaumas (1872), Amphicoelias (1877), Camarasaurus (1877), Coelophysis (1889), Cionodon (1874), Diclonius (1876), Dysganus (1876), Dystrophaeus (1877), Hypsibema (1869), Monoclonius (1876), Paronychodon (1876), Pteropelyx (1889), Tichosteus (1877), and others. He also named the dinosaur families: Camarasauridae (1877), Compsognathidae (1875), Hadrosauridae (1869), Iguanodontidae (1869), and Scelidosauridae (1869). The dinosaur Drinker was named by Robert Bakker in 1990 as a tribute to Cope. Cope's Rule states that organisms within a population evolve to become more massive over time. Although this increases each individual's fitness, it leaves the species more susceptible to extinction.

COPE'S RULE

Cope's Rule (named for the American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope) states that organisms within a population evolve to become more massive over time. Although this increases each individual's fitness, it leaves the species more susceptible to extinction.

COPEPODS

Copepods are miniscule crustaceans (related to shrimp) that are eaten by many baleen whales and many other animals. They are the biggest source of protein in the oceans and are found in all of the oceans and in many bodies of fresh water.

COPROLITE

Coprolite (meaning "dung stone" - kopros means dung and lithikos means stone in Greek) is fossilized feces. Coprolites record the diet and habitat of prehistoric animals. Coprolites up to 40 cm (16 inches) in diameter have been found, probably from a sauropod, considering the size. Recently, a huge T. rex coprolite was found in Canada. Copro means "dung" (from the Greek word kopros). The ending "-lite" is a common ending for fossil or mineral terms, coming from the Greek word lithos, which means stone. The term coprolite was coined around 1830.
COQUINA
Coquina is a type of limestone (a kind of sedimentary rock) that is mostly made of shells and shell fragments.

CORACOID

The coracoid is a short bone that is connected to a dinosaur's scapula (shoulder blade).
CORIA, RODOLFO
Rodolfo Coria is an Argentinian paleontologist from the Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquen, Argentina who co-named Argentinosaurus (with J.F. Bonaparte, 1993), Gasparinisaura (with Salgado, 1996), Giganotosaurus (with Salgado, 1995) and Quilmesaurus (2001).


CORYTHOSAURUS

(pronounced co-RITH-oh-SAWR-us) Corythosaurus was a 30 ft (9 m) long, 5000 kg plant-eating, helmet-crested, duck-billed dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, about 76 to 72 million years ago. The type species is C. casuarius.
COSMIC SNOWBALL
There is a new and very controversial theory that there are comets composed of frozen water that are constantly bombarding the Earth. These "cosmic snowballs" have (perhaps) been seen by the visible imaging system of the Polar Satellite. These frozen comets vaporize in the atmosphere, adding water vapor to the environment.
COTYLOSAUR
Cotylosaurs (or Captorhinids) are "stem reptiles," primitive anapsids that led to the reptiles (including turtles), birds, and mammals. They evolved from amphibians during the Early Carboniferous period, about 340 million years ago and went extinct at the end of the Triassic period, about 250 million years ago. They had four sprawling legs and a long tail. Class Sauropsida, subclass Anapsida, Infraclass Captorhinida.

Ca
Ca Ce to Cf Ch Ci to Cl Co Cr to Cy

ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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