Fun Coelurus Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
Feb 29, 2024 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Discover fascinating Coelurus facts about its history, fossils, taxonomy, diet, and more!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.6 Min

Coelurus is a genus comprising one coelurosaurian dinosaur species, Coelurus fragilis. The name Coelurus originates from the structure of the tail of the dinosaur species and means 'hollow tail'. This name was given in 1879 by Othniel Charles Marsh. It belongs to the kingdom Animalia and is a member of the family Coeluridae and of the group Coelurosauria.

It was a terrestrial dinosaur that existed during the Jurassic period of the world. The fossil remains of this genus have been discovered in North America in the Morrison Formation in Wyoming, USA. Coelurus fragilis was a small-sized dinosaur that had elongated vertebrae and a long neck. It also had long hind legs, suggesting that this dinosaur was swift and lightly built. It is estimated to have attained a length of 7.9 ft (2.4 m), a height of 70 cm (2.3 feet), and a weight range between 29-44 lb (13.1-19.9 kg).

It is assumed that Coelrus was a Jurassic carnivore whose prey included small-sized vertebrates, like primitive mammals and lizards, as well as small dinosaurs. Keep reading to discover interesting Coelurus details about its fossils, dietary details, appearance, period, and more!

If you enjoy reading our Coelurus interesting facts, you must check out our roar-some Aublysodon facts and Stegopelta interesting facts!


Coelurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Coelurus'?

The genus Coelurus, which means hollow tail, was named in 1879 by Othniel Charles Marsh‭. It can be pronounced as 'see-lur-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Coelurus?

Coelurus was a small theropod dinosaur belonging to the family Coeluridae and the group ‬Coelurosauria. It was a species of carnivore. Theropoda is a clade of dinosaurs that were bipedal and had birds as their ancestors. However, birds are not the ancestors of the Coelurus dinosaur. It was the first dinosaur of the Theropoda clade to have been excavated in the history of the Morrison Formation and has crossed paths with other theropods of the Morrison Formation such as the Tanycolagreus and Ornitholestes.

In which geological period did the Coelurus roam the earth?

Coelurus is believed to have existed in the world 157 million years to 150 million years ago, through the Kimmeridgian of the Jurassic period.

When did the Coelurus become extinct?

It is estimated that these Jurassic dinosaurs went extinct from the world 150 million years ago.

Where did a Coelurus live?

The fossil remains of the only species of this genus were excavated from the Morrison Formation, in Wyoming, USA.

What was a Coelurus's habitat?

This small theropod was terrestrial and inhabited a semi-arid environment that had flat floodplains and dry and wet seasons. The vegetation ranged from fern savannas, ferns, tree ferns, conifers, to rare trees. These carnivorous theropods of the Jurassic period fed upon insects, lizards, and mammals.

Who did a Coelurus live with?

It was the first dinosaur of the Theropoda clade to have been excavated from the Morrison Formation and has crossed paths with other small theropods of the Morrison Formation such as the Tanycolagreus and Ornitholestes. Fossil remains of frogs, salamanders, ray-finned fish, snails, turtles, and bivalves, have also been excavated. There were also fossil remains of many species of pterosaur such as Kepodacylus found, along with early mammals.

How long did a Coelurus live?

The lifespan of these dinosaurs has not yet been evaluated. However, we do know that the mighty theropod T-rex had a lifespan of 28 years!

How did they reproduce?

These mighty creatures reproduced by laying eggs. Not much information is available about the details of their reproduction due to a lack of research.

Coelurus Fun Facts

What did a Coelurus look like?

Coelurus is a genus whose name means 'hollow tail'. It was so named because the vertebrae of the Coelurus were longer than average, and hollow, similar to those of present-day birds. The Coelurus was a small, slender dinosaur that moved around on its two hind legs. The bones of this dinosaur had thin walls, making it a lightweight dinosaur. It is believed that it had good eyesight and may have possessed feathers. It is believed that the Coelurus is similar to Ornitholestes and Tanycolagreus. The slender Coelurus had a long neck due to its elongated vertebrae.

Coelurus\u00a0possessed an elongated body along with a long neck and elongated vertebrae!

How many bones did a Coelurus have?

It is not known how many bones the genus Coelurus possessed. The Coelurus hollow tail belonged to the order Saurischia of dinosaurs. Coelurus was not closely related to lizards but its pelvic bones were a similar shape.

How did they communicate?

It is not yet understood how these slender Jurassic-period dinosaurs communicated with each other. However, we do know that theropods communicated through visual displays of some sort. They are assumed to be visually oriented and were able to see shapes and colors better than mammals could.

How big was a Coelurus?

The Coelurus is estimated to have a length of 7.9 ft (2.4 m) and a height of 70 cm (2.3 feet). These dinosaurs were approximately the same length as Struthisaurus!

How fast could a Coelurus move?

This animal of the Jurassic period is assumed to be a fast-moving animal as its rear legs were long. It is also believed to have been faster than the similar, shorter-footed dinosaur, Ornitholestes.

How much did a Coelurus weigh?

These Jurassic period dinosaurs' weight range was between 29-44 lb (13.1-19.9 kg) in weight.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The suffix of the term dinosaur is saurus for males and saura for females.

What would you call a baby Coelurus?

The baby of species of the genus Coelurus can be referred to as a hatchling or juvenile.

What did they eat?

This carnivore was a predator of smaller ornithopod dinosaurs like Othnielosaurus and Dryosaurus, especially if they were young or sick. It is believed that its primary prey comprised small vertebrates such as primitive mammals and lizards. The Coelurus preferred small prey that was easy to capture.

It is assumed that the Coelurus was shy and steered clear of heavier animals. This Jurassic creature is believed to have been preyed upon by large theropod dinosaurs like the Allosaurus, Torvosaurus, and Ceratosaurus, which are also known from the Morrison Formation. It is assumed that the Coelurus would have escaped by running away. This Jurassic period dinosaur could have rapidly retreated from incoming threats due to its lightweight body and long legs.

How aggressive were they?

This animal is thought to have been slightly aggressive as it is believed to have captured prey, such as small dinosaurs, mammals, lizards, and vertebrates.

Did you know...

Similar to dinosaur species of the world discovered during the Bone Wars, the Coelurus has a complicated taxonomic history.

The name Coelurus originates from the structure of the tail of the dinosaur species and means 'hollow tail'. This name was given in 1879 by Othniel Charles Marsh.

Coelurus was faster than the similar, shorter-footed dinosaur, Ornitholestes because it had longer legs.

What does Coelurus mean?

The name Coelurus means 'hollow tail'.

Where was Coelurus found?

Coelurus was excavated from the Bone Cabin Quarry, north of Como Bluff, in Wyoming, USA.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Sphaerotholus fun facts and Hoplitosaurus Interesting facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Coelurus coloring pages.


Second image by Nobu Tamura.

Coelurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small vertebrates and dinosaurs

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Long neck and elongated vertebrae

How Much Did They Weigh?

29-44 lb (13.1-19.9 kg)

Skin Type


How Long Were They?

7.9 ft (2.4 m)

How Tall Were They?

70 cm (2.3 feet)









Scientific Name

Coelurus fragilis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters and predators

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Terrestrial habitat

Where Did They Live?

‬Morrison Formation, Wyoming‭, USA, North America
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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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