Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Theropoda
Superfamily Coelophysoidea
Family Coelophysidae
Subfamily Coelophysinae
Genus Megapnosaurus
1st Species Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis
Other attributes
Time Range 199-188 mya
Location Zimbabwe, South Africa
Name Meaning Big dead reptile
Physical Dimensions 3 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore
Megapnosaurus is a coelophysid theropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Zimbabwe and South Africa. It was officially named in 2001 by Michael A. Ivie, Stanisław A. Slipinski, and Piotr Wegrzynowicz. It was once called "Syntarsus" (which was occupied by a cylindrical bark beetle), and a trio of entomologists renamed it in an incredibly derogatory manner (angering many paleontologists); as well as this, it was considered to be a synonym of Coelophysis for a long time, but it may be considered to be a different genus due to skeletal differences.


Megapnosaurus was a small theropod with a slender body, a long tail, long arms with three fingers on each hand, a moderately long neck, a long, conical head with large jaws, and two small crests atop its head. Most of its body would have been covered in short, fuzz-like feathers.


Megapnosaurus was a predator, preying on small crocodylomorphs, small cynodonts, pterosaurs, fish, and smaller theropods. Its teeth had knife-like serrations from front to back, and were used to cut into the hides of large prey.


So far, all we know about Megapnosaurus is that it might have hunted in packs a la Coelophysis.

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