Tanycolagreus was a small, very agile and fast dinosaur. Its speed would have made it an effective hunter. It is likely that because of its size it would have hunted juvenile dinosaurs, looking for opportunities to take animals that were not alert or protected.
This particular coelurosaur was discovered in 1995 by Western Paleontological Laboratories Inc., at Bone Cabin Quarry West in south central Wyoming. The actual skelton is currently on display at the North American Museum of Ancient Life.
This dinosaur was originally thought to be Coelurus fragilis. After careful study by Dr. Kenneth Carpenter of the Denver Museum of Natural History and Dr. Jacques Gauthier of the Yale Peabody Museum, it was determined that the differences between this new skeleton and Coelurus fragilis were significant enough to warrant giving this dinosaur a new name. The new name was assigned to the specimen on May 1, 2001. Dr. Carpenter and Cliff Miles of Western Paleontological Labs wanted a name that would give some idea as to the special nature of the skeleton. Tanycolagreus has long limbs compared to Coelurus, which is one of the characteristics which sets it apart.
The species name topwilsoni honors the father of a paleontology benefactor.
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Copyright © 2002 Gary Bobzien. All rights reserved.