Cards &


A Fateful Night

In the late hours of the night, 200 million years ago, a little frog sits and croaks in the moonlight. A shrew-like family begins to stir in a cave by the lake shore. They are our early ancestors, small and hairy. The parents poke their long, bare noses out, and the rest of the little furry family scurries out onto the forest floor in search of beetles. But they are too quick; it hasn’t gotten dark enough yet. A group of Coelophysis remains awake, seizing the opportunity for their last meal of the day. With their lightweight bones, they sprint after us, and we wouldn’t have had much of a chance if it weren’t for a landslide. Without warning, the ground collapses beneath the group of Coelophysis, burying them all in a matter of seconds. This is how some of the most spectacular Coelophysis fossils have been found, as a quickly buried collection of skeletons at the site known as “Ghost Ranch” in New Mexico. Our early ancestors can breathe a sigh of relief, but only until tomorrow morning when they must return to the cave before another group of Coelophysis awakens.

About 2 meters long

Around 20 kilograms

Late Triassic (228 – 200 million years ago)


Locations:New Mexico, South Africa, Zimbabwe