(Flying hollow lizard).
Named By: Jean Piveteau - 1926.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Sauropsida, Diapsida, Avicephala, Coelurosauravidae.
Species: C. elivensis (type), C. jaekeli.
Size: 40 centimetres long.
Known locations: Europe, Germany. Madagascar.
Time period: Permian.
Fossil representation: Fossils for two species known.
noteworthy feature of Coelurosauravus are the
dermal ossicles, creating
thin strands of bone that extended from the flanks and supported a
gliding wing. This may have provided a limited flight capability over
short distances by jumping from a high point and steering itself by
twisting towards a lower spot as it fell down.
In Coelurosauravus the back of the skull also features a frill similar to the kind seen in later ceratopsian dinosaurs. This is likely to have been a display feature as opposed to an aerodynamic one.
It is thought that Coelurosauravus would have lived within the tree canopy, gliding from branch to branch in a similar manner as a flying squirrel. This way it could quickly cover a number of trees in a shorter space of time than that required to climb down and up each individual tree.
These gliding membranes may also have been a display structure for attracting mates and/or dominance displays with rivals. They may have also formed a threat display by being quickly opened to startle predators when they got too close, allowing Coelurosauravus a chance to escape.
- A review of the Upper Permian genera Coelurosauravus, Weigeltisaurus and Gracilisaurus (Reptilia: Diapsida). - Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 90 (3): 275–303. - Susan E. Evans, Hartmut Haubold - 1987.
- Gliding Mechanism in the Late Permian Reptile Coelurosauravus. - Science. 275 (5305): 1450–1452. - Eberhard Frey, Hans-Dieter Sues & Wolfgang Munk - 1997.
- New information on the anatomy of the Late Permian gliding reptile Coelurosauravus. - Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 81 (2): 160–173. - Günther Schaumberg, David M. Unwin & Silvio Brandt - 2007.
- New data on the morphology of the Late Permian gliding reptile Coelurosauravus elivensis Piveteau. - Paleontological Journal. 49 (4): 413–423. - V. V. Bulanov, A. G. Sennikov - 2015.