Othnielia rex (*) (C/N)

“High-Crested Tooth” discovered in the 19th Century the Morrison Formation, described & named in 1977 by Peter Galton after its discoverer Prof. Othniel Charles Marsh. Othnielia lived during the Late Jurassic Period about 156 to 145 million years ago. It was 1.1 meters (4 feet) in length, .6 meters (2 feet) in height, & 22 pounds (10 kilograms) in weight.

Othnielia has had a complicated taxonomic history and originally was based off of a find of a femur that scientists considered distinct enough for a new species of the old genus Nanosaurus and originally they called it N. rex. Science then renamed it to Othnielia rex after further investigation, after a while a good partial skeleton was found, and was referred to the new species of Laosaurus consors (on which the Othnielia in the novel is based). Later scientists found that Laosaurus was actually Othinielia after further investigation, but now – recently – scientists have found the original femur of Othinielia isn’t distinctive at all and this has thrown the entire classification system off for this particular dinosaur. Science has since revisited this classification, once again, and the real-life animal is now actually Othnielosaurus consors.

Othnielia was one of the first dinosaurs on Jurassic Park’s Park Drive tour. It lived alongside the Hypsilophodon, in a grassy plain in the Eastern portion of Isla Nublar (see this map for reference). They were spotted sitting in trees and, according to John Arnold, often got their heads caught in the branches. This contributed to the park’s population problem.