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Nanosaurus was a small herbivorous ornithopod dinosaur that lived 150 to 140 million years ago, in the Late Jurassic. It was discovered in 1877 and described by Othniel Charles Marsh. In 2018, OthnieliaOthnielosaurus, and Drinker were made synonymous with Nanosaurus by Peter Galton and Kenneth Carpenter.

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Nanosaurus

Jurassic Park (novel)

Nanosaurus (under the synonym Othnielia) was seen in the novel version of Jurassic Park. It lives side by side with its relative Dryosaurus in the Hypsilophodon Highlands. Before the InGen Incident, a Nanosaurus/Othnielia got its neck stuck in between the branches of a tree where it died of suffocation. The park hosted a population of 23 Nanosaurus.[1]

Nanosaurus is portrayed as a half-arboreal herbivore, a view about the smaller ornithopods that has recently been disproved. Because they spend so much time in the trees they were impossible to accurately track with the motion sensors. They're always jumping their fences. This explains why there are so much more Nanosaurus than expected. The expected population was 16, but there are 23.

It apparently had a colour similar to that of the novel's Velociraptors, as when Tim saw a Velociraptor in the Nanosaurus/Othnielia paddock, the adults thought he had mistaken a Nanosaurus/Othnielia for a raptor.[2]

Later in the novel Muldoon states that the Othnelia scavenged on the Hadrosaurus HD/09. [3]

The Lost World (novel)

In The Lost World, Ian Malcolm hears jumping in the jungle trees, and when the group thinks monkeys, Malcolm disagrees. It is probably Othnelia hopping throughout the foliage.

Jurassic Park inspired games

Othnielosaurus from Jurassic Park III: Park Builder.


  • Nanosaurus appeared in the Dinopedia of Jurassic Park institute under its synonyms of Drinker and Othnielia.
  • Nanosaurus also appeared in the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World Dinosaur field guides under the synonym Othnielosaurus.