Othnielia is a genus of hypsilophodont dinosaur, named after its original describer, Professor Othniel Charles Marsh, an American paleontologist of the 19th century. The taxon, Othnielia rex, was named by Peter Galton in 1977 from a species Marsh (1877) called Nanosaurus rex.
Remains assigned to Othnielia have been found in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado in rocks of the Late Jurassic age (Oxfordian-Tithonian) Morrison Formation, but with Galton's 2007 revision of Morrison ornithischians, the only definite remains are YPM 1875 (the holotype femur of "Nanosaurus" 'rex') and possibly some other associated postcranial bits. He considered the femur undiagnostic and thus Othnielia to be a dubious name, and removed two partial skeletons to the new genus Othnielosaurus. It remains to be seen if this will be widely accepted, but this sort of taxonomic decision has much precedent (for example, Marasuchus versus Lagosuchus).
Without the remains now included in Othnielosaurus, this animal is dubious, and can only be described in generalities based on similar animals. It was relatively small for a dinosaur, at around 1.5 to 2 metres (4.9 to 6.6 ft) long, and 10 kilograms (22 lb) in weight, and an agile bipedal herbivore with proportionally small arms and long legs. Animals of this genus were included in the novel Jurassic Park as "othys", tree-climbing small herbivores, although there is no evidence for this kind of behavior.
It is closely related to Drinker