Named By: Harry Govier Seeley - 1870.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Sauropoda, Titanosauriformes.
Species: O. hulkei (type), O. leedsi?
Known locations: England.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Based upon two dorsal (back) vertebrae.
Ornithopsis was a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived in England during the early Cretaceous. Named in 1870 by Harry Govier Seeley, and like many European dinosaurs, Ornithopsis ended up being something of a waste basket taxon, and as time has gone on, fossils attributed to Ornithopsis have ended up being re-assigned to other genera. In terms of taxonomic assignment, Ornithopsis has crossed paths with genera such as Cetiosaurus, Cetiosauriscus, Bothriospondylus, and Brachiosaurus, but the long and the short of it is that only the type species of Ornithopsis, O. hulkei is considered to possibly be valid, though since this genus is only known by two partially preserved vertebrae, it would be difficult to assign further remains to Ornithopsis. A second species named O. leedsi which is still sometimes credited along with the type species, may actually represent a different genus.
- On Ornithopsis, a gigantic animal of the pterodactyle kind from the Wealden. - Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 4 5:279-283 - Harry Govier Seeley - 1870.
- Monograph on the fossil Reptilia of the Wealden and Purbeck Formations. Supplement 7. Crocodilia (Poikilopleuron) and Dinosauria? (Chondrosteosaurus)", Palaeontographical Society Monographs 30 : 1-7 - Richard Owen - 1876.
- Note (3rd) on (Eucamerotus, Hulke) Ornithopsis, H. G. Seeley, = Bothrospondylus magnus, Owen, = Chondrosteous magnus, Owen. - Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 35: 752–762. - J. W. Hulke - 1879.
- Note on the Os Pubis and Ischium of Ornithopsis eucamerotus. - Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 38: 372–376. - J. W. Clarke - 1882.
- Note on some Dinosaurian Remains in the Collection of A. Leeds, Esq. Part I. Ornithopsis leedsii, nov. sp, from the Kimmeridge Clay of Northamptonshire. - Geological Magazine 4 (8): 375–376. - J. W. Hulke - 1887.
- The Early Cretaceous brachiosaurid dinosaurs Ornithopsis and Eucamerotus from the Isle of Wight, England. - Palaeontology 38 (1): 187–197. - W. T. Blows - 1995.