oxoniensis is a typical theropod dinosaur - a bipedal carnivore with a
large head armed with sharp blade-like teeth, a short neck, reduced
forelimb, and a long tail to balance the body. The skeleton is that of
an immature animal some 4.5 metres long. The fossile skelton is
on display at the Oxford University Museum. It is the most complete
example of a "carnosaur" in Western Europe, and the only specimen of
the species. Scientists have determined that it as a teenager.
It is one of those dinsoaurs where there is enough fossil material to
get a pretty idea of what it looked like, but not enough to answer all
The skeleton was collected in 1871
by James Parker, the bookseller of Broad Street, whose interests
included archaeology and geology. It was found in a brickpit in the
Oxford Clay (about 155 million years old) under what is now playing
fields opposite St Edward's School in North Oxford. The Oxford Clay is
an offshore marine deposit and the bones are those of a corpse which
was washed out to sea before sinking.