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"'Many people (including some scientists!) are confused about what is or isn't a "dinosaur". They think that flying pterodactyls or fin-backed Dimetrodon or seagoing plesiosaurs or woolly mammoths are dinosaurs. THEY ARE WRONG!"

In Real Life, a wide variety of dinosaurs walked the Earth over a period of about 180 million years. Most of them evolved from other dinosaurs and, naturally, when a given dinosaur was walking around, its ancestors were most likely extinct. Also, just like modern animals, different dinosaurs lived in different areas and habitats.

However, many writers don't care about this. Since dinosaurs are inherently cool, any story featuring them will probably have a selection of the most popular dinosaurs, regardless of different habitats or the fact that some went extinct well before others evolved and even those who lived in the same time period, were often located at different parts of the world. Other prehistoric creatures tend to be identified as dinosaurs even if they aren't, such as pterosaurs (closely related to dinosaurs but not true dinosaurs), marine reptiles (reptiles but not dinosaurs), Ice Age mammals such as mammoths and sabre-tooth cat (mammals that didn't come until long after the dinosuars were extinct), and Dimetrodon (more closely related to mammals than to dinosaurs, and long predates true dinosaurs).

If the dinosaur extinction is ever even mentioned, expect it to be shown as an instantaneous cataclysm, despite the fact that their extinction would seem, by our standards, a drawn-out process. Even something as dramatic as a giant asteroid slamming into the Yucatan wouldn't kill off the dinosaurs instantly. Rather, it would start a chain reaction that would gradually kill them off over time. This could be due to confusion on the part of those who do research it -- for example, some scientists have referred to the extinction of dinosaurs as geologically instantaneous... which means a couple of hundred thousand years--or a full twenty times longer than the entirety of recorded human history. Geologic time is significantly slower than most people can comfortably comprehend. The dinosaurs may also interact with monkeys, dodos, or even humans, despite the millions of years separating them. Often, cavemen will be co-existing with dinosaurs, despite the absence of any evidence that dinosaurs and humans ever lived together. Maybe we just need humans in fiction to identify with.

Also note that all carnivorous dinosaurs, or even vaguely carnivorous dinosaurs will regard humans as food. Always, even if it's the first time the two species are meeting. Always, even if it's inconvenient to get to the humans as opposed to normal, more viable food sources. Always, even if the dinosaurs were more likely to eat (or exclusively ate) insects, eggs, or fish than land-animals. Occasionally even if the dinosaurs are vegetarians, but they may just be trying to kill the people on principle. In the absolute worst case scenario, dinosaurs may even be shown to breathe fire.

Note that even well-researched depictions can fall victim to new discoveries; until very recently, no one had any idea that diplodocids had spines along their back, for instance, overturning more than a century of sauropod depictions. Similarly, only quite recently was it proven that dromaeosaurids (better known as "raptors", after the most famous member of the family) and other small dinosaurs were covered in feathers.

In any case, one may begin to suspect that, in fact, the only "research" some dinosaur fiction creators did was... watching other dinosaur movies. Goes hand-in-hand with Stock Dinosaurs, where only the popular species of dinosaurs (or "dinosaurs") show up. And with Prehistoric Monster as well, where dinosaurs are always portrayed as non-cute things regardless how they looked in Real Life. One Egregious subtrope overlapping with Special Effect Failure is the Slurpasaur.

See also Everything's Better with Dinosaurs, Raptor Attack and the grandchild trope, Somewhere an Ornithologist Is Crying (and its cousin trope, Ptero-Soarer). If you want some idea of what would make a palaeontologist happy, see Dinosaurs, Stock Dinosaurs True Dinosaurs, Stock Dinosaurs Non Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life.

Examples of Somewhere a Palaeontologist Is Crying include:


Media in General Edit


Anime and Manga Edit

  • Lampshaded in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, when the characters land in "Scientifically Inaccurate Prehistoric Abenobashi".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a "Dinosaur" type as one of its monster types: the type is mostly made up of the popular dinosaurs listed above, and unfortunately includes a mammoth. An undead mammoth. Fortunately, later, non-zombie Mammoth monsters (such as Big-Tusked Mammoth) are more correctly listed as Beast-Type. They also thankfully averted the "nekkid Raptor" trope with Black Veloci. A lot of the earlier dinos, though, were the classic "nekkid" version (but see also Dinosaurs Are Dragons).
    • The older cards were also victims of Science Marches On as noted above, those cards were first released before the feathers thing had been discovered.
  • While we're on the subject of dinosaurs being given powers and placed on trading cards, how could we leave out Dinosaur King?
  • The manga of Gantz also averts this. Its raptors (actually aliens masquerading as raptor models in a museum) are notably covered in feathers (or maybe fur, but we'll be optimistic). On the other hand, the T. rex shoots fireballs.
  • Genesis Climber Mospeada subverts this trope; Stick and Ray fall into an underground cavern, where they see a mishmash of various kinds of creatures from different periods, including Dimetrodons, Apatosauri, and Tyrannosaurs. At first, Ray mentions that something "seems odd" about it, but he can't put his finger on it. Later, he realizes that the dinosaurs are a spattering of dinos from different periods, and the 'cavern' is actually a laboratory where the Inbit are trying to determine the form of life best suited to their "new" planet.
  • Dragon Ball features characters who either have the ability to fly or have a flying device with them. Convenient enough, there are some pteranodons or other prehistoric fliers around. Is someone still unable to fly? No problem, just bring in the T rex. In the same time period as flying cars. To be fair, Dragonball has a whole lot of other weird stuff that the pterosaurs and such fit right in.
    • Many fans hypothesize that DBZ takes place far into the future, where human scientists went the Jurassic Park route & revived dinosaurs - which then spread to reclaim their various ecological niches alongside their modern counterparts. Notably, all dinosaurs in DBZ lack feathers, which can be thought of as a parallel to the Jurassic Park dinos, who had their genomes "filled in" with amphibian DNA, & also lacked feathers, at least in the first movie.
    • Another error is Toriyama's design of the Tyrannosaurus-first off, it has what look like horns on its head-now there MIGHT be tiny brow ridges over its eyes, but the design he used is completely off. Secondly, Tyrannosaurus had tiny arms with two fingers-he seemed to have use Allosaurus to base the arms. Thirdly, though this is a case of science marching on, it may have feathers. And fourth-it is much too big, Tyrannosaurus would be 12-13 meters long (42-45 feet) and 4 meters high (13 feet), he draws them nearly 20-30 meters long and 10 meters tall.
      • Given that there are also canon dragons wandering around, it's likely it's just a Rule of Cool alternate Earth.
    • Not featured in the manga, in the anime though? There are the same dinosaurs...on Namek.
  • One Piece has at least one island with dinosaurs, not that this is out of place given the rest of the world.
    • Its surprisingly more biologically accurate than Dragonball Z's dinosaurs.
  • Averted in the Gaiden chapters of Saiyuki; what looks like a rampaging T-rex is proved to be genetically engineered to do just that by the Big Bad.
  • Pickle. Holy heavens. Again, Itagaki Keisuke takes his "almost realist extreme martial arts manga" and reminds us that it's a "freaking Rule of Cool extreme martial übermensch manga", with Pickle, the Jurassic man. Revived after being found frozen kicking a T-Rex in the mouth.


Comic Books Edit

  • Subversion: In Runaways, Gert has a pet genetically engineered dinosaur named Old Lace. Everyone calls her a "Raptor" and she does look exactly like a Jurassic Park raptor (Identified as a "Velociraptor" in the film, which were very similar to the the later-discovered Utahraptor). However, as soon as Victor joins the team he points out that it is a Deinonychous, and raptors as depicted in Jurassic Park do not exist. Old Lace is still incorrectly depicted as featherless, but is nonetheless referred to by as a really-existing species with a plausible (For time-traveling, mad-scientist filled comic-books) reason for existing. Also,
    • Played straight: During the Runaways/Young Avengers crossover, the young supers find themselves hit by a mini-blizzard. While the humans quickly shrug it off, Old Lace is rendered practically catatonic, and almost dies, because she's "cold-blooded". However, it was John Ostrom's study of Deinonychus which largely brought on the "Dinosaur renaissance", which drastically altered the scientific and popular conception of dinosaurs. This renaissance has ultimately resulted in, at the very least, a consensus that some dinosaurs (like Deinonychus) were closer to modern, warm-blooded birds than modern, cold-blooded reptiles, physiologically speaking.
      • It's also worth mentioning that Old Lace wasn't "born" in any sense, but was genetically engineered in the 83rd century. Anything odd about her appearance or physiology pales in comparison to her having a telepathic link with Gert.
  • Subverted in a Batman comic. During the Knightfall storyline, Batman and Commissioner Gordon find a dead man inside the skeleton of a dinosaur. Gordon calls the dinosaur a "brontosaurus" before being corrected as "apatosaurus" by a curator, telling them the story of how the skull of one dinosaur matched the head of another and the other way around, giving its "two-head" clue about the culprit: Two-Face.
  • Though the prehistoric beasts in this Batman comic seem to be robots of some sort, allowing for some errors, there is one completely unforgivable mistake... They misspell "dinosaur"!
  • Cadillacs and Dinosaurs... look at the title. If you're expecting accuracy from a series involving dinosaurs coming back several hundred years in the future, why are you even bothering?
  • According to one Chick Tract, the dinosaurs escaped the great flood by getting on the Ark with all the other animals. Unfortunately, the flood destroyed much of the plant life, and the reduced oxygen levels made them sluggish and slow. They were ultimately hunted into extinction by human hunters who considered "dragon meat" to be a delicacy.
  • A lesser-known Spider-Man villain is "Stegron The Dinosaur Man", a ripoff of more stalwart villain the Lizard. The rather-too-conveniently-named Dr. Vincent Stegron steals the lizard formula from Curt Connors and (somehow) infuses it with dinosaur DNA, transforming himself into a half-man, half-Stegosaurus creature...which also has a taste for human flesh and is often depicted with sharp, pointy teeth. Stegron's plots have included:
    • Bringing dinosaurs back to life from their skeletons in museums...despite the fact that dinosaur skeletons in most museums are A) Held together with wire and B) Fibreglass replicas of fossils, which are basically bone-shaped rocks, or C)Even if they're the authentic article, are bone-shaped rocks. Rock contains remarkably little genetic material (i.e., none).
      • Trace remains of dinosaur DNA have been found from some fossils. Certainly not enough to make live animals though, and in any case the only way to turn stone into flesh is magic.
      • Said 'trace remains' are DNA-shaped rocks, much as the fossils themselves are bone-shaped rocks.
    • Attempting to free the world for Dinosaurs by having hundreds of humans in New York conveniently start acting more animalistic and killing each other...using a magic piece of meteorite that he found in a jungle.
      • A particularly glaring error in that story arc (as if the main plot wasn't glaring enough) was where a modern lizard is regressed by exposure to the meteor and turns into a Velociraptor. Lizards are not descended from dinosaurs, nor are they closely related to them. If it had been a mutated pigeon, it would have been reasonably accurate, relatively speaking, but for a lizard it's on the same scale as showing a human somehow "regressing" into a water buffalo or a dolphin.
  • 150,000 years ago, the title character of Rahan (a very well known caveman in France) encounters dinosaurs and sees them as survivors of a very distant past. It's really not as outlandish as some of the other examples on this page.
  • The entire storyline of Dinowars revolves around dinosaurs escaping into space to avoid the ice age, growing into a highly evolved civilization, and then returning to Earth to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.
  • Ever since biomechanical dinosaur cyborgs got introduced to Bionicle canon, fans have eagerly waited for one to appear in an illustrated form of media. The graphic novel Legends of Bara Magna finally depicted one, but it was a one-panel wonder of a stereotype Flintstones-styled tail-dragging "Brontosaurus" with what looked like miniature lamp-posts sticking out of its cyber-head. But then it kicks in: this is an aversion, since Bionicle animals have never looked realistic.
  • The ocular secretions of mammal paleontologists are of no concern to DOCTOR DINOSAUR![1]


Documentaries Edit

  • Walking with Dinosaurs, after its first episode had aired, found itself a target for angry palaeontologists because of one scene that showed a Postosuchus urinating and not excreting its wastes the way its modern relatives, birds and crocodilians tend to. Later episodes gave more fuel to the debates. While beloved by many, and hailed as a milestone in paleo-documentaries (rightfully so), a number of dino enthusiasts still frown upon its "spectacle over science" approach.
  • Jurassic Fight Club, the Poor Man's Walking with Dinosaurs on The History Channel. Sadly, this does not involve lines like "you are not your fucking primitive feathers" or a Tyrannosaurus trying to punch itself in the face with those scrawny little arms. It's pretty much just a bit of paleontological pretext to some Cretaceous predators having dust-ups. Let's take a look at the errors:
    • They have the same naked generic "raptor" dromaeosaurs and improbably fierce dinosaurs that have been hanging around since Jurassic Park, plus the weird, unfounded suppositions about how dinosaurs behaved ("raptors" coordinated their hunts by using hand signals? Okay, then...) from Walking With Dinosaurs without quite the special effects quality of either.
    • Juvenile T. rexes did NOT look like exact miniature copies of the adults and, in fact, looked more like Nanotyrannus. Oh, and also, there is a debate among paleontologists as to whether or not Nanotyrannus was even a separate genus of dinosaur at all or if the specimens found were really that of juvenile T rex skeletons.[2] However, for all its other flaws, the series does dedicate a portion of that episode to the controversy over whether or not Nanotyrannus was its own genus.
      • It's interesting that in the narration they did say that juvenile T-rexes were not shaped like miniature adults and were in fact physically very similar to Nanotyrannus. But then in the actual animation the juvenile T-rexes were basically copies of the adult models and shrunk down. Perhaps it was a budget thing.
    • There is some anachronism in the series as well. Episode 8, "Raptor's Last Stand", has a flock of pterosaurs standing on the back of a Gastonia. Only problem, they were miniature azdarchid pterosaurs, pterosaurs who in some cases were bigger than a giraffe, and were at least condor-sized. And of course, there is the ' little fact that azdarchid pterosaurs didn't appear until the Late Cretaceous, which began at the earliest 90 MYA, while Gastonia and Utahraptor lived a full thirty-five million years earlier. To clarify, that is the equivalent of a Uintathere being labelled a contemporary of man.
    • Also, Pachyrhinosaurus is portrayed with a horn on its nose. What's the problem, you might ask? It got famous for lacking this feature.
    • Majungasaurus, just Majungasaurus. Not only did the show not get the memo that the dinosaur had gotten a name change from Majungatholus to Majungasaurus, but the host goes on to state that Majungasaurus' ugly appearance was caused by inbreeding, leading to horrible mutations. Apparently "Dinosaur George" doesn't know that Majungasaurus was the pretty member of the abelisaur family, and in fact other species like Carnotaurus were a lot more ugly looking.
      • Or perhaps "Dinosaur George" just happens to have weird ideas about dinosaur beauty?
    • They fail animal behavior pretty hard, too. The Nannotyrannus episode, for example--large predators kill competing species and their young all the time. Just look at the interactions between lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and cheetahs on the African savannah. It isn't even unheard of for a predator to continue to maul the carcass of a threat or rival long after such attacks are necessary. But the mother tyrannosaur tearing up the remains of the Nannotyrannus and scattering them around as a warning to other predators? That's probably giving them credit for a little too sophisticated of thinking.
      • If anything, scattering blood, guts, and bone around the area would have drawn other predators closer. Fail.
      • The animal behavior issue also comes up in the episode where a "raptor" pack takes on an Edmontosaurus as well. The narrator repeatedly says that the dromaeosaurs normally wouldn't take on such large prey, but they're driven to protect their territory. That's not quite how territoriality works. Have you ever heard of a family of foxes attacking a moose to drive it out of their territory? Carnivores defend their territories from other members of the same species. They don't care about keeping every living thing out of their space. After all, what would they eat if they did that? If it was near a den/young or if they were desperately hungry that would be one thing, but it makes no sense for them to keep attacking such a formidable animal because it's in their territory.
  • Monsters Resurrected, a recent Discovery Channel series, is easily one of the most inaccurate documentaries on prehistoric animals ever made; particularly in regards to the Spinosaurus episode. If anyone thought Jurassic Park III did a misleading job at portraying creature, it was nothing compared to this episode. Essentially, the Spinosaurus is portrayed as the ultimate predator of all time, able to effortlessly kill any other predator that lived in its time and region. In short, it is depicted as devouring a Rugops with one bite, killing a Carcharodontosaurus by slashing it across the face with its claws and effortlessly tearing apart the giant crocodylomorph, Sarcosuchus. And that isn't all, its size is practically Godzilla-portioned, as it is able to pick up a 30ft long Rugops in its mouth and the thing appears to be no bigger than its head. Spinosaurus didn't grow much larger than 60ft, meaning the one depicted in the episode would have been close to 300ft. The episode also seems to take a lot of facts that we know about the animal out of context, seemingly with no other reason than to turn Spinosaurus into some kind of prehistoric Villain Sue.
    • They also got away with flexible-necked plesiosaurs and naked raptors in other episodes.
    • A full list of errors in the program would be the size of the show's Spinosaurus.
  • Clash of the Dinosaurs, which really caused grief to one of the paleontologists they interviewed by QUOTE MINING him.
  • Animal Armageddon, while not a bad program when it comes to explaining science, had some of the worst and most ugly-looking CGI dinosaur recreations imaginable, almost all of which suffer from anatomical inaccuracies.
  • ITV's March of the Dinosaurs had dinosaur-freaks up in arms with just its preview images. While feathered tyrannosaurs and arctic mosasaurs might have looked awesome, the not properly feathered, small-winged (they should have actual wings with wing feathers) Troodons worked as horrible eye-sores for them. Indeed, we live in a time in which popular dinosaur restorations are forced to take a middle route between being too feathered for the general public's comfort, but not feathered enough to please dino-maniacs.
  • While not specifically about prehistoric life, The Most Extreme messed up big in episode 65, Awesome Ancestors. Just what did they screw up on, you may ask? Tyrannosaurus Rex was more closely related to your standard chicken than it was to the Komodo dragon. A more appropriate anscestor for the Komodo dragon would be the 50-foot long mosasaur, a predatory sea-going lizard that lived around the same time as the last dinosaurs and are thought to be distantly related to modern-day monitor lizards.
    • Not to mention that T. rex had many traits similiar to those modern-day birds and was most-likely warm blooded, unlike the cold-blooded Komodo dragon which has more standared reptilian traits. Oops.
      • Megalania would work just as well, being an actual giant lizard related to the Komodo dragon.
  • The Dinomorphosis episode of Naked Science. Even disregarding that woefully outdated and unrealistic reconstruction of Oviraptor, it had actual scientists lamenting over the fact that the "poor T. rex" may have been feathered in real life, as if this somehow made it less Badass. Um, nice job trying to forward the latest findings to the audience there, by explictily saying how lame the new dinosaur image is. Surely, its immensely powerful bite (possibly the strongest ever) and title as the baddest North American predator around at the time mean nothing now that we know it had fuzz somewhere on its body.
  • Paleoworld all but completely averted this for its time. However, having aired in the nineties, it has become a major victim of Science Marches On.
  • There is an episode of Ancient Aliens that claims that dinosaurs survived into historical times, and were nuked by extraterrestrials. Not only does all shown evidence look fake or exaggerrated, but they have religious archaeologists and come up with all sorts of strange ideas, including that aliens used genetic engineering to reintroduce animals like coelocanths and crocodilians because they existed in the Mesozoic and somehow had to appear in the present, and that dinosaur bones are painted with lead because they are extremely radioactive!


Eastern Animation Edit

  • There is a Soviet cartoon called Mother for Little Mammoth. It is about the eponymous mammoth who thawed out in our age searching for his mom. He finds one, an elephant in Africa. A truly happy ending, except one of the traits by which she accepts him is the fact that, like her, he has big ears -- and the mammoth is pictured with such. Now, an elephant's big ears are heat sinks -- mammoths didn't need nor have them.


Films -- Animated Edit

  • The "Rite of Spring" sequence in Fantasia may be one of the Trope Makers here. It shows off a random cross-section of prehistoric life in the space of a few minutes.
    • 25 years later, the Disney Imagineers created a Primeval World diorama for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, with many of the individual scenes apparently inspired by Fantasia. This diorama, which is currently installed at Disneyland in California, is a slight improvement on the film -- the first scene shows dimetrodons in a Coal Age forest of giant horsetails (and giant dragonflies), and then moves to a Jurassic swamp with some generic sauropods, followed by scenes featuring Pteranodon, Triceratops, and Struthiomimus (all Cretaceous). So far, so good; the sauropods look ridiculous and should not be munching water weeds in a swamp, but that can be put down to a combination of 1960's paleontological ignorance and artistic license. But then the final scene depicts a Stegosaurus battling some large carnosaur beside a violent lava flow. If the carnosaur is supposed to be a T. rex, as the narrator usually states, why does it have three fingers per hand, and what the heck is the stego doing in the Cretaceous? You could ignore the narrator and assume that the setting has reverted back to the Jurassic for some reason, and the stego is fighting an Allosaurus... but that doesn't explain why stego has five tail spikes on its thagomizer. Sigh.
    • When all of the dinosaurs go extinct, some of them fall into several tar pits and cannot escape, possibly starving to death inside. The idea of animals dying by falling into tar pits did not appear until the Cenozoic era.
  • Extremely evident in Disney's Dinosaur, which had dinosaurs from the Jurassic and even the Triassic period interacting with Cretaceous-period dinosaurs. In an effort to show that the writers had done some research, they included a Carnotaurus as the main predator -- too bad Carnotaurus lived in South America, while all the other dinosaurs were North American species, and furthermore were several times bigger than in reality. There was a Hand Wave when one character was astounded that the carnotaurs had come "this far North" (which doesn't work, since North and South America was separated by a sea at the time), and the Brachiosaur character was explicitly stated to be the only one of her species left.
    • Not to mention the fact that the main character had been adopted by lemurs.
  • When consulting paleontologists for the movie Ice Age, the writers were reluctant about putting dodos in. They were told "Whatever, just please, no dinosaurs". Though there was a dinosaur in the film, it was frozen in ice, presumably for millions of years. Let's just hope those same paleontologists haven't seen the latest film...
    • Of course, dodos are technically dinosaurs, too.
  • The Land Before Time. Pity the professors of geology and paleontology who have small children at home, because all the errors in these films will indeed make a paleontologist weep.
  • Rex from Toy Story is a green plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex with three fingers on each hand instead of two like in real life. Justified, since he's a toy T. rex, which is often portrayed incorrectly.
    • He could also be an Edmarka, a three-fingered theropod which also has the species name rex.
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story features Anatosaurus, which is indeed a bona fide member of the duckbill group[3]. Sadly, the duckbill is shown with a long bony crest on the back of its head more reminiscent of a Sauralophus or Parasaurolophus than a smooth-headed "Anatosaurus"...
    • The Pteranodon isn't that better either, having a long tail and being bipedal. Also, how the hell is she mistaken for a bat if she isn't bat like at all!?


Films -- Live-Action Edit

  • Parodied in Caveman. Yes, there are cavemen and dinosaurs in the same film, but few scientists would be able to cry for the laughter. Not only does the movie occur "One Zillion Years Ago", but the main dinosaur seen in the movie is a geriatric T-Rex that is alternately denied delectable cavewoman meat, stoned off a burning cannabis plant, and fondled and then smacked where it counts by a blind caveman.
    • The other prehistoric creatures include a pteranodon which has its (10ft long! Ouch!) egg stolen and a stop-motion creature resembling some outlandish Slurpasaur.
  • The original King Kong and its sequel Son Of Kong features many prehistoric animals portrayed as overly aggressive carnivores even if they were herbivorous (Apatosaurus, Styracosaurus, and Stegosaurus, to name a few) and one dramatically oversized pterodactyl to help ruin the image of its eponymous, misunderstood ape.
    • Peter Jackson's remake does the same, with the justification that they have been evolving the whole time and it's pure coincidence they look like popular depictions. They even came out with a tie-in book exploring the unique fauna of the island.
  • Subverted with the Godzilla films in that, Toho doesn't even try to even pretend to be remotely accurate in any way whatsoever.
    • Of course, it's played straight in the 1993 film Godzilla VS Mechagodzilla. Baby Godzilla is shown during various parts of the film eating plants. This would be fine and dandy, if Godzilla's species (IE: Godzillasaurus) wasn't already depicted as being carnivorous (Godzillasaurus pretty much looks like a jumbo-sized T. rex). Not to mention that Baby Godzilla's teeth seem better suited to tear apart flesh rather than munch on veggies.
  • Somewhere a paleoanthropologist and an archaeologist are crying: in The X-Files movie, we see a Neanderthal in North Texas 60,000 years ago. Not only were there no Neanderthals in the Western Hemisphere ever, there were no hominids of any kind in the Western Hemisphere 60,000 years ago. Unless they were all abducted by aliens.
  • 10,000 B.C.: An Androcles' Lion type situation with a Smilodon. "Terror Birds" about 2 million years after they went extinct.[4] And Woolly Mammoths being used to move bricks to build the pyramids. Rule of Cool taken to the very limit.
    • That and Smilodon (clearly the species being represented on film) did not live in Africa. It ranged from North and South America. Then again, given how the characters seem to WALK from South America to Africa...
      • In the beginning when hunting the Mammoths; they refer to the head of the herd as the "Lead Bull", meaning that the leader of the herd is male. All indications are that Mammoths behaved very similarly to modern Elephants... who are led by matriarch females. The males travel separately from the herd.
  • The Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie (which should give you a hint as to its quality) 100 Million BC has the humans unable to detect the rampaging Giganotosaurus through a heat sensor because "dinosaurs are ectothermal" (sic). To note, even if Giganotosaurus was an ectotherm, its body temperature and metabolism by sheer virtue of its size would be like that of an endotherm (due to a little thing called inertial homeothermy). It would have showed up on a thermal sensor.
    • Also, the heroes vist South America 70 million years ago (despite the fact it's 100 Million BC...) and Gigantosaurus became extinct around 90 million years ago.
  • On top of the issues carried over from the book with the Velociraptors, the film of Jurassic Park made the Dilophosaurus too small, and added a retractable frill it could not have possibly had (that sort of thing needs certain skull structures to mount on to, and the Dilophosaurus is noticeably lacking them) in order to make them more distinct from the velociraptors.
    • Potentially averted by virtue of the fact that they are genetically engineered carnival animals based in part on frog DNA. Their resemblance to real dinosaurs is purely superficial.
    • Jurassic Park III was a goldmine of palaeontological nonsense. To wit: Pteranodon, "toothless wing," with tooth-filled beaks, grasping feet, and the ability to pick up a grown man that had to outweigh them by a good fifty pounds at least. And apparently the whole nasty business of the first two films could have been avoided by making a mold of a space from an actual Velociraptor fossil and playing it like a kazoo to speak Raptorese to these dinosaur/bird/amphibian chimeras. Who knew? And let's just say "the Spinosaurus" and leave it at that.
      • The raptors having "primate intelligence". Brains don't work that way!
  • Super Mario Bros. The Movie hits a few common dinosaur-related errors, though the filmmakers seemed to be going for Rule of Cool. These include:
    • The meteorite that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs is implied to have done so immediately, while also hitting Earth where present-day New York City is located. To be fair, this was before the actual location of the meteorite's impact and its affect were commonly known or proven.
    • The humanoid dinosaurs in the parallel world, such as Koopa and Lena, display qualities and behaviors more typical of modern lizards, such as tongue-flicking and prehensile tongue-use. However, it is implied that the dino-humans developed these traits over time as they became more like modern reptiles, while the prehensile tongue-use was taken from the games (Yoshi).
  • Pioneering filmmaker D.W. Griffith's 1914 film Brute Force shows a group of cavemen attacked by a dinosaur.
  • From Puma Man:

 So dinosaurs became extinct because they no longer knew how to love each other?

  • In Batman and Robin, Mr. Freeze knows absolute zero about what killed the dinosaurs.

 Freeze: The Ice Age!


Literature Edit

  • Eric Garcia's Anonymous Rex series of novels is just odd but a few things stand out. The trilogy's premise is that talking animals walk among us disguised as humans, and that most of these are the few species of dinosaurs who survived the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. They exist in the present day in exactly the forms they had on the other side of the K-T Boundary (though implicitly smaller or larger as the case may be). His protagonist is a Velociraptor -- a Jurassic Park-style nekkid velociraptor with external ears -- private eye. The other main characters tend to be obvious dinosaurs like tyrannosaurs and hadrosaurs. Garcia's only research (and he openly admits this) is to have read and watched Jurassic Park a lot, but there's so much Rule of Funny going on ("Manimal: the Musical!") that the lack of research actually serves to make the series funnier. (And did we mention the -- ahem -- interspecies romances?)
    • The movie adaptation is... less so. While in the books the dinosaurs' disguises are explicitly stated to be really good rubber suits, the movie clearly thought that idea sucked. So the dinosaurs, who did use rubber suits in the past, now use hyper futuristic hologram generators instead -- probably because they dig out the old suits to use as a diversion and they're nowhere near as good as they could have been.
  • The Animorphs book In The Time of Dinosaurs tried pretty hard to avoid this, with the only real anachronism given a Hand Wave (Tobias: "Who are you gonna believe, some scientist with a bunch of bones, or someone who was actually there?!") in the epilogue. Then again, it starts out with a nuclear explosion causing Time Travel and also had crab-aliens and ant-aliens in a minor war over the Earth at the same time, so...
    • It was actually a case of Shown Their Work meets Rule of Cool - K.A. Applegate was doing her research, found out that certain dinos weren't around at the time of the extinction, then came up with the Hand Wave so she could get away with keeping them around.
  • The Jurassic Park novel actually doesn't commit this crime too much, as it tries to generally depict accepted theories on dinosaur behavior -- there's a very good reason why Michael Crichton was a respected science fiction author -- and explains everything in a way that actually makes a lot of sense logically. The mix-and-match assembly of species from different periods is attributed to the fact that the geneticists who made the dinosaurs just didn't care, and John Hammond, the guy in charge, was just relying on the Rule of Cool. The name of the park was chosen to appeal to investors, and to customers (had it opened for business), and not with any regard for accuracy. The whole "can't see you if you don't move" is actually attributed to all the dinos, not just the T. Rex, as they had to fill in genetic gaps with the DNA of similar modern day reptiles and amphibians, many of which actually do have motion-based vision. The Velociraptors, though, are a lot closer in dimension, even in the books, to really large Deinonychuses.
    • According to That Other Wiki the scientific taxonomies used by Crichton at the time of writing classified Deinonychus to be a type of Velociraptor, partially justifying their use.
    • It uses this trope when the dinosaurs are in any way interested in the humans. The idea of a tyrannosaurus chasing a human for food is like you chasing a mouse for the same reason. The novel does Hand Wave the idea for the Velociraptors, though. As Malcolm mentions, somewhere along the line, they must have realized that humans are easy prey - much as tigers tend to become man-eaters if they kill a human while starving. Easier to kill, that is, as long as they aren't the main characters.
      • Possibly justified if the dinos are smarter than the humans gave them credit for, and have learned to associate the appearance and scent of human keepers with their daily delivery of food. Might T. rex have kept chasing the little squealing scampering things because she was used to them depositing a few hundred pounds of prime rib in front of her?
    • Mentioned in Stephen Jay Gould's Dinosaur In A Haystack:

 Gould: Why did you put a Cretaceous dinosaur on the cover of Jurassic Park?

Crichton: Oh my god, I never thought of that. We were just playing around with different cover designs and this was the one that looked best.

    • The sequel lampshades it with a character who points out several of the problems with the original, and comes up with a few guesses on what else could have caused things like the T-Rex acting like it couldn't see them.
    • All of the problems or errors in Jurassic Park are lampshaded by the characters. They repeatedly criticize John Hammond for his negligence and lack of attention to detail. Henry Wu explicitly points out that the dinosaurs are not authentic, but rather scientific mishmashes of DNA that approximate dinosaurs for the consumption of tourists. As with Hammond, Wu is also depicted as being disinterested in the details of his work, and with deadly results.
  • Steven Baxter's book Evolution. While most of the time he gets the science right, and the speculative leaps he takes are somewhat within the bounds of plausibility, a few examples must be mentioned. First of all, in the story about the sapient Ornitholestes, he mentions that the only evidence humans had of these species is the disappearance of sauropods in the Late Jurassic, since the sapient species bones and technology are too fragile to preserve. Problem is, sauropods didn't go extinct in the Late Jurassic, not even in the Northern Hemisphere. There were as many sauropods infesting North America in the Early Cretaceous as there were in the Late Jurassic, including Paluxysaurus, Sauroposeidon, and Sonorasaurus.
    • However there was a mass-extinction at the end of the Jurassic that claimed the dominant Jurassic sauropods, and the sauropods referred to in that story were all Diplodocus, which did go extinct then. The phrase was 'the disappearance of the giant sauropods'. This could easily have meant just those specific species, not sauropods in general.
    • The story about primates coming to North America has some anachronism and Misplaced Wildlife in it too. Not only does it have indricotherid rhinos (native only to Asia), camels (who were only found in North America at this time), and such, it has gastornid birds inhabiting Oligocene-Miocene Africa...yes, even after these animals were supposed to have died out in the middle Eocene.
    • In addition, the story involving Purgatorius has some flaws too. While Baxter does get it right by cloaking his troodonts in feathers, he leaves them off his dromaeosaurs. To add insult to injury, he makes the raptors cold-blooded, despite the fact that raptors are the very dinosaurs which ignited the cold blood, warm blood debate. In fact, even paleontologists who doubt endothermy in ornithischians and sauropods don't deny that raptors were most likely endothermic. And then there are the Giganotosaurus and Suchomimus in North America. Not only are these animals in the wrong place (Giganotosaurus was from South America, Suchomimus from Africa), but they are from the wrong time, both species were from the Early Cretaceous.
      • The Giganotosaurus in that story was no less implausible that any of the other speculations not directly supported by fossil evidence Baxter uses, namely that a giganotosaur species whose fossil remains had not been found by modern human paleontologists, descended from the known early Giganotosaurus finds, survived to the end of the Cretaceous and migrated to North America across the land bridge between North and South America when it formed in the late Cretaceous. Similarly the Suchomimus is a not implausible speculation that a member of that particular family did in fact live in North America, though only fossils from the African branch of the family have so far been found. This is certainly possible since similar pairs of "sister taxa" in North America and Africa are known for many other dinosaur families, and the origins of these families date back to when North America and Africa were connected.
  • Both used and lovingly averted in James Gurney's Dinotopia. Okay, yes, basically every prehistoric creature from Opabinia to woolly mammoths is coexisting in a continent the size of Australia, and the reason for this is hand waved, roughly anything that walks on land is smart enough to have a language and participate in a totally peaceful utopia alongside humans, large not-quite-lingual pterosaurs can take off and fly while carrying humans, and small ceratopsians can speak any language. But Gurney is also up-to-date on the world of paleontology, and although his raptors were naked in early books, he painted them with feathers in later ones. And everything has the right physiology. Dinotopia is a children's story with enormous detail in the dinosaurs.
  • While they aren't about dinosaurs, Steve Alten's Meg novels will make paleontology enthusiasts cringe. The opening scene of the first book has a T. rex chasing some hadrosaurs into the water, where it is eaten by a Megalodon explicitly stated to be twice its size. * sigh* Carcharodon megalodon was not twice the length of a T. rex; Megalodon did not live during the Cretaceous (the giant shark appeared 47 million years after the dinosaurs died out) and it would not have been the top oceanic predator if it had lived in the Cretaceous (the big Mosasaurs would have been serious competition).
    • As for the comment relating to the mosasaurs, Alten does have other giant carnivorous marine reptiles show in his series; Kronosaurus (Pliosaurs, aka; short-necked plesiosaurs). Only when they show up; they are not only PREY to the Megalodon (Pliosaurs were known to have eaten sharks quite often, judging by their remains and quite a few were larger than 'Meg') but they have somehow evolved gills. That's TWO inaccuracies of nature in one!
      • Alten states that the kronosaurs were at the top of the oceanic food chain...until Megalodon evolved, and that the "cold-blooded reptiles" were forced down to the warm geothermal areas on the ocean bottom. Megalodon was cold-blooded too. In fact, one of the most popular theories as to why they died out was that they couldn't follow whales to the poles during the Ice Age and starved. And a new study suggests that plesiosaurs like Kronosaurus had a more or less stable body temperature. So, these Megalodons just showed up in the Cretaceous and overpowered all of the very large marine reptiles with their ferocious awesomeness? Yes, sharks are badass, but this is pushing Villain Sue territory!
      • Interestingly, though, there was a giant shark species that did live contemporaneously with the Cretaceous mosasaurs, and did prey on them, with ample fossil evidence from mosasaur bones (though the big Mosasaurs also preyed on them in return as well). It was Cretoxyrhina, the Ginsu Shark, and could grow over 30 feet long, and a 30 foot marine animal could potentially reach up to twice the mass of a T-rex, if not twice the length. Though the Ginsu Shark did go extinct before the end of the Cretaceous and would not have been contemporary to T-rex.
    • Alten wouldn't be the only one to greatly exaggerate Megalodon's size (the most realistic estimates place it at 50-60 feet long at maximum, Alten goes above and beyond 80-90 feet) and place it in the Dinosaurs era. It seems these two traits go hand in hand when attempting to write fiction for these things (yeah, because a shark as large as most whales isn't interesting enough, they need to insert Dinosaurs).
  • Mentioned in the sci-fi novel The Sky People by S.M. Stirling, due to Ancient Astronauts terraforming and seeding Venus with Earth lifeforms. There are also beautiful cave princesses in fur bikinis, much to everyone's delight.
  • Kronos. It rapidly becomes apparent that the author did not do any research whatsoever on plesiosaur biology. Among the worst is the eponymous Kronosaurus swimming in an up-and-down body motion like a whale, complete with flukes. The problem? Plesiosaurs had a stiff spine and were virtually forced to swim sealion or penguin style. Of course, seeing as the author has a severe creationist lean, this F in biology could be due to not doing any research at all and trying to Dan Brown it. The author has several other books involving prehistoric life, which likely contain other issues.
  • Partially Justified Trope in the Conan the Barbarian story Red Nails. Conan encounters a "dragon" (which is obviously a dinosaur) - but despite the fact that the story is set "only" ten or twenty thousand years ago, the dinosaur is not a natural survival, but an extinct creature reanimated from fossils by powerful wizards. (This still doesn't explain why what is clearly a Stegosaurus is an aggressive carnivore, though!)
    • Anything re-animated in the Conan stories is an aggressive carnivore.
    • It's a zombie; of course it's a carnivore.
    • A Wizard Did It
  • The back cover of the novelisation of Doctor Who and the Silurians boasts that the story contains "a 40 ft. high Tyrannosaurus rex, the biggest, most savage mammal which ever trod the earth!" No T. rex fossil ever found has been that big; the largest one is 40 feet long from nose to tail. And then there's that other bit -- while most of us aren't experts on the subject, we could probably tell you that T. rex was not a mammal.
  • The Land that Time Forgot series by Edgar Rice Burroughs has a Tyrannosaurus Rex running on all fours. Even though this was written around WWI, I don't think Science Marches On quite covers this one...
  • There is a children's book called Day of the Dinosaur which commits this sin in spades. None of the dinos are illustrated correctly and they all are depicted as living around the same time. Also, Dimetrodon, Mesosaurus and Eryops of all things are called dinosaurs. (For those who don't know, Eryops was an amphibian that was roughly contemporary of Dimetrodon. It's portrayed as a land animal in the book. Also, the three foot-long Mesosaurus resembled a crocodile and lived at the same time as Dimetrodon and Eryops, but farther south. A filter-feeder, it was the first reptile to return to an aquatic existence. A related coloring book makes it out to be a predator about thirty feet long.) To be fair, the book was from the sixties, so some of this is Science Marches On, but the the rest is simply inexcusable, as this review points out.
  • A Thomas the Tank Engine picture book was actually about Thomas and Stepney finding a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton on Sodor, despite that dinosaur being native to North America (they really should've uncovered a Proceratosaurus, Eotyrannus, Yaverlandia, Megalosaurus, Eustreptospondylus, Neovenator or Baryonyx, all of which are actually theropod dinosaurs that are native to England). Well, at least the dinosaur skeleton the Narrow Gauge locomotives found in the show is actually that of a Dacentrurus (a small stegosaurid native to England).
  • Several very cheap kids' dinosaur books suffer from this, badly. Probably the worst is this one, which is just one big Critical Research Failure from beginning to end. For starters, it has herbivorous plesiosaurs, states that Ceratosaurus was a tyrannosaur (right, and you're a tarsier), claims that Tyrannosaurus Rex grew to 65 feet long (try 42 feet), has naked raptors, claims that Oviraptor lived on eggs (discarded in the nineties) has aquatic sauropods (disproven in the sixties, while the book was written in 2003), says that Archaeopteryx evolved after the raptors and has really lame 3D. Somewhere a paleontologist is committing suicide by jumping in a mosasaur-infested pool.
  • For everything Scott Sampson's Dinosaur Odyssey gets right, there's something that it gets very wrong.


Live-Action TV Edit

  • Destination Truth, the 'flying dinosaur' episode. Lets see, they identify the creature from the descriptions as a pterodactyl, yet never, not ONCE say its a flying reptile, not a flying dinosaur. The closest thing to a flying 'dinosaur' are the first birds, NOT the pterosaurs, which are a completely separate species taxon.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers mostly avoid this, as they don't even bother with any kind of dinosaur facts (and therefore can't screw them up). Their main failure is merely falling into the Stock Dinosaurs trap; in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger/Mighty Morphin Power Rangers seasons 1 to 3, only two of the Five-Man Band had their powers from actual dinosaurs (Geki and Dan/Jason -> Rocky and Billy). Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger/Power Rangers Dino Thunder also failed to correctly identify the Sixth Ranger's mecha - a Tupuxuara pterosaur, but called "Top Galer" in Abaranger and "Drago zord" in Dino Thunder. The latter also referred to a Styracosaurus zord as the "Mezodon".
    • The biggest goof actually occurs in the time-travel themed series, Power Rangers Time Force, rather than either of the dinosaur-themed ones. In a trip to prehistoric times, the Rangers both get chased by a Tyrannosaurus and find a caveman painting of a time-tossed zord.
    • It should also be noted that the rangers in Zyuranger supposedly come from 170 million years ago, during the Jurassic period- a time at which none of the animals they represent lived (neither did humans, of course, which means it's probably meant to be some sort of Alternate History in which they all did live at the same time).
    • The Dragonzord/Dragon Caesar isn't even a prehistoric animal. It's more of... er... Godzilla?
  • The Dinosaurs Sitcom had an... unusual take on this concept. The writers consciously Did Not Do the Research in order to get in more jokes. As such, we have things like Allosaurs and Tyrannosaurs living together, carnivorous Triceratops, and cavemen (there were no mammoths, though). They also live in 60,000,000 B.C., 5 million years after the dinosaurs should have become extinct (oddly enough, the last episode of the series features them going extinct). Of course, they are living in houses complete with refrigerators and eight-track tape players, so we really can't fault them.
    • Ironically, a minority of paleontologists believe Triceratops really was an omnivore, but that doesn't make the show tremendously more accurate.
  • Lost Tapes has several of its monsters portrayed as Prehistoric Animals. None of them make sense. Goofs includes a surviving Azhdarchid Pterosaur behaving as a modern (albeit giant) Shrike; a people-eating Elasmosaur and a Megalania living in rainforest.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyles the Lost World. That is all.
    • This is a case of Science Marches On, as when the book was written dinosaurs were a new discovery and almost everything people thought they knew at the time was later disproved.
    • The book, yes; the TV series, not so much. The show was designed to cash in on the success of Jurassic Park, hence the abundance of velociraptors (a dinosaur unknown in Doyle's day).
  • In the Doctor Who serial "The Silurians" (mentioned above), one of the main plotlines relies on humans experiencing "primal fear" when faced with the reptilian Monster of the Day, even going so far as to regress to a caveman mentality and start painting on walls. But by the time the higher monkeys had split off and begun expansion, the age of the reptiles was long gone.
    • But this is topped by another Third Doctor story: "The Invasion of the Dinosaurs". Somewhere A Palaeontologist Is Committing Suicide By Placing His Head Between Two Convergent Tectonic Plates.
  • One episode of 24-Hour Restaurant Battle had a caveman-themed restaurant called The Cave-In. Every single food item was dinosaur-themed, even things like ribs and burgers that could have been named after any animal at all (like, say, mammoths).
  • Barney and Friends. That is all.
  • In the BBC show My Pet Dinosaur, they speculated on human's relationships with dinosaurs had the meteor not hit. Ignoring the likelihood of humans even existing in that scenario, they had sauropods that barked, walked on two legs, and were the size of small cats. They also had a Protoceratops as the equivalent of pigs and chickens, even though Protoceratops went extinct before the meteor, and chickens-or at least chicken-like birds-already existed in the late Cretaceous. They also had human-shaped dinosaurs, even though the structure of a dinosaur couldn't have supported that. Also, they had scaly maniraptors. I thought this was speculation, not Looney Tunes.


Music Edit

  • According to the song "Walking in Your Footsteps" by The Police, the mighty Brontosaurus walked the Earth 50 million years ago. In reality, the most recent Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus) remains are nearly 150 million years old, and the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred 65 million years ago.
  • Iron Maiden's "Quest for Fire" mostly retells the story of the eponymous movie... except for the (hilariously overblown) opening line "In a time where dinosaurs walked the earth..."[5]
    • It should be noted that this was probably the band being funny, as they are history buffs and would know about things like this.


Newspaper Comics Edit

  • An early series of FoxTrot comic strips had Jason filming a dinosaur movie, with his pet iguana Quincy as the dinosaur. He called the film "Iguanadon Terror", even though Quincy looked nothing like an actual iguanodon (Jason was aiming for something like a Dimetrodon, though when asking if Quincy could pass for a dinosaur he was told that Quincy only looked like an iguana with a fan taped to its back).
    • A later strip had Jason doing a Claymation movie called "Mesozoic Park"; he pointed out that Jurassic Park was mostly about dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period.
    • In another strip, he was seen writing a letter explaining the brontosaur/apatosaur controversy to a cookie manufacturer that used the former term in the "Fun Facts" of their dinosaur cookie boxes. He then immediately tries to blackmail them into sending him free cookies.
  • Bill Watterson, the author of Calvin and Hobbes, admits that his earliest strips involving dinosaurs were pretty embarrassing. After doing some research, and getting as excited about dinosaurs as Calvin, his drawings of dinosaurs became more and more accurate and realistic (as an aside, tellingly, most fantasy sequences in Calvin and Hobbes are drawn in a more realistic way than Calvin's day-to-day life). If you have a collection of Calvin and Hobbes anthologies, note that by around 1994, it's obvious that Watterson invested in a Gregory S. Paul book for anatomy and in a set of "Jurassic Park" action figures for posing and staging.
    • One strip involved such realistic Dromeosaurs that they would scare small children. It didn't help that Calvin was talking about them eating small children. The little freak!
    • Shortly after that strip, Jurassic Park came out, and Watterson stopped putting dinosaurs in the strip for a time so that they wouldn't be negatively compared to the CGI.
    • Of course, Watterson doesn't let accuracy get in the way of Rule of Cool. Say it with me: TYRANNOSAURS IN F-14s!

 Calvin: "This is so cool!"

Hobbes: "This is so stupid."

    • Watterson amusingly subverted and lampshaded this trope when Calvin and his parents visit a natural history museum. Calvin's mom asks him (in that typical way that moms do when they're trying to encourage their kids to talk about something they like) to tell her about the Stegosaurus statue outside. Calvin goes into a long (and scientifically accurate) explanation of the most likely habits and characteristics of Stegosaurs, until his mom tries to humor him further by asking if the T. rex and the Stegosaurus used to fight each other, leading to this outburst:

 Calvin: "Of course not, Mom! The Stegosaurus lived millions of years before the T. rex! Jeez, try not to embarrass me when we go inside, okay?"

  • Let's not forget about BC, perhaps one of the most Egregious examples of a newspaper comic that has both dinosaurs and humans. Incidentally, though the creator was a self-proclaimed Christian fundamentalist, the scientific shortcomings seem to be less because of his beliefs and more for Anachronism Stew Played for Laughs[6].
  • Alley Oop, starting in 1932, with his pet, Dinny. Before Television!
  • The Far Side had many strips that showed or implied dinosaurs and cavemen living at the same time. However, the strip describing the "thagomizer" has been endorsed by actual paleontologists for giving a name to a certain part of stegosaur anatomy, even though it implied that said part posed a danger to primitive hominids.
    • Gary Larson has said that he is well aware of the anachronism and while part of him justifies the cartoons on the Rule of Funny, part of him feels very guilty about using this trope, especially given the high regard in which he is generally held by the scientific community.

Tabletop Games Edit

  • Prior editions of Dungeons & Dragons handle the various species of dinosaur better than it does mythology, even pointing out the differences between the Velociraptor and the Deinonychus. They still list Pteranodon and Elasmosaurus under the same catchall of "dinosaurs", though; in the Fourth Edition, however, they are renamed Behemoths. Not to mention still allowing the Quetzalcoatlus and Elasmosaurus to swallow humans whole (note: not only could they probably never do that without disloding their entire lower beak, but this would roughly double the weight of a flying creature, and thus landlocked them).
    • They honestly go in a lot of different directions with this, depending on the edition. At one time, dinosaurs were classified as Beasts (a different creature type from Animals, in much the same way that humans are Humanoids and most invertebrates are Vermin).
    • The modem terrestrial stalker interpretation of some azhdarchid pterosaurs which are basically Queztalcoatlus, such as Hatzegopteryx, allows generous room in their body to swallow an entire human whole. In fact, it's thought that this was their preferred feeding method, and that they ate prey just slightly smaller than a human. They also would've weighed 2-3 times what a human does, and could readily take off in under a second from level ground with the weight of a human-sized meal inside them.
  • Genius: The Transgression features a Bardo based on discredited theories of the Hollow World, which seems to be filled with every paleontological mistake ever made, such as brontosaurs (no, not apatosaurs, brontosaurs), the old Victorian notion of what an iguanodon looked like, and Piltdown Men.
  • There is this very obscure, very low-quality board game sold in Hungary that goes by the name Küzdelem a dinoszauruszok földjén (Battle in the Realm of the Dinosaurs). Has only a handful of pictures, all of which contain horrible depictions of Stock Dinosaurs -- one Brachiosaurus with a backwards knee, and one with shorter forelegs than back legs, standing as erect as a human; toothed, bat-winged Pteranodons with the bat fingers sprouting from the back of the wings; and gigantic, scaly Velociraptors with Therizinosaurus-like claws. In short, it is the board game equivalent of "Chinasaurs" (see lower).


Toys Edit

  • The DinoRiders franchise had dinosaurs from virtually everywhere, plus the obligatory pterosaurs and Dimetrodon. A spinoff line of prehistoric mammals provided another example of this trope, with an entelodont (giant pig-thing) alongside a giant ground sloth, saber-toothed cat, and wooly mammoth. Then again, this is a series that concerns the exploits of aliens waging war on prehistoric Earth with the help -- voluntary in the case of the good guys, not so much in the case of the bad guys -- of the animals. Rule of Cool heals many a wound.
  • Playschool had a toy line called Definitely Dinosaurs. It featured fully articulated prehistoric creatures, and was meant to be educational... so what are the cavepeople doing there?
    • At least the packaging pointed it out and said it was just for fun. The real question is why the cavemen were all so outlandishly stocky.
  • Tyco's ImagiNext line does the same thing, though it has no pretensions of being educational. Bonus no-prize for the Carnivores Are Mean storyline.
  • Fisher-Price has a line called Imaginext Dinosaurs which is basically various dinosaur toys (IE: Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus (sic) along with some commonly-used non-dinosaurs (IE: Sabre-Toothed Tigers, Woolly Mammoths, Dimetrodons, Pteranodons, etc.)...Oh, and cavemen. Considering it's meant to be a science fiction-fantasy-action line of toys for kids, it's somewhat forgiveable. However, the real outrage is that one of the toys (which is supposed to be a Dilophosaurus, including the cliched Jurassic Park-inspired frill...which it NEVER had) is called a "Frilled Raptor". Can you hear your inner paleontologist sobbing now?
  • And then, there's Topps' insane Dinosaurs Attack! trading card series. It's probably a lot easier just to say this: any question as to whether or not they were pointedly invoking the Dinosaurs Are Dragons trope were gone the minute it turned out that the (all carnivorous and homicidal regardless of species) dinosaurs were sent by Dinosaur Satan. In addition, this is one incredibly violent series of cards -- rivaling even Topps' own "Mars Attacks" in terms of sheer mayhem. The whole set generally appears to be aiming for Refuge in Audacity writ large.
  • Much of the dinosaurs found in Dollar Stores are guilty of this trope. Case in point, at least one Dollar Store has toys for sale that include a Ceratosaurus labelled as an Oviraptor and a Dimetrodon labelled as Spinosaurus.
    • And there exists one such "Chinasaur" package that depicts a T. rex eating a huge lump of grass... maybe it was hay, but in either case, it was not flesh-colored.
  • In general, most toys would fall under the Did Not Do the Research" trope and would be more accurately conveyed in the term "Prehistoric long dead things in colorful poses," but that would not please many parents.
    • This troper remember founding a toy of big bright green scaly t-rex with...stereotypic sharp pterosaur wings instead of forelegs. Too bad he was too pricey for me...this abomination must be a symbol of this page. Also,multiple times have seen two-headed crested diplodo or horned raptor toys...they were sold as dragons.
  • Check out this tiny "Carnotaurus" from a German toy series, called Predators. The only research the sculptor made most likely stopped at "carnivorous dinosaur with horns". Quite strange, considering the series has models of other, much more obscure and yet better sculpted animals. Though it also has a Sauropod calling itself a Lystrosaurus, a naked raptor, and a Theropod labeled "Megatherium".
  • There exist several lines of cheaply made Transformers-ish figures, all of which turn into dinosaurs, following the same general pattern: back legs become arms, the legs are formed from the belly, the tail splits in two to become shoulder-cannon mounts, and the head ends up on their chest (or in some cases lower, which lead to TF fans dubbing some of these toys "Dinocock Prime"). There is one figure called Deinonychus-Bot, however the actual toy turns into a harmless and cute-looking basal ornithopod/iguanodont! For some reason, this makes the toy all the more badass.
  • LEGO's Dino line of sets will feature standard, JP-styled critters, including a scaly, kangaroo-handed raptor. The figures are still leagues better than the ones from Adventurers or Dino 2010/Dino Attack, though.
  • The Playmobil dinosaur line largely averts this: the Pteranodon has a toothless beak, most of the theropods have non-pronated hands, the spinosaurid is larger than the tyrannosaurid, etc. The only real caveat is the lack of feathers on the deinonychosaur.[7]
  • There's a set of models called "Prehistoric Digs". The advertising copy for them in the catalog says, "Discover a hidden 3D dinosaur skeleton! Then assemble the scattered bones to reveal your very own 10" museum quality reproduction of a 70 million year old 3D dinosaur skeleton. Specify T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, or Mammoth."


Video Games Edit

  • Averted in Jetpack Brontosaurus. As the game acknowledges, the title character is an Apatosaurus. Brontosaurus is just his name. It also takes pains to use the Order name Pterosaurs in the introduction, some of which were contemporary with the Apatosaurus, rather than a specific genus that might not have been. All other weirdness can be written off to it taking place in a surreal dream world. Then again, it's made by the same people as Raptor Safari, below, which similarly delights in being much, much more scientifically accurate than such a blatantly ridiculous game needs to be.
  • The "naked Velociraptors" subtrope is happily Averted in FlashBang's Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, of all places. Bonus points for the Perpetual Molt effects.
    • As to not be unfairly complimentary, those aren't Velociraptor. They look like excessively gaudy Utahraptor.
  • Yoshi, anyone? Super Mario World featured Dinosaur Land, which was inhabited by Yoshis (who are variously referred to as dinosaurs and dragons, depending who you talk to). So within the whole Mario canon, we have dinosaurs who live among humans, fly or spit fire, swallow other creatures amphibian-style and turn them into eggs, which they then use as missile weapons! And later on they had a limited form of speech.
  • How about World of Warcraft? In the Barrens and Durotar, there are the most stereotypical predatory dinosaurs in the world. Raptors (the dinos, not the birds) are even the racial mount of trolls. To be fair, if there are dragons, yetis, green-skinned shamanistic weird people, and giant blue satyrs with tentacles growing out of their faces, there may as well be dinosaurs.
    • Un'Goro Crater is an entire zone devoted to a mashing-together of various popular "dinosaurs" with no regard for geological timelines. Pterosaurs, raptors, stegosaurs, dimetrodons, and renamed T. Rexish critters all hang out within a few city blocks of each other. Along with gorillas.
      • Un'Goro, along with Sholazar Basin, is really an homage to Land of the Lost (all that's missing are the Sleestaks), and probably any other movie/show that has a hidden valley of dinosaurs. With a dash of Nintendo thrown in.
    • It's getting better--or worse?--with the introduction of the Archaeology skill in game. Animal and vegetable fossils are an entire subset of the skill, and include a rare pet and mount that are both magically reanimated fossilized raptors, implying that Azeroth's raptors have been around for a very long time. (Probably long enough to evolve off their feathers, pick up the carnotaur-esque horns, and gain the sentience the game keeps pointing out.) There's even a nod to feathery raptors with the Feathered Raptor Arm item, though it's promptly Lampshaded in the item's own description as just-as-likely belonging to one of Azeroth's hojillion other magical abominations. Also mentioned are the possibility of still-living giant trilobites, and while the entry on the nautilus shell says all the shelled squids in the world are extinct, there's two very large examples hanging out in Vashj'ir.
  • Guild Wars has dinosaurs on the Tarnished Coast in Eye of the North. The Tyrannus and Raptors are relatively accurate, the Ceratodon somewhat less so (it's an armored ceratopsian with one horn on its forehead and two more on its shoulders). I don't even know what the hell the Ferothrax and Angorodon are supposed to be, though...
  • One of the recurring enemies in Final Fantasy VIII is a red T-Rexaur (Tyrannosaurus Rex). Odds are that many first-time players got offed by one during their first hour of playing by accidentally wandering into the forest area in the Balamb Garden training center.
    • On the other hand, all monsters in the game are actually from the moon, so a red dinosaur is really the least its problems.
  • The far past of Chrono Trigger features an ongoing war between mammals and dinosaurs, the latter being led by the Reptites. The dinosaurs and Reptites eventually became extinct during the ice age caused by the fall of Lavos to Earth.
  • Played with in Fossil Fighters, a Mons game which has you digging up fossils and reanimating the dinosaurs within. The "vivosaurs" are explicitly different from dinosaurs and have different traits and names than real dinosaurs do (it's explained that's a process of the revivification device) but there is a section that lets you see what creatures they were based upon. There's even a smilodon, properly called a smilodon by the game.
  • Mostly averted with Paraworld, which has a few minor issues that are mostly explained away with Rule of Cool or lampshaded by the protagonists (All dinosaurs living at the same time, ice age mammals being counted as dinosaurs, and extremely oversized Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus [Although even then, they are referred to as Tyrannosaur Titan and Triceratops Titan and more realistically sized versions can be seen roaming the maps; the third Titan is a Seismosaur that is only about half again as big as a real one]). None of the fieldable dinosaurs are particularily unknown, with probably the most obscure being the likes of Baryonyx or Kentrosaurus, but there are a lot of roaming dinosaurs of much more obscure types.
  • Dino D-Day. And how!
  • Dino Run, considering the premise of the game, for starters, involves the "instantaneous extinction" trope. And the raptors supposedly find shelter and escape said apocalypse and go on to live for an indefinite amount of time.
  • In Star Fox Adventures, there's an item called a Dinosaur Horn. It's associated exclusively with the Snowhorn, a tribe of wooly mammoths.
  • Worlds of Ultima game Savage Empire points out in the manual that humans and dinosaurs lived millions of years apart... While you encounter both in the game. Mind you, there are also human tribes from different parts of the world from different times. A major element of the plot is to find out why and how these were all brought together into one valley.
  • The Tekken character Alex is a predatory dinosaur living alongside humans the 20th Century. However, he was genetically engineered from fossils by scientists, partially averting this trope as Alex is more Genetic Abomination than Dinosaur.
  • The Dino Crisis series likes to play Art Major Biology with the dinosaurs it features.


Web Comics Edit

  • There's another "Raptor" who looks like he's just walked off the set of Jurassic Park in the Webcomic ~The Adventures of Dr. McNinja~. However, given that the story that introduces Yoshi also includes Raptor-riding banditos, a conspiracy involving Ronald McDonald and MySpace, and a man whose incredible abdominal muscles have somehow transformed into a built-in jetpack (not to mention the eponymous character, the only physician in a long line of legendary Irish Ninjas whose office is in the middle of a haunted forest and whose secretary is a gorilla), once again, the MST3K Mantra is in full effect.
    • Not to mention the "birdasaurus" in a later plot line, lampshaded with the mouseover "I hope my completely made up out of my mind with no reference whatsoever way of drawing the birdosaurus doesn't upset any of you junior paleontologists."
    • Apparently the author still gets regular emails complaining about this, as he defensively mentions in a Note From Ed in this comic.
    • Taken to absurd extremes with the horrorsaurus, a wingless, flying, tentacled monstrosity with four eyes. That one may have been artificially created by the other dinosaurs though.
  • Dinosaur Comics has a T-Rex, a Dromiceiomimus, and a Utahraptor, grossly out of scale. The fact that they're talking is a good sign that it's not supposed to be exactly realistic. There's also the house, car, and woman getting stepped on to indicate something's not right with the timing. It often lampshades the concept, as well:

 T-Rex: Guess what I got last night? A dog! Did you know that dogs and dinosaurs co-existed?

Dromiceiomimus: Yes, I accepted it without questioning!


Web Original Edit

  • The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: Mostly averted. Lampshaded by Layla Oviraptor, who mentions that Desdemona Deinonychus and Larry the Tyrannosaur shaved off their feathers so they could star in Jurassic Park.
  • This Cracked.com article. It makes tons of mistakes with animal relationships (claiming that Gastornis is close to kiwis and ostriches when it's really closer to ducks, entelodonts close to pigs when they're really closer to hippos and whales, and Hyaenodon close to raccoons when it's equally close to all carnivorans), confuses the "classic" saber-toothed felids with the saber-toothed sparassodont ("marsupial", in the article's words) Thylacosmilus, makes unwarranted assumptions about ancestor-descendant relationships, and implies that dinosaurs are cold blooded.
  • This trope is parodied here (though it's specifically directed towards the TV show Terra Nova).
  • Also hilariously parodied in this blog post series.
  • Several paleontologists have satirized the sensationlist nature of typical dinosaur documentaries on their blogs as well.
    • This April Fools' joke on Tetrapod Zoology sets out to "prove" that old-school dinosaurs are correct after all, and contains a number of jabs at some infamous fringe groups.
  • Played for Laughs in this bit from one of the Asdfmovie


Western Animation Edit

  • Being an Edutainment show, The Magic School Bus carefully averted this trope. In "The Busasaurus" they went back in time 67 million years (Late Cretaceous Period) specifically to correct Carlos on several points, the biggest of which was that all dinosaurs were predators. Of about a dozen different species they encounter in the episode, exactly two were carnivorous. Science Marches On though, and one (the ornithomimid) was more likely an omnivore (if not a strict herbivore).
  • Dinosaucers used Apatosaurus/Brontosaurus confusion as a Running Gag. When told that "Brontosaurus" was an incorrect designation and that Apatosaurus was the correct one, Bronto Thunder would immediately reply "That's a girl's name!"
    • Dimetro is kind of an oddball here. Dimetrodonts are most definitely not dinosaurs. They are pelycosaurs, the ancestors of the therapsids, who were in turn the ancestors of mammals (in short, Dimetro is a closer relative of the Secret Scouts than he is to any of the Dinosaucers). However, given Dimetro's appearance, it's very possible that the producers had Dimetrodon confused with Spinosaurus. Old illustrations of Spinosaurus basically show an animal that could easily be confused for a bipedal Dimetrodon (the only good specimen of Spinosaurus was destroyed during World War two -- really). Indeed, Dimetro's head resembles the head Spinosaurs were drawn with in the 1980's, long before Spinosaurus' relative Baryonyx was discovered and turned out to have a head that does not look like that of any other large theropod at all. Take a look at this old illustration from the time (there's even a direct comparison to Dimetrodon) for an example.
  • But in the darkest depths lurks Dino Squad. It's the tale of a pair of (nekkid) Velociraptors who hide from the (instantaneous Kill'Em All style) extinction in a cave. And they live in that cave for well over sixty million years. (Yeah...) Finally, they emerge into the modern world with psychic powers, including the convenient ability to pass as humans. The bad 'raptor becomes a Corrupt Corporate Executive who wishes to use some kind of chemical to "return the animals of the world to the creatures they once were: DINOSAURS!" The good 'raptor poses as a teacher, and in this position, she is able to mentor the ragtag bunch of teenagers who are affected by the bad 'raptor's chemicals, allowing them to transform into the usual dinosaur suspects. For his first experiment, the bad 'raptor uses the stuff to "revert" a shark into what everyone on the show insists on calling a "Mutated Megalodon" -- except that it's a Tylosaur, an ocean-going lizard. If you know that neither of these animals are dinosaurs, that neither lizards nor sharks have anything to do with the dinosaur family tree at all and are both far, far older families of animals, and that -- you know -- sharks aren't frikkin' lizards, give yourself a round of applause. You're smarter than the people paid to write this.
    • Actually, the oldest true lizards date back to the Jurassic, making them younger than dinosaurs. And the show also stated that Spinosaurus' super power was super speed.
  • Transformers: Beast Wars is okay in terms of accuracy. Megatron, Terrorsaur, and Dinobot turn into a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Ptero-Soarer, and some kind of Velociraptor or Utahraptor respectively, but they get their alt modes by scanning fossils rather than living creatures. Then again, all three were found around an area filled with lava and volcanic rock, which would normally destroy fossils. They're also very odd colours for dinosaurs, but this can be hand waved by personal preference.
    • Magmatron from the Japanese Beast Wars series is a multi-component transformer who consists of a Giganotosaurus, a Quetzalcoatlus, and an Elasmosaurus. The Beast Wars Sourcebook, which adapts the characters for American continuity, apparently didn't get the memo, as they say the three have "only loose connections to actual reptilian lifeforms."
      • To be fair to the sourcebook, the models really do only resemble the aforementioned animals loosely: the Giga model is a generic-as-it-gets theropod with wrong arm-posture, the Plesio has an incredibly bendy neck (though this can be forgiven, as it's needed for the transformation), and the Quetz looks like a scaly vulture with a huge, serrated beak.
    • Speaking of Magmatron, the series contains an entire assortment of dinosaurs as alternate modes for the various villain characters. Most of them were excellent in terms of accuracy... save for Hardhead, who was a remold of Beast Wars Dinobot and was a Pachycephalosaurus with a jaw full of razor sharp teeth and the toe talons of a velociraptor. Keep in mind that pachys were herbivores.
      • The original raptor mold wasn't without its problems either. Besides looking like a JP raptor, it had six digits on its back feet, creating Dinobot's trademark double-thumbs. It should only have had four. When an upgraded version of the figure was released for the Classics/Universe toyline, it looked a lot closer to the character's cartoon depiction. But it still suffered from inaccuracies: it had a bent tail, pronated hands and scaly skin (in 2008!), in a line that was meant to recreate old characters in updated alternate modes. But at least the new toy did away with the original's spinning shield gimmick, a feature that required the figure to have an elongated button sticking out of its cloaca that you had to push in repeatedly. Yuck.
    • Transformers G1 had the Dinobots as how the dinosaurs were popularly thought of at the time: Grimlock was tripod-stanced, Sludge had a swan neck and dragged his tail, Snarl was extremely hunchbacked, and Slag also was a tail-dragger. Fortunately the Dinobots were much more realistically done in Transformers Animated, Grimlock especially.
    • Slag and Sludge don't actually drag their tails. But Trypticon (tripod T. Rex again) sure does (It serves a purpose on his toy. He has motorized legs, and the tail has training wheels at its tip to help him balance when he walks). Of course, wherever that paleontologist is crying, it's far away from these guys.
    • G1 also had the two-parter titled Dinobot Island, where they met horrible depictions of living prehistoric animals. Tail-dragging, Godzilla-sized Theropods, a pterosaur (looking a lot like the relatively small Dimorphodon) lifting Spike up to her nest (filled with eggs bigger then the mother), a bendy-necked plesiosaur (also being able to pick up Spike). And it was written by Donald F. Glut, renowned paleo-expert! Though considering he hated working on the cartoon, it is not unreasonable to assume that he did make himself cry while writing it.
  • The Jimmy Neutron series was guilty of this in several episodes. One, in particular, had Cindy giving a presentation on a raptor-like dinosaur, using a model skeleton as a visual aide... and she refers to it as a plesiosaurus, which, to make matters worse, wasn't even a dinosaur. Somewhat subverted when Jimmy calls her out on it, but he manages to uphold the trope by claiming that the dinosaur was in fact a Megalosaurus, which it looked absolutely nothing like. Then of course there's "200 million years ago" = "the late Cretaceous era" ... and all of the issues THAT brings up.
    • On the note of that "200 million years" thing, the epiode where that happened also had a Leptictidium, which didn't evolve until after the dinosaurs went extinct. In the same episode, there are Pteranodons that use their feet like talons, not to mention the giant Pteranodon eggs.
  • Played painfully straight in the Stanley TV movie Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up. After jumping into the Great Big Book of Everything, Stanley encounters a herd of Brachiosaurus, which soon run off, scared by a three-fingered kangaroo-stance Tyrannosaurus Rex that appears to be bigger than the brachiosaurids. Brachiosaurids did not travel in large herds (they would have stripped large areas of their foliage too quickly), they went extinct about 70 million years before tyrannosaurids evolved,[8] they couldn't run nearly as fast as they did in the show, tyrannosaurs held their bodies horizontal to the ground, had two fingers per hand and were considerably smaller than Brachiosaurus. Keep in mind that Stanley is usually intended to be educational.
  • Dinosaur Train on PBS kids tends to avert this by having Dr. Scott the paleontologist come in and explain what scientists believe (and an un-named, party-pooper character step in and complain about one of the most fantastical moments in the episode like "Point of fact. Dinosaurs did NOT give music concerts.").
  • One episode of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers show that dinosaurs really came from outer space and are really small and intelligent but Earth's food made them grew big and stupid. That was what really caused the dinosaurs' extinction.
  • Phineas and Ferb tend to run headlong into this trope whenver their daily shenanigans bring them in contact with dinosaurs. For example, the episode where the boys (and Candace) travel back in time, they encounter sauropods living in swamps (an idea that has been disproven since the fifties) and has a Tyrannosaurus Rex with three fingers. Not to mention they say they went back over three-hundred million years. Three hundred million years, huh?

 Phineas: Hey T. rex, aren't you a little young to be hanging around in the Carboniferous?

Tyrannosaurus Rex: Why, yes, yes I am.

    • This trope is played straight again in the episode "Lizard Whisperer", where the boys' American chameleon (which is a whole other trope in and of itself) is enlarged to gigantic sizes, and the boys call it a dinosaur. This one, however, is lampshaded.
      • A third instance of this trope occurs when Perry the Platypus fights Doofenshmirtz in Hawaii over the "Devolvinator". When the Devolvinator's beam hits Perry and Doofenshmirtz, Perry devolves into, among other things, a Ichthyornis and a Triceratops. What? Platypodes aren't even distantly related to either of these extinct organisms. Don't the creators even listen to their own song, he's a semi-aquatic mammal of action.
  • Dino Riders operates on the Rule of Cool, and so features several strange elements. All flying reptiles are able to carry humans on their backs with no problem (this is notably impossible, especially for Pteranodon), and both Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus are the same size. The heroes and villains fight over a Brontosaurus (which is also dubbed as the biggest dinosaur) and not an Apatosaurus. In the toys, virtually all of the ceratopsians are identical in size (and Kentrosaurus was as large as Stegosaurus). Despite this explicitly taking place on Earth, all the dinosaurs are shown living in the same time period (ie. Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic creatures all existing simultanously). And then the Ice Age mammals and cavemen start showing up.
  • Mighty Max, with its paranormal story lines, had to oblige us with a dinosaur themed episode. An Evilutionary Biologist used a de-evolution machine to turn lizards into dinosaurs. Despite lizards and dinosaurs having some similar features, these two groups are not all that closely related, never mind being descended from each other. Interestingly enough, the de-evolving beam was used on sapient chicken("Fowl, actually.") Virgil. Even though Virgil should have become a theropod dinosaur, he becomes a pterosaur instead. Pterosaurs are not true dinosaurs, nor are they the ancestors of birds.
  • The New Adventures of Superman episode "Prehistoric Pterodactyls". Did you know that pterodactyls can survive direct hits from missiles and naval gunfire, go one-on-one with Superman and even survive in space? According to this episode they can!
  • According to the Jonny Quest TOS episode "Turu The Terrible", pteranodons can survive multiple direct hits by bazooka rounds.
  • In the Johnny Test episode "Johnny BC", the sister's teacher makes them look for a fossil from precambrian times, so the sisters go back to caveman times for a 3-toed sloth fossil to plant where they were looking. Too bad precambrian times ended 540 million years before cavemen appeared.
  • The Batman Beyond two-parter "Curse of the Kobra" involves the KOBRA organisation's attempts to gene-splice themselves into a dinosaur-human hybrid race that will rule the world. Their plans include detonating a nuclear warhead in a dormant volcano, with the resulting eruptions raising the global temperature. Why? Because everyone knows dinosaurs are cold-blooded, and can't survive let alone function in less than tropical climates. The spliced Big Bad even weakens and collapses as soon as his climate-controlled environment is breached.
  • Gertie the Dinosaur one of the earliest cartoons ever made features Gertie alongside a mammoth. She also eats far more material than her body could hold such as a tree twice her size and drinking AN ENTIRE LAKE which scenes are there mostly for Rule of Cool.
  • Im A Dinosaur. Holy sweet mother of John H. Ostrom, I'm A Dinosaur. For a cartoon that tries to be educational, it fails pretty spectacularly at being such. For instance:
    • Brachiosaurids with long, diplodocid-like tails (yeah, have fun with that).
    • Boatloads of Anachronism Stew & Misplaced Wildlife (for instance, the Late Jurassic Compsognathus in the Early Cretaceous and the African Jobaria in South America).
    • Sinosauropteryx" with the largest theropod tail (the creature itself was turkey-sized, making this impossible).
    • Giganotosaurus [9] as the largest theropod (Spinosaurus was known to be larger for some time then).
    • Dilophosaurus as the largest Jurassic theropod (ironically, the show did an episode on Torvosaurus, which does bear that distinction).
    • Abelisaurid hands proportioned liked those of typical theropods. They were ridiculously tiny, without elbows or knuckles.
    • Saltopus as a dinosaur (generally considered a more primitive dinosauromorph since the Turn of the Millennium).
    • An "Ultrasauros" character (it had been sunk into Supersaurus for some time then).
    • Egg-laying plesiosauroids (live-birthing plesiosauroids were still a pretty recent discovery then, but they still should've known better).
    • Three-fingered tyrannosaurids (any competent paleontologist could tell you this is wrong).
    • Deinonychosaurian Megaraptor (disproved in 2003, well before the series' 2009 pilot).
    • Inaccurately feathered maniraptorans (do we really need to review this?)
    • The implication that theropods were the only bipedal dinosaurs (primitive members of all dinosaur groups could walk bipedally, and even the most advanced ornithopods retained this feature to an extent).
    • Zuniceratops with a nose horn (its lack of one is the only difference a layman could find between it and a true ceratopsid).
    • Blatant mispronunciations of multiple names, such as Sinornithoides[10], Sinosauropteryx[11] and Carcharodontosaurus[12].
  • The eponymous Denver, the Last Dinosaur doesn't seem to belong to any known species.
  • The Nick Jr show Bubble Guppies did an episode on dinosaurs....thing is they included Pterosaurus and Marine Reptiles as dinosaurs. Keep in mind this is supposed to be educational.
    • To be fair, they did go out of their way to use Apatosaurus instead of "Brontosaurus".


Real Life Edit

  • Several Creation Museums exist throughout the United States, containing exhibits that depict what their creators claim is a strictly literal Biblical account of the origins of the world.
    • Dinosaur Adventure Land in Florida had several exhibits illustrating how, as the Earth is only 6,100+ /- years old "according to the Bible," not only did humans and dinosaurs coexist; but humans (set up by God as having dominion over other animals) must have domesticated them - AND rode them like horses!
    • The AiG Creation Museum is a lot more careful with this issue. They merely state that man and dinosaur lived in peace before Adam's fall. And state that after the Flood, dinosaurs went extinct at different rates, pointing out how 1) a postdiluvian world would have rapid climate change due to rapid alteration of the geological landscape by being buried under a mile and a half of water, 2) the term "dinosaur" didn't exist until 1841 and 3) the line between what was considered a mere reptile by ancients and what was considered a "dragon" varied widely by ancient culture. As for the whole "domesticated them like horses" part, they are careful not to make that claim explicitly.
  • About every paleontology-related item here. Some that stand out:
    • Some scientists found a hadrosaur skeleton with preserved, scaly skin, and garfish and turtles nearby. Thus, as that site says, he wasn't a bird ancestor, and must have died in the great flood. First of all, hadrosaurs WEREN'T bird ancestors. If it's because they both have beaks, that's like saying octopi and squids were bird ancestors! Secondly, a minor flood could have mixed up the fossils, or it slumped over dead in a lake or river.
    • There are gaps in the fossil record. Here are examples, with the link referring to a fossil that proves it false: fish and amphibians, amphibians and reptiles, reptiles and birds, reptiles and mammals, and land mammals and whales.
  • The "Paleolithic" Diet, which claims to be the healthiest diet due to supposedly being based on what our ancestors ate during the bloody ice ages. The problems inherent within this claim are numerous:
    • Human diet was incredibly varied even then. Depending on the climate, early man would eat either nothing but fruit and possibly fish, or nothing but meat and the occassional root.
    • The plan makes the false assumption that modern humans are genetically identical to their stone-age ancestors, ignoring modern evolutionary theory. The prevelance of lactose tolerance among African, European, and West- and South-Asian adults; lactose tolerance is only useful if you've domesticated the cow--currently believed to have happened around 7000 BC--and herd them in a big way (which East Asians as a rule did not do, preferring to use them as beasts of burden).[13]
      • On a related note, the hominid digestive system was remarkably more tolerant of microbes than ours are today. Remember, the cleanest thing those guys would eat off of was their bare hands. If we would try that today, a great deal of us would get a nasty case of food poisoning.
    • From the linked website, every single recipe involves some sort of minute preperation (spices, minced vegetables, olive oil) that would have resulted in the death of any paleolithic human if they'd tried to dedicate their free time to acquiring it all.
    • Olive oil?! The stuff that takes great expertise to extract from farmed plant? How on earth is that paleolithic?
    • Look at all those vegetables. The recipes depend on having a steady variety of plant and fruit products (and their variety of nutrients) which far exceeds the range available to any prehistoric human, not to mention the fact that many fruits and vegetables we eat today are only viable as meals because extensive farming resulted in their growing to five times their original size.
    • Somewhere around a quarter of those recipes involove tomatoes, which until their domestication were native only to South America.
    • Perhaps most importantly, what paleolithic people ate is in no way necessarily the ideal healthy diet for either humans in general or, more importantly, modern people who spend much of their time at keyboards and in chairs rather than hunting, fishing, and gathering from dawn to dusk.
    • Never mind that that food today is nothing like food that was available tens of thousands of years ago. There was no agriculture yet and therefore food plants did not provide many things modern humans would recognize as food.
  • Sometimes paleontologists make other paleontologists cry. One of the biggest debates between paleontologists recently was Jack Horner versus practically the rest of paleontology over whether or not Tyrannosaurus rex (and all other large theropods) were predators or scavengers. Horner was on the scavenger side, and uses arguments such as: The size of the animals is more conducive to scavenging (scare smaller animals from kills); their legs were designed for walking instead of running, and being so large any form of moving fast would endanger them by off-balancing their bodies; they can only use their mouths for attacking, which is dangerous; For T. rex specifically, the large olfactory lobe of the brain (meaning excellent smell) and the small size of the forelimbs (which prevented T. rex from holding prey with them), and the thick armor-piercing teeth and bone-crushing jaws (for breaking apart bones to get the marrow inside). The rest of paleontology[14] counters with:
    • As prey size increases, generally so does predator size. Every prey species has at least one predator that can take it down.
      • That's a bit of a definition game, though. There are prey species that grow too large to be commonly predated, but they aren't technically prey species anymore, are they?
        • Their offspring certainly are. Most of the time, predators take down young animals, so an elephant may be (mostly) immune to lion attacks, their calves are not.
    • Even if they couldn't run, the large theropods would have still had a brisk walking speed, and their prey wasn't designed for speed either, favoring either keen senses, armor and weapons, or herding for protection.
    • Many animals today use only their mouths to attack.
    • Tyrannosaurus also had binocular vision, a primary predatory adaptation. Many predators also use smell to track prey. The forelimbs of T. rex are also very heavily built with numerous strong muscle attachments, and they're designed to twist and pivot, which shows they could easily withstand the forces of struggling prey. As for the teeth and jaws, again modern predators show that bone-breaking isn't a scavenger-only tactic (hyenas, the master bone-breakers, hunt more than they scavenge, breaking bones allows them to extract more food from a kill).
    • Healed tyrannosaur bite marks have been found on Edmontosaurus and Triceratops bones. Since dead things don't heal, they must have escaped the tyrannosaur, showing that it actually hunted.
    • Finally, the only true vertebrate scavengers are buzzards, vultures and condors - creatures that can cover vast amounts of territory with a minimal amount of energy expenditure. No animal the size of Tyrannosaurus could live as an exclusive scavenger, as it would use too much energy searching for carrion. Tyrannosaurus also was the only large theropod alive at its time and location, so if it wasn't killing large prey nothing was. And most predators are also scavengers. They'll take whatever food is on hand, which is a must for creatures that don't have a reliable and easy food source the way herbivores do.
      • Hell, the main reason they made Spinosaurus the Big Bad in Jurassic Park III was because Horner was so insistent on showing T. rex and Spino the way he thought they were.
    • Horner has recently acknowledged that Tyrannosaurus was an "opportunistic predator" (which is what everyone else thinks to begin with) in the only scientific paper he ever wrote on this subject. (Although he did popularize the scavenger hypothesis in books and TV shows.)
      • To put it another way, Horner wanted to challenge the general assumptions using the clout he gathered with Maiasaura and other discoveries, force other scientists to re-evaluate their positions on T-Rex and get better evidence for its nature rather than just running with assumption. In short, actual constructive Trolling.
      • To put it another another way, Horner was the annoying guy who insisted on people proving the blatantly obvious, and when they prove that the blatantly obvious was in fact blatantly obvious, tries to claim credit for...doing something or another.
      • To put it another another another way, he demanded paleontologists show their work. This forced his colleagues to act like real scientists (which greatly annoyed them), engaged the public (while greatly confusing them about the science), and tarnished his reputation...(further).
    • Note that the debate also runs on a False Dichotomy: scavenging OR predation. In practice, most carnivores like lions, hyenas and jackals do a bit of both.
  • The BAND (Birds Are Not Dinosaurs) crowd, who also go by several variants such as ABSURD (Anything But A Small Unidentified Running Dinosaur [is the ancestor of birds]) and MANIAC (Maniraptors Are Not In Actuality Coelurosaurs), a group of professionals (mostly ornithologists who know more about modern birds than about extinct theropods) who cling to the idea that birds aren't dinosaurs as though it were their religion, even though such a "debate" should have ended more than ten years ago. They're infamous for publishing papers making highly unsupported and unscientific excuses for why birds can't be dinosaurs (supposedly getting other BANDits to get them past peer review). Indeed, going by many of their arguments, nothing could evolve into birds and evolution shouldn't occur. (Note that the BANDits are not creationists.) The unfortunate side effect of this is that even though they're little more than laughing stock among the mainstream paleontological community, their vocality means that they often get coverage by journalists and creationists who don't know any better, misleading the general public that there is still a "debate" about whether birds are dinosaurs. In fact, in recent years they have no longer been able to deny the ever-growing evidence that birds are maniraptors, and have changed their arguments from birds not being dinosaurs to all maniraptors not being dinosaurs (hence, MANIAC).
    • There's also the fact that their claims about non-avian dinosaurs are occasionally somewhat at odds with our current knowledge about them. As Brian Switek, commenting on Alan Feduccia’s book The Origin and Evolution of Birds, put it: "anything relating to dinosaurs being smart, active, or dynamic is discounted, Feduccia’s model of dinosaurs more resembling the swamp-dwelling lizards thought up by early 20th century scientists (i.e. hadrosaurs are referred to as being primarily aquatic)".
    • At least one BANDit supporter has suggested that birds descended from pterosaurs. A somewhat forgivable mistake if you know nothing about dinosaurs, but anyone with even a lick of paleo-sense knows how wrong this is.
    • They also resort to ad homeniem arguments. A lot.
  • This interpretation of an ichthyosaur bonebed. Instead of a bunch of ichthyosaurs dying from, you know, some plausible cause, according to this idea the ichthyosaurs were killed by an entirely speculative giant squid that we have no evidence ever existed. What's more, it claims that the "giant squid" used the bones of the ichthyosaurs to create a self portrait. How this even got to get presented at GSA is a mystery.
  • In April 2012 the idea that large dinosaurs were aquatic resurfaced and gained immense attention from the press. Except whoever came up with this didn't give any actual reasoning and the few he implies don't have a leg to stand on.[15]
  • Pretty much every paleontologist makes at least one other paleontologist cry. Debates still rage about results, methods and data used, validity of the science, pet theories... and honestly, that helps keep research going. So, in a way, this trope isn't all bad.

Notes

  1. Possibly justified example, as smart money is that Doctor Dinosaur is the result of genetic experimentation, not actually a velociraptor from the past who was given super-intelligence by crystals.
  2. The evidence is pointing in the direction that Nanotyrannus is a juvenile tyrannosaur.
  3. Well, at least it was when the show was made...
  4. Though, we should at least be grateful that Roland Emmerich didn't use a Deinonychus or Utahraptor.
  5. fun fact: this article is the first result if you Google that phrase
  6. The strip was started about two decades before he even had his conversion anyway.
  7. And the nostrils atop the brachiosaur's head, but that one's a bit more technical.
  8. Primitive tyrannosauroids did live along Brachiosaurus, but they were essentially harmless to anything larger than a lamb.
  9. The show calls it "Gigantosaurus", but that's an invalid sauropod.
  10. Actually sine-OR-nih-THOY-deez, suh-NOR-nith-oyds in the show
  11. Actually SINE-oh-saw-ROP-tur-icks, SINE-oh-SOP-tur-icks in the show
  12. Actually kar-KAR-oh-don-toh-SAW-rus, KAR-cher-oh-don-toh-SAW-rus in the show
  13. Most mammalian species lose the ability to produce lactase--the enzyme that allows one to digest lactose--as adults; the retention of the ability to produce lactase after weaning is only useful to that weird creature that continues to drink milk later on. The branches of the species that didn't--East Asians and the native peoples of Oceania and the New World--retain the older, more normal feature, lactose intolerance.
  14. Especially Robert T. Bakker, which led to what was actually quite a funny exchange.
  15. It is unlikely that this was an April Fools' joke, by the way, as the proposer of this hypothesis has a history of coming up with far-fetched ideas like these.