History Main / PrehistoricMonster

1st Feb '17 12:14:05 AM PaulA
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* ''Literature/TheLostWorld1912'' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has its various prehistoric animals almost entirely united in their desire to eat the heroes. There's also a war between a society of human hunter-gatherers and a group of dryopithecoid "ape-men", and the MightyWhitey heroes side entirely with their fellow humans (the 2001 miniseries adaptation makes this conflict considerably less one-sided). It's important to mention that, to contemporary Britons like Sir Arthur, prehistoric life wasn't just monstrous; it was ''inferior'', since dinosaurs went extinct and we didn't.

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* ''Literature/TheLostWorld1912'' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has its various prehistoric animals almost entirely united in their desire to eat the heroes. There's also a war between a society of human hunter-gatherers and a group of dryopithecoid "ape-men", and the MightyWhitey heroes side entirely with their fellow humans (the 2001 miniseries adaptation makes this conflict considerably less one-sided).humans. It's important to mention that, to contemporary Britons like Sir Arthur, prehistoric life wasn't just monstrous; it was ''inferior'', since dinosaurs went extinct and we didn't.



* ZThe 2001 miniseries of ''Literature/TheLostWorld'' deconstructs a lot of the imperialistic thinking of its source material, showing the dinosaurs, and the much-maligned ape-men, to be well-adapted, often beautiful, and sometimes fairly intelligent creatures. That said, the ape-men are [[UncannyValley utterly hideous under that makeup]]. Notably, a major subplot (and one completely absent from the book), has Prof. Challenger (Bob Hoskins) preventing the natives of the plateau from exterminating the ape-men, but in doing so -- and [[MightyWhitey imposing his own values on them]] -- he inadvertently [[spoiler: brings disaster to the village when the vengeful ape-men summon a pair of ''Allosaurs'']], and the series ends with him and the other explorers deciding to [[spoiler: keep the plateau a secret]] in order to protect its inhabitants, while the book seems fairly cheerful about the possibility that they'll all go extinct, because they're monsters and that's what they deserve. This trope also shows up in-universe with Prof. Summerlee, who, representing the kind of paleontology [[ScienceMarchesOn contemporary to the 1911 setting]], refers to an ''Allosaurus'' in one scene as a "creature from Hell", and indeed, we see little of the ''Allosaurs'' beyond their hunger. On the other hand, there's a charming scene of one of the heroes befriending a ''Hypsilophodon''.

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* ZThe The 2001 miniseries of ''Literature/TheLostWorld'' ''Series/{{The Lost World|2001}}'' deconstructs a lot of the imperialistic thinking of its source material, showing the dinosaurs, and the much-maligned ape-men, to be well-adapted, often beautiful, and sometimes fairly intelligent creatures. That said, the ape-men are [[UncannyValley utterly hideous under that makeup]]. Notably, a major subplot (and one completely absent from the book), has Prof. Challenger (Bob Hoskins) preventing the natives of the plateau from exterminating the ape-men, but in doing so -- and [[MightyWhitey imposing his own values on them]] -- he inadvertently [[spoiler: brings [[spoiler:brings disaster to the village when the vengeful ape-men summon a pair of ''Allosaurs'']], and the series ends with him and the other explorers deciding to [[spoiler: keep [[spoiler:keep the plateau a secret]] in order to protect its inhabitants, while the book seems fairly cheerful about the possibility that they'll all go extinct, because they're monsters and that's what they deserve. This trope also shows up in-universe with Prof. Summerlee, who, representing the kind of paleontology [[ScienceMarchesOn contemporary to the 1911 setting]], refers to an ''Allosaurus'' in one scene as a "creature from Hell", and indeed, we see little of the ''Allosaurs'' beyond their hunger. On the other hand, there's a charming scene of one of the heroes befriending a ''Hypsilophodon''.
27th Dec '16 1:02:47 AM Smeagol17
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Of course there are also popular works which tend to avert this trope, especially in the last decades, in part thanks to the influence from popular documentaries like ''Walking With'': no doubt however the traditional "prehistoric = monstrous" thing not a DeadHorseTrope even today. It's worth noting at this point that PrehistoricMonster may be considered a subtrope of ArtisticLicensePaleontology only when anatomical inaccuracies are present as well. If extinct critters are portrayed in an unpleasant but still scientifically acceptable way ([[ScienceMarchesOn at least in respect to the knowledge of the time the work was created]]), it may be qualified more as a subtrope of RuleOfCool.

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Of course there are also popular works which tend to avert this trope, especially in the last decades, in part thanks to the influence from popular documentaries like ''Walking With'': no doubt however the traditional "prehistoric = monstrous" thing is not a DeadHorseTrope even today. It's worth noting at this point that PrehistoricMonster may be considered a subtrope of ArtisticLicensePaleontology only when anatomical inaccuracies are present as well. If extinct critters are portrayed in an unpleasant but still scientifically acceptable way ([[ScienceMarchesOn at least in respect to the knowledge of the time the work was created]]), it may be qualified more as a subtrope of RuleOfCool.
27th Dec '16 1:02:24 AM Smeagol17
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Of course there are also popular works which tend to avert this trope, especially in the last decades, in part thanks to the influence from popular documentaries like ''Walking With'': no doubt however the traditional "prehistoric = monstrous" thing is all but a DeadHorseTrope even today. It's worth noting at this point that PrehistoricMonster may be considered a subtrope of ArtisticLicensePaleontology only when anatomical inaccuracies are present as well. If extinct critters are portrayed in an unpleasant but still scientifically acceptable way ([[ScienceMarchesOn at least in respect to the knowledge of the time the work was created]]), it may be qualified more as a subtrope of RuleOfCool.

to:

Of course there are also popular works which tend to avert this trope, especially in the last decades, in part thanks to the influence from popular documentaries like ''Walking With'': no doubt however the traditional "prehistoric = monstrous" thing is all but not a DeadHorseTrope even today. It's worth noting at this point that PrehistoricMonster may be considered a subtrope of ArtisticLicensePaleontology only when anatomical inaccuracies are present as well. If extinct critters are portrayed in an unpleasant but still scientifically acceptable way ([[ScienceMarchesOn at least in respect to the knowledge of the time the work was created]]), it may be qualified more as a subtrope of RuleOfCool.
19th Dec '16 1:22:44 PM Sleeping_Beauty
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* ''Velociraptor'' ("swift thief" or "swift murderer") and all the other ''-raptor''s. Ironically, ''Gigantoraptor'' ("gigantic murderer"), despite its name was probably vegetarian. Though it would likely have entered this trope [[PapaWolf if you messed]] [[MamaBear with its eggs]].

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* ''Velociraptor'' ("swift thief" or "swift murderer") and all the other ''-raptor''s. Ironically, ''Gigantoraptor'' ("gigantic murderer"), despite its name was probably vegetarian.vegetarian and behaved like a modern-day ostrich. Though it would likely have entered this trope [[PapaWolf if you messed]] [[MamaBear with its eggs]].
4th Dec '16 1:29:37 PM nombretomado
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* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "Shadows In Iron", ConanTheBarbarian identifies the hide of a golden leopard and an enormous snake -- both of which had been extinct for years in his time -- as ways to deduce that something is very, very, very wrong.

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* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "Shadows In Iron", ConanTheBarbarian Literature/ConanTheBarbarian identifies the hide of a golden leopard and an enormous snake -- both of which had been extinct for years in his time -- as ways to deduce that something is very, very, very wrong.
27th Nov '16 8:05:22 PM nombretomado
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* Averted by the ''{{Dinotopia}}'' series, in which all the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are [[IntellectualAnimal Intellectual Animals]] that for the most part exist peacefully alongside humans. The exceptions are the large uncivilized theropods of the Rainy Basin and even they get portrayed as [[NobleSavage Noble Savages]] that can be bargained with. Contrast the miniseries.

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* Averted by the ''{{Dinotopia}}'' ''Literature/{{Dinotopia}}'' series, in which all the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are [[IntellectualAnimal Intellectual Animals]] that for the most part exist peacefully alongside humans. The exceptions are the large uncivilized theropods of the Rainy Basin and even they get portrayed as [[NobleSavage Noble Savages]] that can be bargained with. Contrast the miniseries.
21st Oct '16 11:53:23 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Literature/TheLostWorld'', by ''SherlockHolmes'' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has its various prehistoric animals almost entirely united in their desire to eat the heroes. There's also a war between a society of human hunter-gatherers and a group of dryopithecoid "ape-men", and the MightyWhitey heroes side entirely with their fellow humans (the 2001 miniseries adaptation makes this conflict considerably less one-sided). It's important to mention that, to contemporary Britons like Sir Arthur, prehistoric life wasn't just monstrous; it was ''inferior'', since dinosaurs went extinct and we didn't.

to:

* ''Literature/TheLostWorld'', ''Literature/TheLostWorld1912'' by ''SherlockHolmes'' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Doyle has its various prehistoric animals almost entirely united in their desire to eat the heroes. There's also a war between a society of human hunter-gatherers and a group of dryopithecoid "ape-men", and the MightyWhitey heroes side entirely with their fellow humans (the 2001 miniseries adaptation makes this conflict considerably less one-sided). It's important to mention that, to contemporary Britons like Sir Arthur, prehistoric life wasn't just monstrous; it was ''inferior'', since dinosaurs went extinct and we didn't.
12th Oct '16 8:53:51 PM MagnusForce
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* The original 3rd Edition rules for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' classified all prehistoric vertebrates as "beasts", not "animals", thus lumping them together with fantastical monsters such as the ankheg. This meant that dinosaurs and other creatures extinct on Earth couldn't be affected by magics or class abilities targeting the "animal" creature-type, even if they still constituted a natural part of their native game-worlds' contemporary ecosystems. This distinction lasted until the 3.5 revisions abolished the "beast" creature type. This gave less weight to being extinct on Earth but more to appear on Earth at any time.

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* The original 3rd Edition rules for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' classified all prehistoric vertebrates as "beasts", not "animals", thus lumping them together with fantastical monsters such as the ankheg.ankheg (a giant burrowing insect that spews acid) or the griffon. This meant that dinosaurs and other creatures extinct on Earth couldn't be affected by magics or class abilities targeting the "animal" creature-type, even if they still constituted a natural part of their native game-worlds' contemporary ecosystems. This distinction lasted until the 3.5 revisions abolished the "beast" creature type. This gave less weight to being extinct on Earth but more to appear on Earth at any time.
11th Oct '16 2:13:35 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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See also DinosaursAreDragons, DumbDinos, ReptilesAreAbhorrent, EverythingIsTryingToKillYou, OurMonstersAreDifferent. If you want to see some RealLife infos about extinct critters, [[UsefulNotes/{{Dinosaurs}} see]] [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife here]]. For a popular way of averting this, see DomesticatedDinosaurs.

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See also DinosaursAreDragons, DumbDinos, ReptilesAreAbhorrent, EverythingIsTryingToKillYou, OurMonstersAreDifferent.OurMonstersAreDifferent, and HistoricalVillainUpgrade. If you want to see some RealLife infos about extinct critters, [[UsefulNotes/{{Dinosaurs}} see]] [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife here]]. For a popular way of averting this, see DomesticatedDinosaurs.
5th Aug '16 8:24:30 PM MrMediaGuy2
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Added DiffLines:

* The upcoming video game ''{{VideoGame/Saurian}}'' averts this with all its creatures, which are depicted as normal animals that wouldn't be out of place in a nature documentary. Being a game aimed at accuracy and education, they wouldn't have much of an excuse for playing this straight.
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