History Main / PrehistoricMonster

14th Dec '17 12:03:03 AM PaulA
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* The documentary series ''[[Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs Walking With...]]''' played straight the trope in two cases (''[[Series/WalkingWithMonsters Walking With]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Monsters]]'' and ''Sea [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Monsters]]''), but averted it in most part of the series: the original ''Walking With Dinosaurs'', ''Series/WalkingWithBeasts'', ''Ballad of Big Al'', but above all ''Prehistoric Park''. In this spinoff prehistoric animals are described as "something which is missing in our world, amazing animals that time has left behind" and worth to be brought to life; moreover, they show up later in the park ''alongside their living relatives'' (Martha the mammoth with African elephants, dinosaurs with birds and crocodiles, sabre-toothed cat with cheetahs and so on). Here the discrimination between extinct and non-extinct animal is totally absent (a ''very'' rare example in media). The trope is even ''inverted'' in one case: keeper Bob being affectionate with the giant millipede relative ''Arthropleura'' and saying "this is not like spiders and other small modern creepy-crawlies, this is a proper animal".

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* The documentary series ''[[Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs Walking With...]]''' played straight the trope in two cases (''[[Series/WalkingWithMonsters Walking With]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Monsters]]'' and ''Sea [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Monsters]]''), but averted it in most part of the series: the original ''Walking With Dinosaurs'', ''Series/WalkingWithBeasts'', ''Ballad of Big Al'', ''WesternAnimation/TheBalladOfBigAl'', but above all ''Prehistoric Park''.''Series/PrehistoricPark''. In this spinoff prehistoric animals are described as "something which is missing in our world, amazing animals that time has left behind" and worth to be brought to life; moreover, they show up later in the park ''alongside their living relatives'' (Martha the mammoth with African elephants, dinosaurs with birds and crocodiles, sabre-toothed cat with cheetahs and so on). Here the discrimination between extinct and non-extinct animal is totally absent (a ''very'' rare example in media). The trope is even ''inverted'' in one case: keeper Bob being affectionate with the giant millipede relative ''Arthropleura'' and saying "this is not like spiders and other small modern creepy-crawlies, this is a proper animal".
13th Dec '17 12:04:31 AM schoi30
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* 1925's ''Film/TheLostWorld'' features the earliest Kaiju attack -- a ''Brontosaurus'' that goes on the rampage in downtown London with little provocation. At least it doesn't try to eat anyone.

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* 1925's ''Film/TheLostWorld'' features the earliest Kaiju attack -- a ''Brontosaurus'' that goes on the rampage in downtown London with little provocation. At least it doesn't try to eat anyone. In this case it's actually justified -- it's a panicked animal that suddenly found itself in an unfamiliar and unsuitable environment.
11th Dec '17 5:42:46 AM Cryoclaste
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* [[http://www.trilobites.info/anohome.html Anomalocaris]] has gained a certain degree of popularity in Japan; often depicted as a huge monster with ''four'' grasping appendages, such as in ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' and ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', or highly stylized, like Anorith in {{Pokemon}} and Scorpiomon/Anomalocarimon in ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''.

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* [[http://www.trilobites.info/anohome.html Anomalocaris]] has gained a certain degree of popularity in Japan; often depicted as a huge monster with ''four'' grasping appendages, such as in ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' and ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'', or highly stylized, like Anorith in {{Pokemon}} ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' and Scorpiomon/Anomalocarimon in ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''.
7th Dec '17 10:21:22 AM FGHIK
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* ''VideoGame/DinoDDay'' has Nazi cloned dinosaurs be used to great effect agaibst the allies, certainly far more than any modern animal. Many are equipped with [[WeaponizedAnimal additional weapons and armor]], but others are deadly enough without them.

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* ''VideoGame/DinoDDay'' has Nazi cloned dinosaurs be used to great effect agaibst against the allies, certainly far more so than any modern animal. animal could. Many are equipped with [[WeaponizedAnimal additional weapons and armor]], but others are deadly enough a serious threat to heavily armed soldiers without them.
6th Dec '17 10:40:28 PM FGHIK
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Added DiffLines:

* ''VideoGame/DinoDDay'' has Nazi cloned dinosaurs be used to great effect agaibst the allies, certainly far more than any modern animal. Many are equipped with [[WeaponizedAnimal additional weapons and armor]], but others are deadly enough without them.
8th Oct '17 9:33:17 PM ElSquibbonator
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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 and behaved like a modern-day ostrich. 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 and behaved like a modern-day ostrich. Though it would likely That said, ostriches are one of the few modern-day birds know to ''kill people'', so Gigantoraptor's name may have entered this trope [[PapaWolf if you messed]] [[MamaBear with its eggs]].been appropriate after all.
26th Sep '17 2:51:33 PM eroock
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* VideoGame/MonsterHunter zigzagges this trope. Most of the titular monsters are based on prehistoric animals, and the creators wanted them to be part of a realistic nature with herbivores and carnivores. To avert the trope, they put in peaceful herbivorous dinosaur-monsters like the Aptonoth and they show some of the monsters natural behavior in the Ecology-Videos. But, for RuleOfCool and Gameplay-Reasons, they also play this trope straight, with way to many kinds of carnivores compared to herbivores, and all of the Boss-monsters attacking the hunter on sight, and also with some epic fights between monsters for example in the Ecology Videos of Akantor or Brachydios. The straightest example might be Deviljho, a monster based on T-Rex which needs to eat constantly. It's even stated to have brought entire species close to extinction, and in-game they will even eat their conspecifics or their own tail.

to:

* VideoGame/MonsterHunter ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' zigzagges this trope. Most of the titular monsters are based on prehistoric animals, and the creators wanted them to be part of a realistic nature with herbivores and carnivores. To avert the trope, they put in peaceful herbivorous dinosaur-monsters like the Aptonoth and they show some of the monsters natural behavior in the Ecology-Videos. But, for RuleOfCool and Gameplay-Reasons, they also play this trope straight, with way to many kinds of carnivores compared to herbivores, and all of the Boss-monsters attacking the hunter on sight, and also with some epic fights between monsters for example in the Ecology Videos of Akantor or Brachydios. The straightest example might be Deviljho, a monster based on T-Rex which needs to eat constantly. It's even stated to have brought entire species close to extinction, and in-game they will even eat their conspecifics or their own tail.
10th Sep '17 6:43:59 PM TheMyonner
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* ''Deinonychus'' means "terrible claw"; ''Deinosuchus'': [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile "terrible crocodile"]] (one of the largest crocodilians ever) ; ''Deinocheirus'': "terrible hand" (''Deinocheirus'' turns out to have looked like a giant goose, interestingly enough; of course, while that sounds silly, remember that [[FeatheredFiend geese are monstrous in their own, non-prehistoric ways]]; ''Deinotherium'': "terrible beast" (Even though it would appear today as a simply odd-looking elephant); ''Dinofelis'': [[CatsAreMean "terrible cat"]] (even though this kind would not be more menacing than a leopard if alive today); ''"Dinichthys"'' (the older name of ''Dunkleosteus''): "terrible fish". It's worthy of note, however, than ''Dino/Deino'' in Greek also mean "magnificent"; indeed, when Richard Owen (the dinosaurs TropeNamer) give them the name intended that his dinosaurs were ponderous creatures rather than terrible.

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* ''Deinonychus'' means "terrible claw"; ''Deinosuchus'': [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile "terrible crocodile"]] (one of the largest crocodilians ever) ; ''Deinocheirus'': "terrible hand" (''Deinocheirus'' turns out to have looked like a giant goose, interestingly enough; of course, while that sounds silly, remember that [[FeatheredFiend geese are monstrous in their own, non-prehistoric ways]]; ways]]); ''Deinotherium'': "terrible beast" (Even though it would appear today as a simply odd-looking elephant); ''Dinofelis'': [[CatsAreMean "terrible cat"]] (even though this kind would not be more menacing than a leopard if alive today); ''"Dinichthys"'' (the older name of ''Dunkleosteus''): "terrible fish". It's worthy of note, however, than ''Dino/Deino'' in Greek also mean "magnificent"; indeed, when Richard Owen (the dinosaurs TropeNamer) give them the name intended that his dinosaurs were ponderous creatures rather than terrible.
10th Sep '17 6:43:29 PM TheMyonner
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* ''Deinonychus'' means "terrible claw"; ''Deinosuchus'': [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile "terrible crocodile"]] (one of the largest crocodilians ever) ; ''Deinocheirus'': "terrible hand" (Actually subverted since it turned out to have been a sort of giant goose); ''Deinotherium'': "terrible beast" (Even though it would appear today as a simply odd-looking elephant); ''Dinofelis'': [[CatsAreMean "terrible cat"]] (even though this kind would not be more menacing than a leopard if alive today); ''"Dinichthys"'' (the older name of ''Dunkleosteus''): "terrible fish". It's worthy of note, however, than ''Dino/Deino'' in Greek also mean "magnificent"; indeed, when Richard Owen (the dinosaurs TropeNamer) give them the name intended that his dinosaurs were ponderous creatures rather than terrible.

to:

* ''Deinonychus'' means "terrible claw"; ''Deinosuchus'': [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile "terrible crocodile"]] (one of the largest crocodilians ever) ; ''Deinocheirus'': "terrible hand" (Actually subverted since it turned (''Deinocheirus'' turns out to have been looked like a sort of giant goose); goose, interestingly enough; of course, while that sounds silly, remember that [[FeatheredFiend geese are monstrous in their own, non-prehistoric ways]]; ''Deinotherium'': "terrible beast" (Even though it would appear today as a simply odd-looking elephant); ''Dinofelis'': [[CatsAreMean "terrible cat"]] (even though this kind would not be more menacing than a leopard if alive today); ''"Dinichthys"'' (the older name of ''Dunkleosteus''): "terrible fish". It's worthy of note, however, than ''Dino/Deino'' in Greek also mean "magnificent"; indeed, when Richard Owen (the dinosaurs TropeNamer) give them the name intended that his dinosaurs were ponderous creatures rather than terrible.
15th Aug '17 4:36:00 PM CHLORINEGARGOYLE
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A subtrope of WhatMeasureIsANonCute

A prehistoric/extinct animal which is portrayed as more powerful, dangerous and/or deadly (if not also dumber) than any still-living equivalent to the point where they cease being an animal and becomes a marauding monster.

Sometimes, if you are a prehistoric/extinct animal you'll be automatically qualified to be a PrehistoricMonster. Even though you're small and would appear cute and harmless to modern humans. Even though you are closely related to modern animals that are commonly regarded as beautiful and majestic. Even though all extinct species ''were'' well adapted to their environment in the period they were around, otherwise they would have never appeared in our planet. Even though the only real difference between prehistoric and modern animals is that the former didn't have the fortune (or misfortune) to know [[HumansAreBastards modern humans]], and if they were still alive today they will probably be considered "charismatic megafauna" and hailed by conservationists as modern animals are.

This trope has been with us since the very first paleontological discoveries at the start of 1800: a lot of old paleo-art portrayed prehistoric worlds filled with nothing but monstrous creatures that fight each other, followed soon by popular writers and then film-makers that consolidated the trope (see DinosaursAreDragons for more about this). The fact we don't exactly know how extinct animals behaved (and ''even looked'' precisely) has contributed to make them appearing mysterious, and we humans have the silly habit to qualify ''every'' unknown creature as a horrible "monster" (see Loch Ness and Yeti examples).

Interesting to note that certain modern animals have (or had) such a reputation in media as well: giant squids, anacondas, great white sharks, bats, tarantulas, scorpions, and so on. As well as gorillas, whales, and other giant mammals, but these examples are now usually discredited, because [[MostWritersAreHuman Most Writers Are Mammals]]. However, even these [[TheWoobie misunderstood]] animals ''have'' the concrete possibility to be portrayed in a more positive manner because they are still-living, and thus they may get a consideration among animal rights and/or environmental groups in RealLife; an impossible thing for creatures which are ''already extinct''. Thus, nobody (except perhaps some paleontologists and paleo-fans) normally complains when hearing things such as Stegosaurus, Woolly Mammoths, Pteranodons and Trilobites qualified as "scary monsters" in {{Prehistoria}} -related stories (and with their appearance modified to make them look scary) -- even less chances when coping with TyrannosaurusRex and the other big meat-eating dinos of course.


Even though in Fictionland all this could be justified by RuleOfScary, the major problem is another: even popular-science works such as documentaries or non-narrative books often do play straight this trope. Many modern paleo-artists tend to do this in a subtle way, depicting their dinosaurs, pterosaurs, mammals, fish, invertebrates and whatnot as nasty as allowed by scientific accuracy: the fact that the skin texture/color and, above all, the [[EyesNeverLie appearance of the eyes]] are almost always unknown, all this allows imagination to travel freely, of course. Just for example, compare [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Compsognathus_BW.jpg this Compsognathus]] with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Compsognathus_longipes_head.jpg this one]], and guess which plays it straight and which averts it. When a watcher see such depictions, he usually has nothing to say against the DarkerAndEdgier varieties since they still remain ''anatomically accurate'' (useless to say that RuleOfCool plays a strong role).
Some people might see this trope a bit more excusable than WhatMeasureIsANonCute however. This because modern animals are often [[HumansAreBastards persecuted by humans]] in RealLife, and their portrayal in fiction may affect negatively their public image and thus all the efforts to protect them; while extinct animals may get considered expendable by writers since they don't live alongside us in our modern world, so the same aforementioned moral issues cannot be applied to them.

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.

to:

A subtrope of WhatMeasureIsANonCute

WhatMeasureIsANonCute.

A prehistoric/extinct animal which is portrayed as more powerful, dangerous and/or deadly (if not also dumber) [[DumbDinos dumber]]) than any still-living equivalent to the point where they cease being an animal and becomes a marauding monster.

Sometimes, if you are a prehistoric/extinct animal you'll be automatically qualified to be a PrehistoricMonster. Even though you're small
monster - larger and would appear cute and harmless to faster than any extant apex predator, with no equal in the modern humans. Even though you are closely related world! Filled to modern animals that are commonly regarded as beautiful the brim with claws and majestic. Even though all extinct species ''were'' well adapted jaws! Able to smash apart man-made vehicles to get at the tasty, tasty humans inside, a feat no lion or tiger or bear can do!

Often accompanied with [[RuleOfCool exaggerated features]] or [[SuperPersistentPredator hyper-aggressive behavior]].

There ''is'' some TruthInTelevision - to fulfill
their environment in the period they were around, otherwise they status as apex predator, a predator would have never appeared in our planet. Even though the only real difference between prehistoric and modern animals is that the former didn't have the fortune (or misfortune) to know [[HumansAreBastards modern humans]], and if they were still alive today they will probably be considered "charismatic megafauna" and hailed by conservationists big - or at least badass enough to take down things bigger than itself, often armored or just as modern animals are.

This trope has been with us since the very first paleontological discoveries at the start of 1800: a lot of old paleo-art portrayed prehistoric worlds filled with nothing but monstrous
vicious. Most modern-day creatures that fight each other, followed soon by popular writers are nowhere as large as, say, a brachiosaurus, or as armored as a triceratops - and then film-makers that consolidated the trope (see DinosaursAreDragons without such niches, there's no reason for more about this). The fact we don't exactly know how extinct modern-day animals behaved (and ''even looked'' precisely) has contributed to make them appearing mysterious, and we humans have the silly habit to qualify ''every'' unknown creature as a horrible "monster" (see Loch Ness and Yeti examples).

Interesting to note that certain modern animals have (or had) such a reputation in media as well: giant squids, anacondas, great white sharks, bats, tarantulas, scorpions, and so on. As well as gorillas, whales, and other giant mammals, but these examples are now usually discredited, because [[MostWritersAreHuman Most Writers Are Mammals]]. However, even these [[TheWoobie misunderstood]] animals ''have'' the concrete possibility
to be portrayed in a more positive manner because they are still-living, and thus they may get a consideration among animal rights and/or environmental groups in RealLife; an impossible thing for creatures which are ''already extinct''. Thus, nobody (except perhaps some paleontologists and paleo-fans) normally complains when hearing things such just as Stegosaurus, Woolly Mammoths, Pteranodons and Trilobites qualified as "scary monsters" in {{Prehistoria}} -related stories (and with their appearance modified to make them look scary) -- even less chances when coping with TyrannosaurusRex and the other big meat-eating dinos of course.


Even though in Fictionland all this could be justified by RuleOfScary, the major problem is another: even popular-science works such as documentaries
enormous or non-narrative books often do play straight this trope. Many modern paleo-artists tend to do this in a subtle way, depicting their dinosaurs, pterosaurs, mammals, fish, invertebrates and whatnot as nasty as allowed by scientific accuracy: the fact that the skin texture/color and, above all, the [[EyesNeverLie appearance of the eyes]] are almost always unknown, all this allows imagination to travel freely, of course. Just for example, compare [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Compsognathus_BW.jpg this Compsognathus]] with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Compsognathus_longipes_head.jpg this one]], and guess which plays it straight and which averts it. When a watcher see such depictions, he usually has nothing to say against the DarkerAndEdgier varieties since they still remain ''anatomically accurate'' (useless to say that RuleOfCool plays a strong role).
Some people might see this trope a bit more excusable than WhatMeasureIsANonCute however. This because modern animals are often [[HumansAreBastards persecuted by humans]] in RealLife, and their portrayal in fiction may affect negatively their public image and thus all the efforts to protect them; while extinct animals may get considered expendable by writers since they don't live alongside us in our modern world, so the same aforementioned moral issues cannot be applied to them.

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.
clawed.
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