History UsefulNotes / StockDinosaursNonDinosaurs

12th Jan '17 1:29:18 PM MrMediaGuy2
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The most famous ground sloth in fiction is Sid from the ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' franchise, who is only about the size of a human, and resembles ''no'' ground sloth in fiction, much less ''Megatherium''. He resembles more of a modern tree sloth, which the animators did indeed model him off of. In prehistoric terms, though, he seems to be closest to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothrotheriops Nothrotheriops]] at least in terms of appearance. The most bizarre portrayal would have to be in the 1948 B-movie ''Film/UnknownIsland'', where a ground sloth was depicted as a strange, roaring predator that resembles a cross between a gorilla and a bear.

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The most famous ground sloth in fiction is Sid from the ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' franchise, who is only about the size of a human, and resembles ''no'' ground sloth in fiction, real life, much less ''Megatherium''. He resembles looks more of like a modern tree sloth, which the animators did indeed model him off of. In prehistoric terms, though, he seems to be closest to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothrotheriops Nothrotheriops]] at least in terms of appearance. The most bizarre portrayal would have to be in the 1948 B-movie ''Film/UnknownIsland'', where a ground sloth was depicted as a strange, roaring predator that resembles a cross between a gorilla and a bear.



The most famous extinct bear is the cave bear (''Ursus spelaeus''), whose remains are extremely abundant in European caves. Quite similar to a modern Kodiak in shape and size, but with a bigger hump on its shoulder and a more prominent skull, the cave bear is often portrayed as [[BearsAreBadNews the archenemy of Neanderthals]], because both lived in the same places (Pleistocene Europe) and were forced to share the same caves to repair themselves from the frigid Ice Age winters. But it's more probable that Neanderthals (and humans) were actually the worst enemies of cave bears, and some think they could even have contributed to cave bears' extinction.

Studies show the cave bear to have been to an almost pure herbivore, like the living giant panda, living on a strict diet of berries and shrubs. In fact, the inflexibility of its diet may be what contributed to its extinction.

The North American short-faced bear (''Arctodus''), in contrast to its stockier cousin, had long limbs and a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin bulldog-like snout]] and was probably an agile runner and specialized hunter.

Expect the two to be confused in pop culture, despite being quite different in appearance, and the short-faced bear being more related to the South American spectacled bear than the modern grizzly. Also expect the cave bear to be depicted as a hunter of large prey despite having a mostly herbivorous diet judging from the wear on its teeth (though it may have eaten meat on occasion, like other bears).

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The most famous extinct bear is the cave bear (''Ursus spelaeus''), whose remains are extremely abundant in European caves. Quite similar to a modern Kodiak in shape and size, but with a bigger hump on its shoulder and a more prominent skull, the cave bear is often portrayed as [[BearsAreBadNews the archenemy of Neanderthals]], because both lived in the same places (Pleistocene Europe) and were forced to share the same caves to repair themselves from the frigid Ice Age winters. But it's more probable that Neanderthals (and humans) were actually the worst enemies of cave bears, and some think they could even have contributed to cave bears' extinction.

extinction. Studies show the cave bear to have been to an almost pure herbivore, like the living giant panda, living on a strict diet of berries and shrubs.shrubs (though, like pandas, it may have supplemented its diet with meat every now and then). In fact, the inflexibility of its diet may be what contributed to its extinction.

The North American short-faced bear (''Arctodus''), in contrast to its stockier cousin, had long limbs and limbs, a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin bulldog-like snout]] snout]], and was probably an almost purely carnivorous diet. At first glance, it seems like it would be an agile runner and specialized hunter.

fast runner, and a very powerful hunter. However, [[ScienceMarchesOn more recent studies]] show that its limbs were too gracile to wrestle large prey to the ground, and too fragile for sharp turns, the latter of which is required for a fast-running hunter. More likely, it was a scavenging kleptoparasite that stole prey from other predators by scaring them away with its large size. However, very few animals can live entirely on scavenging (vultures are an exception, as they can fly for miles without eating), hinting that it may have been an omnivore like other bear species.

Expect the two to be confused in pop culture, despite being quite different in appearance, and the short-faced bear being more related to the South American spectacled bear than the modern grizzly. Also expect the cave bear to be depicted as a hunter of large prey despite having a mostly herbivorous diet judging from the wear on its teeth (though it may have eaten meat on occasion, like other bears).
teeth. Another thing to note is that despite most books describing the short-faced bear as the largest bear, its South American relative ''Arctotherium'' is actually larger.
12th Jan '17 1:19:09 PM CJCroen1393
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Among the rare ''Archelon'' appearences in fiction, the most remembered is in Harryhausen's ''One Million Years B.C.''. The turtle is the first animal cavemen encounter in the island, [[UpToEleven upsized to be as big as a house]]. Surprisingly, many viewers think it was [[{{Slurpasaur}} live-acted by a Real Life turtle]], but it too is stop-motion like most other animals here.

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Among the rare ''Archelon'' appearences in fiction, the most remembered is in Harryhausen's ''One Million Years B.C.''. The turtle is the first animal cavemen encounter in the island, [[UpToEleven upsized to be as big as a house]]. Surprisingly, many viewers think it was [[{{Slurpasaur}} live-acted by a Real Life turtle]], but it too is stop-motion like most other animals here.
here. A Franchise/{{Pokemon}} based on ''Archelon'' made its debut in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite''; a two-tier fossil Pokemon, Tirtouga and Carracosta are interesting, as even fully grown they're actually ''smaller'' than their real world inspiration.
7th Jan '17 3:05:29 PM whunt
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The most famous ground sloth in fiction is Sid from the ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' franchise, who is only about the size of a human, and resembles ''no'' ground sloth in fiction, much less ''Megatherium''. He resembles more of a modern tree sloth, which the animators did indeed model him off of. The most bizarre portrayal would have to be in the 1948 B-movie ''Film/UnknownIsland'', where a ground sloth was depicted as a strange, roaring predator that resembles a cross between a gorilla and a bear.

to:

The most famous ground sloth in fiction is Sid from the ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' franchise, who is only about the size of a human, and resembles ''no'' ground sloth in fiction, much less ''Megatherium''. He resembles more of a modern tree sloth, which the animators did indeed model him off of. In prehistoric terms, though, he seems to be closest to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothrotheriops Nothrotheriops]] at least in terms of appearance. The most bizarre portrayal would have to be in the 1948 B-movie ''Film/UnknownIsland'', where a ground sloth was depicted as a strange, roaring predator that resembles a cross between a gorilla and a bear.
13th Dec '16 9:06:08 AM StFan
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Among the rare ''Archelon'' appearences in fiction, the most remembered is in Harryhausen’s ''One Million Years BC''. The turtle is the first animal cavemen encounter in the island, [[UpToEleven upsized to be as big as a house]]. Surprisingly, many viewers think it was [[{{Slurpasaur}} live-acted by a Real Life turtle]], but it too is stop-motion like most other animals here.

to:

Among the rare ''Archelon'' appearences in fiction, the most remembered is in Harryhausen’s Harryhausen's ''One Million Years BC''.B.C.''. The turtle is the first animal cavemen encounter in the island, [[UpToEleven upsized to be as big as a house]]. Surprisingly, many viewers think it was [[{{Slurpasaur}} live-acted by a Real Life turtle]], but it too is stop-motion like most other animals here.



# '''TropeMaker:''' ''[[HarryhausenMovie One Million Years B.C.]]''

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# '''TropeMaker:''' ''[[HarryhausenMovie One Million Years B.C.]]''
''Film/OneMillionYearsBC''



''Deinosuchus'' ("terrible crocodile", also called ''Phobosuchus'' "fearsome crocodile") belonged to the eusuchians, aka the "true crocodilians." This gigantic gator appeared only in the Cretaceous but had the same anatomy we still see today. More precisely, it was closer to alligators and caimans than to true crocodiles, hence the nickname "giant alligator". Like gators, the ''Deinosuchus''' skull had wide strong jaws and relatively blunt teeth. Its head was as long as a fully grown man, but the length of its body is unknown because the skull is the only surviving part. Comparing with modern alligators, ''Deinosuchus'' could have reached 15m in length and weighed more than a ''Tyrannosaurus''. Its home was freshwater basins in Late Cretaceous North America, but it could also have frequented the inland sea that divided the continent at the time. Since its fossil is from 75 mya, ''Deinosuchus'' could not have lived long enough to meet ''T. rex'' in RealLife, but only the latter's smaller relatives.

For [[RuleOfCool VERY obvious reasons]], ''Deinosuchus'' is a popular crocodilian choice in the world of DinosaurMedia, though curiously enough it's not quite as common in mainstream works as it is in educational ones. Naturally, its size and abilities will usually be exaggerated, though fortunately it tends to avoid foraging into PrehistoricMonster territory due to the fact that it was essentially a scaled-up alligator, and we have plenty of those in the modern day to use as points of reference[[note]]Interestingly, sufficiently giant alligators exist even today — the largest on record was a whopping 15 feet in length and reportedly another one was caught that was around 19 feet in length — though none of them make it to the same level of massiveness that ''Deinosuchus'' did[[/note]]. One noteworthy appearance was the fourth ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' film, a cantankerous ''Deinosuchus'' appears as one of the two main villains (partnered with an equally disagreeable ''Ichthyornis''), while another was in an episode of ''Series/PrehistoricPark'', wherein Nigel brings one back to the present for his dinosaur zoo.

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''Deinosuchus'' ("terrible crocodile", also called ''Phobosuchus'' "fearsome crocodile") belonged to the eusuchians, aka a.k.a. the "true crocodilians." This gigantic gator appeared only in the Cretaceous but had the same anatomy we still see today. More precisely, it was closer to alligators and caimans than to true crocodiles, hence the nickname "giant alligator". Like gators, the ''Deinosuchus''' skull had wide strong jaws and relatively blunt teeth. Its head was as long as a fully grown man, but the length of its body is unknown because the skull is the only surviving part. Comparing with modern alligators, ''Deinosuchus'' could have reached 15m in length and weighed more than a ''Tyrannosaurus''. Its home was freshwater basins in Late Cretaceous North America, but it could also have frequented the inland sea that divided the continent at the time. Since its fossil is from 75 mya, ''Deinosuchus'' could not have lived long enough to meet ''T. rex'' in RealLife, but only the latter's smaller relatives.

For [[RuleOfCool VERY obvious reasons]], ''Deinosuchus'' is a popular crocodilian choice in the world of DinosaurMedia, though curiously enough it's not quite as common in mainstream works as it is in educational ones. Naturally, its size and abilities will usually be exaggerated, though fortunately it tends to avoid foraging into PrehistoricMonster territory due to the fact that it was essentially a scaled-up alligator, and we have plenty of those in the modern day to use as points of reference[[note]]Interestingly, sufficiently giant alligators exist even today -- the largest on record was a whopping 15 feet in length and reportedly another one was caught that was around 19 feet in length -- though none of them make it to the same level of massiveness that ''Deinosuchus'' did[[/note]]. One noteworthy appearance was the fourth ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' film, a cantankerous ''Deinosuchus'' appears as one of the two main villains (partnered with an equally disagreeable ''Ichthyornis''), while another was in an episode of ''Series/PrehistoricPark'', wherein Nigel brings one back to the present for his dinosaur zoo.
23rd Nov '16 9:44:34 AM Spinosegnosaurus77
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It was thought pteranodonts lived a bit like modern seashore birds, laying their eggs on cliffs and using ascendant winds to take off. However, the takeoff method is now known to have been wrong; rather, pteranodonts, like all pterosaurs, could vault from level ground with their wings. Roosting on cliffs is not entirely unlikely, though. Like the modern albatross, they could have been vagrant or migratory. Contrary to what is sometimes said, ''Pteranodon'' probably didn’t survive enough to see the meteorite — its fossil record ends a dozen million years before the mass extinction. Until 2016, only [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife azhdarchids]] have left fossils from 65 mya: one of them was ''Quetzalcoatlus'' (see below). That said, later findings have confirmed that pteranodontians and nyctosaurids did manage to make it to that point, though ''Pteranodon'' itself left no confirmed fossils from that time.

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It was thought pteranodonts lived a bit like modern seashore birds, laying their eggs on cliffs and using ascendant winds to take off. However, the takeoff method is now known to have been wrong; rather, pteranodonts, like all pterosaurs, could vault from level ground with their wings. Roosting on cliffs is not entirely unlikely, though. Like the modern albatross, they could have been vagrant or migratory. Contrary to what is sometimes said, ''Pteranodon'' probably didn’t survive enough to see the meteorite — its fossil record ends a dozen million years before the mass extinction. Until 2016, only [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife azhdarchids]] have left fossils from 65 mya: one of them was ''Quetzalcoatlus'' (see below). That said, later findings have confirmed that pteranodontians and nyctosaurids did manage to make it to that point, though ''Pteranodon'' itself left no confirmed fossils from that time.
23rd Nov '16 9:24:12 AM CJCroen1393
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It was thought pteranodonts lived a bit like modern seashore birds, laying their eggs on cliffs and using ascendant winds to take off. However, the takeoff method is now known to have been wrong; rather, pteranodonts, like all pterosaurs, could vault from level ground with their wings. Roosting on cliffs is not entirely unlikely, though. Like the modern albatross, they could have been vagrant or migratory. Contrary to what is sometimes said, ''Pteranodon'' probably didn’t survive enough to see the meteorite — its fossil record ends a dozen million years before the mass extinction. Among pterosaurs, only [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife azhdarchids]] have left fossils from 65 mya: one of them was ''Quetzalcoatlus'' (see below).

to:

It was thought pteranodonts lived a bit like modern seashore birds, laying their eggs on cliffs and using ascendant winds to take off. However, the takeoff method is now known to have been wrong; rather, pteranodonts, like all pterosaurs, could vault from level ground with their wings. Roosting on cliffs is not entirely unlikely, though. Like the modern albatross, they could have been vagrant or migratory. Contrary to what is sometimes said, ''Pteranodon'' probably didn’t survive enough to see the meteorite — its fossil record ends a dozen million years before the mass extinction. Among pterosaurs, Until 2016, only [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife azhdarchids]] have left fossils from 65 mya: one of them was ''Quetzalcoatlus'' (see below).
below). That said, later findings have confirmed that pteranodontians and nyctosaurids did manage to make it to that point, though ''Pteranodon'' itself left no confirmed fossils from that time.
10th Nov '16 2:10:51 PM MagnusForce
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Most placoderms were small. But ''Dunkleosteus'' is a ''real'' exception. 19ft long, the size of a great white shark, it was only outmatched by its larger but gentler cousin ''Titanichthys'' and an obscure chimera known as ''Parahelicoprion'' for the title of largest animal in the Paleozoic. It was the same shape as ''Coccosteus'', with the same kind of armor and the same strange scissor-like teeth. It was evidently the top predator of its time (the Devonian), able to chop up even the toughest prey. In older sources it is confused with another fish called ''Dinichthys'' ("terrible fish"); the much less awesome name ''Dunkleosteus'' means "Dunkle's bone."

Despite its impressiveness, ''Dunkleosteus'' has not gained much attention outside paleo books; in [[Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs Walking With Monsters]] it appears as one of the "[[PrehistoricMonster monsters]]" encountered by Nigel Marven during his time travel, and to fit better the role is portrayed [[RuleOfScary overscary]], with cat eyes, blood-red coloration, and unproven cannibalistic tendencies.

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Most placoderms were small. But ''Dunkleosteus'' is a ''real'' exception. 19ft long, the size of a great white shark, it was only outmatched by its larger but gentler cousin ''Titanichthys'' and an obscure chimera known as ''Parahelicoprion'' for the title of largest animal in the Paleozoic. It was the same shape as the smaller and lesser known ''Coccosteus'', with the same kind of armor armored head and the same strange scissor-like teeth.teeth (well, actually, they're plates of sharpened bone). It was evidently the top predator of its time (the Devonian), able to chop up even the toughest prey. Studies of its jaw reveal that it probably sucked up food like a vacuum, using its bone plates to slice prey into chunks with a bite force of ''4400 pounds''. Its fossilized vomit has been found too, indicating that they often regurgitated the armour and bones of their prey. Also of interest is that several ''Dunkleosteus'' fossils preserve evidence of being attacked by another ''Dunkleosteus'', which has led some to suggest they were active cannibals. In older sources it is confused with another fish called referred to as ''Dinichthys'' ("terrible fish"); fish"; may or may not be a separate animal though); the much less awesome name ''Dunkleosteus'' means "Dunkle's bone."

bone" after a museum curator.

Despite its impressiveness, ''Dunkleosteus'' has not gained much attention outside paleo books; in [[Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs Walking With Chased By Monsters]] it appears as one of the "[[PrehistoricMonster monsters]]" encountered by Nigel Marven during his time travel, and to fit better the role is portrayed [[RuleOfScary overscary]], with cat eyes, eyes and blood-red coloration, and unproven cannibalistic tendencies.
coloration.
8th Nov '16 6:56:21 PM Morgenthaler
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In 2015, a (slightly oversized) ''Mosasaurus'' received top billing alongside a pack of trained ''Velociraptors'', the already-iconic ''TyrannosaurusRex'' [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and]] Creator/ChrisPratt in the hit film ''Film/JurassicWorld''. The image of her [[{{Badass}} leaping out of the water to be fed a shark]] was the second major marketing image used for the film (the first being Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle alongside the raptors), and it's been suspected that this film would help contribute to the species becoming more popular among a whole new generation of paleontology geeks. It was also regarded as the most accurate animal in the film despite being slightly oversized, which is quite an achievement in a film series that admits it's not scientifically accurate in the same film.

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In 2015, a (slightly oversized) ''Mosasaurus'' received top billing alongside a pack of trained ''Velociraptors'', the already-iconic ''TyrannosaurusRex'' [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and]] Creator/ChrisPratt in the hit film ''Film/JurassicWorld''. The image of her [[{{Badass}} leaping out of the water to be fed a shark]] shark was the second major marketing image used for the film (the first being Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle alongside the raptors), and it's been suspected that this film would help contribute to the species becoming more popular among a whole new generation of paleontology geeks. It was also regarded as the most accurate animal in the film despite being slightly oversized, which is quite an achievement in a film series that admits it's not scientifically accurate in the same film.
21st Oct '16 5:21:44 PM Berrenta
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Like ''Pteranodon'', ''Rhamphorhynchus'' tends to be portrayed incorrectly in fiction, often as big as a ''Pteranodon'' or even bigger. Another classic mistake is to show rhamphorhynchs with flexible tails (a bit like what happens to "raptors") and sometimes with ''triangular'' fins. Actually their tail was stiffened by bony tendons, and was a steering device during flight. [[note]]It's not yet ruled out that only males had the "fin." If so, this thing could have been for display.[[/note]] Finally, a very UndeadHorse subtrope is to apply the "devilish" rhamphorhynchoid tail to [[RuleOfCool every]] [[TheyJustDidntCare other]] [[MixAndMatchCritter pterosaur]], especially ''Pteranodon''. Actually pterodactyloid pterosaurs had stubby tails without distinction.

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Like ''Pteranodon'', ''Rhamphorhynchus'' tends to be portrayed incorrectly in fiction, often as big as a ''Pteranodon'' or even bigger. Another classic mistake is to show rhamphorhynchs with flexible tails (a bit like what happens to "raptors") and sometimes with ''triangular'' fins. Actually their tail was stiffened by bony tendons, and was a steering device during flight. [[note]]It's not yet ruled out that only males had the "fin." If so, this thing could have been for display.[[/note]] Finally, a very UndeadHorse subtrope is to apply the "devilish" rhamphorhynchoid tail to [[RuleOfCool every]] [[TheyJustDidntCare every other]] [[MixAndMatchCritter pterosaur]], especially ''Pteranodon''. Actually pterodactyloid pterosaurs had stubby tails without distinction.
16th Oct '16 1:15:13 AM Doug86
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Although ''Dimetrodon'' is more closely related to ''you'' than to any dinosaur, and predated the first dinosaur by at least a country mile of geologic time, it is often mixed with dinosaurs in toy collections just because it [[RuleOfCool looks cool]]. In movies and comics, it may even show up living with cavemen. Expect to see it with a giant iguana-like look and ''scaly'' skin. Actually, scales are a strict reptilian thing, and ''Dimetrodon'' hide was probably naked like modern hairless mammals, with some [[ScienceMarchesOn hardened fish-like belly scales left over from its amphibian ancestry]]. Its shape makes the dimetro the most abused animal within the {{Slurpasaur}} trope. For example, in the 1970 film version of ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' some Caribbean iguanas with a ridiculous crest on their backs live-act ''Dimetrodon''s , which of course attack the humans.

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Although ''Dimetrodon'' is more closely related to ''you'' than to any dinosaur, and predated the first dinosaur by at least a country mile of geologic time, it is often mixed with dinosaurs in toy collections just because it [[RuleOfCool looks cool]]. In movies and comics, it may even show up living with cavemen. Expect to see it with a giant iguana-like look and ''scaly'' skin. Actually, scales are a strict reptilian thing, and ''Dimetrodon'' hide was probably naked like modern hairless mammals, with some [[ScienceMarchesOn hardened fish-like belly scales left over from its amphibian ancestry]]. Its shape makes the dimetro the most abused animal within the {{Slurpasaur}} trope. For example, in the 1970 film version of ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' some Caribbean iguanas with a ridiculous crest on their backs live-act ''Dimetrodon''s , ''Dimetrodon''s, which of course attack the humans.
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