History UsefulNotes / StockDinosaursTrueDinosaurs

12th Jul '17 8:43:17 PM schoi30
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''Ankylosaurus'' probably detains the sad record of the worst-known Stock Dinosaur. Even in ''documentary works'', its size, shape, and composition tend to be pictured incorrectly, often with traits from other ankylosaurian species. The incompleteness of the remains justify only partially this. One common mistake is to leave out the tail club, or to have it shaped incorrectly -- for example, adding spike to it. A famous example of the latter is the "''Ankylosaurus''" (actually a ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Scolosaurus]]'') painted by Charles Knight while defending itself against a tyrannosaurid: it is undersized and has two spikes on its tailtip. When based on RealLife fossils, the club usually appears two-lobed like that of a Euoplocephalus (a close relative commonly depicted in popular dino-books), instead of elliptical. The bony covering on its back should be a snugly fitting mix of large and small plates and be interspersed with short spikes. Many classic portraits, on the other hand, show long spikes only on the sides, in a similar way of the related Nodosaurids. Other portraits go even further showing totally spikeless ''Ankylosaurus''es (see the aforementioned finale of ''WalkingWithDinosaurs''). Finally, the broad head should have four horns behind the eyes and the ends of the mouth. Ironically, one of the few correctly-shaped ankylosaurs in cinema is the [[AllAnimalsAreDogs dog-like]] Url from Disney's ''Dinosaurs'' (he was strongly undersized, but this may be justified if he was a young). Many other inaccuracies seen in ankylosaur portraits are substantially the same of the stegosaurs, so see above.

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''Ankylosaurus'' probably detains the sad record of the worst-known Stock Dinosaur. Even in ''documentary works'', its size, shape, and composition tend to be pictured incorrectly, often with traits from other ankylosaurian species. The incompleteness of the remains justify only partially this. One common mistake is to leave out the tail club, or to have it shaped incorrectly -- for example, adding spike spikes to it. A famous example of the latter is the "''Ankylosaurus''" (actually a ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Scolosaurus]]'') painted by Charles Knight Zdenek Burian while defending itself against a tyrannosaurid: it is undersized and has two spikes on its tailtip. When based on RealLife fossils, the club usually appears two-lobed like that of a Euoplocephalus (a close relative commonly depicted in popular dino-books), instead of elliptical. The bony covering on its back should be a snugly fitting mix of large and small plates and be interspersed with short spikes. Many classic portraits, on the other hand, show long spikes only on the sides, in a similar way of the related Nodosaurids. Other portraits go even further showing totally spikeless ''Ankylosaurus''es (see the aforementioned finale of ''WalkingWithDinosaurs''). Finally, the broad head should have four horns behind the eyes and the ends of the mouth. Ironically, one of the few correctly-shaped ankylosaurs in cinema is the [[AllAnimalsAreDogs dog-like]] Url from Disney's ''Dinosaurs'' (he was strongly undersized, but this may be justified if he was a young). Many other inaccuracies seen in ankylosaur portraits are substantially the same of the stegosaurs, so see above.
1st Jul '17 3:43:50 PM Wikkler
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# '''Non-stock:''' Have appeared even more rarely in media (if at all). [[note]]Difference between the Little-Stock and the Non-Stock is rather hazy: the latter are generally less frequent in TV documentaries and dino-books than the former.[[/note]] See UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife for these.

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# '''Non-stock:''' Have appeared even more rarely in media (if at all). [[note]]Difference between the Little-Stock and the Non-Stock is rather hazy: the latter are generally less frequent in TV documentaries and dino-books than the former.[[/note]] See UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Useful Notes Prehistoric Life]] for these.



Raptors, or more formally [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dromaeosauridae dromaeosaurids]], were bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period. They were small with long, thin tails and compact bodies. They were closely related to birds: their skeletal structure was bird-like, and since the late 1990s it has been proven they were also covered with pennaceous feathers. The most distinctive feature was the large, retractable "sickle claw" on their second toe. How it was used is being still debated. For decades, dromaeosaurids were depicted as hunting and attacking herbivores much bigger than itself, e.g. the classical ''Deinonychus'' hunting ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Tenontosaurus]]'' or even the five-ton ''Iguanodon''. Like a pack of wolves, dromaeosaurids would track down and attack their prey, using their powerful claws to rend and to climb atop the herbivore; Since around 2000 dromaeosaurids have instead been suggested to have been mostly solitary hunters, taking prey the same size or larger than themselves, but leaving the very large ornithopods or sauropods alone. (see PrehistoricLife).

In the early 20th century, two small dinosaurs were discovered and described as generic small predators. Both were from the Late Cretaceous. While the finds were incomplete and difficult to interpret, we now know the animals were about 6.5 ft / 2 m long and weighed about 33 lb / 15 kg. ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Dromaeosaurus]]'' ("running lizard") lived in the Alberta region, while ''Velociraptor'' ("swift robber") lived in Mongolia and China 75--71 mya. For half a century, they were sorted away and largely ignored. Then...

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Raptors, or more formally [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dromaeosauridae dromaeosaurids]], were bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period. They were small with long, thin tails and compact bodies. They were closely related to birds: their skeletal structure was bird-like, and since the late 1990s it has been proven they were also covered with pennaceous feathers. The most distinctive feature was the large, retractable "sickle claw" on their second toe. How it was used is being still debated. For decades, dromaeosaurids were depicted as hunting and attacking herbivores much bigger than itself, e.g. the classical ''Deinonychus'' hunting ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurPredecessors Tenontosaurus]]'' or even the five-ton ''Iguanodon''. Like a pack of wolves, dromaeosaurids would track down and attack their prey, using their powerful claws to rend and to climb atop the herbivore; Since around 2000 dromaeosaurids have instead been suggested to have been mostly solitary hunters, taking prey the same size or larger than themselves, but leaving the very large ornithopods or sauropods alone. (see PrehistoricLife).

In the early 20th century, two small dinosaurs were discovered and described as generic small predators. Both were from the Late Cretaceous. While the finds were incomplete and difficult to interpret, we now know the animals were about 6.5 ft / 2 m long and weighed about 33 lb / 15 kg. ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeBirdlikeTheropods Dromaeosaurus]]'' ("running lizard") lived in the Alberta region, while ''Velociraptor'' ("swift robber") lived in Mongolia and China 75--71 mya. For half a century, they were sorted away and largely ignored. Then...



Works from before the 1970s ''never'' represent dromaeosaurids, simply because they were scientifically too obscure at the time. Significantly, between 1970 and the ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' mania in the 1990s, the most represented "raptor" (though not yet known as such) in popular culture was the biggest known at the time, ''Deinonychus'', while the less-impressive ''Velociraptor'' was totally unknown to laymen (not counting the antecedent dino-fans). For instance, see WesternAnimation/DinoRiders, TabletopGame/DinosaursAttack, the ''VideoGame/RuneQuest Borderlands'' tabletop [=RPG=] adventure, or even the Dutch metal-band named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinonychus_(band) Deinonychus]] It was ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' that '''apparently''' caused ''Velociraptor'' to displace ''Deinonychus'' as the stock sickle-clawed dino (even documentary media started showing the "veloci" more often thanks to the film), and started the usage of "raptor" for dromaeosaurid in the mind of the public. (Prior to this, "raptor" was used only to indicate birds of prey.) Without Jurassic Park, ''Velociraptor'' would have almost-surely remained in the Non-Stock realm forever. There are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_issues_in_Jurassic_Park#Velociraptor several issues]] with the [[RaptorAttack depiction of raptors]] in [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeBirdlikeTheropods the film]].

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Works from before the 1970s ''never'' represent dromaeosaurids, simply because they were scientifically too obscure at the time. Significantly, between 1970 and the ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' mania in the 1990s, the most represented "raptor" (though not yet known as such) in popular culture was the biggest known at the time, ''Deinonychus'', while the less-impressive ''Velociraptor'' was totally unknown to laymen (not counting the antecedent dino-fans). For instance, see WesternAnimation/DinoRiders, TabletopGame/DinosaursAttack, the ''VideoGame/RuneQuest Borderlands'' tabletop [=RPG=] adventure, or even the Dutch metal-band named [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinonychus_(band) Deinonychus]] It was ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' that '''apparently''' caused ''Velociraptor'' to displace ''Deinonychus'' as the stock sickle-clawed dino (even documentary media started showing the "veloci" more often thanks to the film), and started the usage of "raptor" for dromaeosaurid in the mind of the public. (Prior to this, "raptor" was used only to indicate birds of prey.) Without Jurassic Park, ''Velociraptor'' would have almost-surely remained in the Non-Stock realm forever. There are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_issues_in_Jurassic_Park#Velociraptor several issues]] with the [[RaptorAttack depiction of raptors]] in [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeBirdlikeTheropods the film]].
film.



There is some controversy regarding ''Spinosaurus''’ diet and way-of-life: did it prey on fish like its smaller cousin ''Baryonyx'' (see later), or on giant herbivores like ''Tyrannosaurus''? Experts tended to prefer the first option at the time ''Film/JurassicParkIII'' was produced, and this fostered even more criticism about the film portrayal as the [[BigBad Ultimate Superpredator]]. Today ''Spinosaurus'' is generally believed a middle-way between these two extremes: an opportunist like a giant, clawed, saltwater crocodile, attacking other smaller dinosaurs when given the opportunity, as well as eating giant fish (usually sharks and other fish the size of most dinosaurs) and possibly crocodiles, a feat requiring tremendous levels of strength, and using its size to steal kills from other predators. We're unsure about the latter, though: ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Carcharodontosaurus]]'' was specially adapted towards big-game hunting and could open its jaws very wide to inflict sever slicing cuts, likely causing the spinosaur to bleed to death. Its large size would, however, make it a hard target to bite for other predators.

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There is some controversy regarding ''Spinosaurus''’ diet and way-of-life: did it prey on fish like its smaller cousin ''Baryonyx'' (see later), or on giant herbivores like ''Tyrannosaurus''? Experts tended to prefer the first option at the time ''Film/JurassicParkIII'' was produced, and this fostered even more criticism about the film portrayal as the [[BigBad Ultimate Superpredator]]. Today ''Spinosaurus'' is generally believed a middle-way between these two extremes: an opportunist like a giant, clawed, saltwater crocodile, attacking other smaller dinosaurs when given the opportunity, as well as eating giant fish (usually sharks and other fish the size of most dinosaurs) and possibly crocodiles, a feat requiring tremendous levels of strength, and using its size to steal kills from other predators. We're unsure about the latter, though: ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeLargeTheropods Carcharodontosaurus]]'' was specially adapted towards big-game hunting and could open its jaws very wide to inflict sever slicing cuts, likely causing the spinosaur to bleed to death. Its large size would, however, make it a hard target to bite for other predators.



''Giganotosaurus'' remains one of the most powerful meat-eaters that ever lived; and it's ''just'' starting to gain popularity. The fact that it could have possibly hunted some of the largest sauropods -- related with the utterly vast ''Argentinosaurus'' -- means that it may become ''very'' popular in the future. If that doesn't sound cool enough, then consider that to do so, it would have had to be a ''pack hunter''. ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' did a special on just how badass such a hunt would be (even though in the show the Argentinosaurus that became prey was a juvenile). Though there isn't any evidence for pack behavior in ''Giganotosaurus'', there ''might'' be for its relative, the recently-discovered ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Mapusaurus]]'', which was the same length but had a more slender frame.

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''Giganotosaurus'' remains one of the most powerful meat-eaters that ever lived; and it's ''just'' starting to gain popularity. The fact that it could have possibly hunted some of the largest sauropods -- related with the utterly vast ''Argentinosaurus'' -- means that it may become ''very'' popular in the future. If that doesn't sound cool enough, then consider that to do so, it would have had to be a ''pack hunter''. ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' did a special on just how badass such a hunt would be (even though in the show the Argentinosaurus that became prey was a juvenile). Though there isn't any evidence for pack behavior in ''Giganotosaurus'', there ''might'' be for its relative, the recently-discovered ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeLargeTheropods Mapusaurus]]'', which was the same length but had a more slender frame.



''Baryonyx'' means "heavy claw" and the animal has been nicknamed "Claws" because of its 10 inch / 25 cm long, hook-like thumb-claws, bigger than the other two fingers on each hand. We don't know if ''Spinosaurus'' had these [[HookHand hook hands]] as well. The baryonyx's forelimbs were longer and stronger than in most other theropods, but the structure of the forefeet seems to preclude quadrupedal walking (contrary to what is sometimes shown in illustrations); it is speculated, however, that ''Baryonyx'' might have fed by resting on its front legs on a riverbank and swept large fish such as the carp-like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Lepidotes]]'' from the river with its powerful claw, a bit like grizzly bears do with salmon. We know for sure fish were included in its diet: scales of ''Lepidotes'' were found inside the ribcage of the only well-known ''Baryonyx'' specimen.

''Baryonyx'' was the first discovered fish-eater among dinosaurs, and several traits scientists today assign to ''Spinosaurus'' were initially based on ''Baryonyx''. Together, these dinosaurs (plus ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Suchomimus]]'' and few others) form the spinosaurid family. However, ''Baryonyx'' was quite different from ''Spinosaurus'': it had no sail on its back,[[note]]However, its relative and possible synonym ''Suchomimus'' did have a sail, though much shorter than that of ''Spinosaurus''.[[/note]] and was considerably smaller (10 m long and weighing 2 tons, like an ''Allosaurus''). Its head was thinner with a small bump on its top, and gharial-like jaws with twice the teeth than most other theropods. ''Baryonyx'' was less aquatic than ''Spinosaurus'': fish might have made a greater part of its diet, possibly with occasional carrion and small land animals as a supplement. Its short hindlegs show it was not an expecially-fast runner; moreover, its blunt croc-like teeth and weak thin jaws probably prevented the "bary" to kill preys the size of a fully-grown ''Iguanodon'' in spite of the former's huge thumbclaws (incidentally, ''Iguanodon'' too had oversized thumbnails, but they were almost-straight and not curved like the carnivore's ones).

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''Baryonyx'' means "heavy claw" and the animal has been nicknamed "Claws" because of its 10 inch / 25 cm long, hook-like thumb-claws, bigger than the other two fingers on each hand. We don't know if ''Spinosaurus'' had these [[HookHand hook hands]] as well. The baryonyx's forelimbs were longer and stronger than in most other theropods, but the structure of the forefeet seems to preclude quadrupedal walking (contrary to what is sometimes shown in illustrations); it is speculated, however, that ''Baryonyx'' might have fed by resting on its front legs on a riverbank and swept large fish such as the carp-like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeOtherExtinctCreatures Lepidotes]]'' from the river with its powerful claw, a bit like grizzly bears do with salmon. We know for sure fish were included in its diet: scales of ''Lepidotes'' were found inside the ribcage of the only well-known ''Baryonyx'' specimen.

''Baryonyx'' was the first discovered fish-eater among dinosaurs, and several traits scientists today assign to ''Spinosaurus'' were initially based on ''Baryonyx''. Together, these dinosaurs (plus ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeLargeTheropods Suchomimus]]'' and few others) form the spinosaurid family. However, ''Baryonyx'' was quite different from ''Spinosaurus'': it had no sail on its back,[[note]]However, its relative and possible synonym ''Suchomimus'' did have a sail, though much shorter than that of ''Spinosaurus''.[[/note]] and was considerably smaller (10 m long and weighing 2 tons, like an ''Allosaurus''). Its head was thinner with a small bump on its top, and gharial-like jaws with twice the teeth than most other theropods. ''Baryonyx'' was less aquatic than ''Spinosaurus'': fish might have made a greater part of its diet, possibly with occasional carrion and small land animals as a supplement. Its short hindlegs show it was not an expecially-fast runner; moreover, its blunt croc-like teeth and weak thin jaws probably prevented the "bary" to kill preys the size of a fully-grown ''Iguanodon'' in spite of the former's huge thumbclaws (incidentally, ''Iguanodon'' too had oversized thumbnails, but they were almost-straight and not curved like the carnivore's ones).



''Allosaurus'' is the scientifically most well-known large theropod: dozens of specimens have been found so far in Western USA, including a veritable "graveyard" in Utah.[[note]]At the time, there war a swamp where today is the "graveyard": allosauruses were attracted by the carrions of giant herbivores and remained stuck in the mud as well.[[/note]] Many young individuals are also known to science. First discovered in 1877 during the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_Wars Bone Wars]], ''Allosaurus'' literally means "other lizard" or "strange lizard", but Othniel Charles Marsh's article naming it gives no reason for the bland choice. The most well-known species is ''Allosaurus fragilis'' ("the other fragile lizard"); some fragmentary remains of unusually large size are often classified in separate genera (see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Prehistoric Life]]). Some scanty fossils from Early Cretaceous Australia used to be classified as a small-sized late-surviving ''Allosaurus'' species, but were reclassified in 2009 as a [[ScienceMarchesOn totally different theropod]], ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Australovenator]]''. Even scantier remains were found in the USA before ''Allosaurus'' was officially described in 1877; they were labeled ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antrodemus Antrodemus]]'', but possibly belong to ''Allosaurus'' as well. If true, the former might become the valid name for this dinosaur. [[note]] The name "Antrodemus" appears sometimes in old dinosaur books instead of "Allosaurus".[[/note]]

''Allosaurus'' was the top predator in the Late Jurassic, sometimes referred as "The Tyrannosaur of the Jurassic". Its hunting behavior is still uncertain: we're not sure if it was mainly a pack-hunter or a solitary ambush-predator. In documentaries and pop-books it usually appears as a pack-hunter capable of bringing down the biggest sauropods like ''Diplodocus'' (like in the memorable ''[[WalkingWithDinosaurs The Ballad Of Big Al]]''), ''Apatosaurus'', or even ''Brachiosaurus''. Alternatively, it is shown in a battle against the armored ''Stegosaurus'' (the Jurassic equivalent of the tyrannosaur-vs-triceratops Cretaceous one). All this might be TruthInTelevision since all these animals lived together in North America in the same period; but more probably ''Allosaurus'' more often hunted easier prey such as young sauropods, young stegosaurs, and ornithopods like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Camptosaurus]]''. There are, however, stegosaur fossils showing ''Allosaurus'' bite marks and ''Allosaurus'' fossils that show wounds created by stegosaur tails.

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''Allosaurus'' is the scientifically most well-known large theropod: dozens of specimens have been found so far in Western USA, including a veritable "graveyard" in Utah.[[note]]At the time, there war a swamp where today is the "graveyard": allosauruses were attracted by the carrions of giant herbivores and remained stuck in the mud as well.[[/note]] Many young individuals are also known to science. First discovered in 1877 during the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_Wars Bone Wars]], ''Allosaurus'' literally means "other lizard" or "strange lizard", but Othniel Charles Marsh's article naming it gives no reason for the bland choice. The most well-known species is ''Allosaurus fragilis'' ("the other fragile lizard"); some fragmentary remains of unusually large size are often classified in separate genera (see [[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Prehistoric Life]]). Some scanty fossils from Early Cretaceous Australia used to be classified as a small-sized late-surviving ''Allosaurus'' species, but were reclassified in 2009 as a [[ScienceMarchesOn totally different theropod]], ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeLargeTheropods Australovenator]]''. Even scantier remains were found in the USA before ''Allosaurus'' was officially described in 1877; they were labeled ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antrodemus Antrodemus]]'', but possibly belong to ''Allosaurus'' as well. If true, the former might become the valid name for this dinosaur. [[note]] The name "Antrodemus" appears sometimes in old dinosaur books instead of "Allosaurus".[[/note]]

''Allosaurus'' was the top predator in the Late Jurassic, sometimes referred as "The Tyrannosaur of the Jurassic". Its hunting behavior is still uncertain: we're not sure if it was mainly a pack-hunter or a solitary ambush-predator. In documentaries and pop-books it usually appears as a pack-hunter capable of bringing down the biggest sauropods like ''Diplodocus'' (like in the memorable ''[[WalkingWithDinosaurs The Ballad Of Big Al]]''), ''Apatosaurus'', or even ''Brachiosaurus''. Alternatively, it is shown in a battle against the armored ''Stegosaurus'' (the Jurassic equivalent of the tyrannosaur-vs-triceratops Cretaceous one). All this might be TruthInTelevision since all these animals lived together in North America in the same period; but more probably ''Allosaurus'' more often hunted easier prey such as young sauropods, young stegosaurs, and ornithopods like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeHadrosaurPredecessors Camptosaurus]]''. There are, however, stegosaur fossils showing ''Allosaurus'' bite marks and ''Allosaurus'' fossils that show wounds created by stegosaur tails.



The only-valid ''Megalosaurus'' is a fairly generic theropod some 30 ft / 9 m in length, similar to an elongated allosaur but smaller and more primitive. Even though its historical relevance makes it a common sight in classic and modern dino-books, the "big lizard" didn't go a long way in popular works after the two important mentions in early literature (''Literature/BleakHouse'' and ''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}''). In the 20th century it heavily suffered the competition with ''Tyrannosaurus'' and ''Allosaurus'' - and the resolution of the "wastebasket" issue didn't make the case against it better. Apart from some occasional documentary, you've got low chances to see any "megalosaur" both in cinema and in TV media --- just as an example, ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' chose to portray the contemporary close-relative ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Eustreptospondylus]]'' in the Jurassic-Europe episode. There is, however, the curious case of the TV show ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', which has one "megalosaur" in the form of Earl Sinclair: but he doesn't look particularly like any dinosaur at all.

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The only-valid ''Megalosaurus'' is a fairly generic theropod some 30 ft / 9 m in length, similar to an elongated allosaur but smaller and more primitive. Even though its historical relevance makes it a common sight in classic and modern dino-books, the "big lizard" didn't go a long way in popular works after the two important mentions in early literature (''Literature/BleakHouse'' and ''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}''). In the 20th century it heavily suffered the competition with ''Tyrannosaurus'' and ''Allosaurus'' - and the resolution of the "wastebasket" issue didn't make the case against it better. Apart from some occasional documentary, you've got low chances to see any "megalosaur" both in cinema and in TV media --- just as an example, ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' chose to portray the contemporary close-relative ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeLargeTheropods Eustreptospondylus]]'' in the Jurassic-Europe episode. There is, however, the curious case of the TV show ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', which has one "megalosaur" in the form of Earl Sinclair: but he doesn't look particularly like any dinosaur at all.



A century later, ''Archaeopteryx'' was again used as crucial evidence, this time in John Ostrom's theory that modern birds had evolved within the theropod group. Before that, most scientists considered ''Archaeopteryx'' and its bird-descendants only distant dinosaur-relatives, in part because in traditional zoology Feathers = Bird, and no other dinosaur was known with prints of feathers. Even though one scientist (Darwin's pupil T. H. Huxley) already recognized the dinosaurian origins of birds as early as the late 19th century (by studying the skeletal features), this was largely accepted only after the "Dinosaur Renaissance" [[note]]American J. Ostrom (the ''Deinonychus'' namer and describer) and German P. Wellnhofer (the main ''Archaeopteryx'' expert) noted the strong analogies between the respective animals' skeletons, especially their forelimbs.[[/note]] and definitively proven only in the 1990s after the find of the feathered "[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Liaoning theropods]]".

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A century later, ''Archaeopteryx'' was again used as crucial evidence, this time in John Ostrom's theory that modern birds had evolved within the theropod group. Before that, most scientists considered ''Archaeopteryx'' and its bird-descendants only distant dinosaur-relatives, in part because in traditional zoology Feathers = Bird, and no other dinosaur was known with prints of feathers. Even though one scientist (Darwin's pupil T. H. Huxley) already recognized the dinosaurian origins of birds as early as the late 19th century (by studying the skeletal features), this was largely accepted only after the "Dinosaur Renaissance" [[note]]American J. Ostrom (the ''Deinonychus'' namer and describer) and German P. Wellnhofer (the main ''Archaeopteryx'' expert) noted the strong analogies between the respective animals' skeletons, especially their forelimbs.[[/note]] and definitively proven only in the 1990s after the find of the feathered "[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife "[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeBirdlikeTheropods Liaoning theropods]]".



''Coelophysis'' was a slim, fast-running dinosaur growing up to 10 ft / 3 m, and weighed about 30 kg. ''Coelophysis'' looks like a fragile animal, with a narrow head, weak jaws with small pointed teeth, a long, stork-like neck (sometimes improperly described as "snake-like"), and an elongated, thin body. As an early theropod, ''Coelophysis'' was not very closely related to birds. For example, it had still a remnant of the forth digits on each hand, and the presence of feathers is uncertain. It it had them, they were surely "proto-feathers" or down-like structures, not the modern-looking feathers. [[note]]Ironically, the close relative & probable synonym ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Megapnosaurus]]'' or "Syntarsus" was the ''first'' non-bird dinosaur ever depicted with true feathers![[/note]] Still, it had bird-like features showing how far back in time the dinosaur--bird link goes. Its skull and hindlegs were similar to the more evolved theropods; its bones were hollow and had airsacs within them (its name just means "hollow frame"); and it even had a ''wishbone'', a typical bird trait.

''Coelophysis'' probably hunted down small prey, which it swallowed whole: lizards, dinosaur nestlings, fish, insects, proto-mammals, and whatnot. In the Triassic the top-predator roles was played by non-dinosaur archosaurs like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Postosuchus]]'' or ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Rutiodon]]'', or even larger theropods like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Gojirasaurus]]''. ''Coelophysis'' is often described as an "successful underdog" which finally managed to outcompete non-dino-archosaurs, anticipating the following domination of the dinosaurs in the Jurassic world. It is usually portrayed as a gregarious animal that lived and sometimes hunted in packs; even though the pack-behavior was possible, the pack-hunt is unlikely.

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''Coelophysis'' was a slim, fast-running dinosaur growing up to 10 ft / 3 m, and weighed about 30 kg. ''Coelophysis'' looks like a fragile animal, with a narrow head, weak jaws with small pointed teeth, a long, stork-like neck (sometimes improperly described as "snake-like"), and an elongated, thin body. As an early theropod, ''Coelophysis'' was not very closely related to birds. For example, it had still a remnant of the forth digits on each hand, and the presence of feathers is uncertain. It it had them, they were surely "proto-feathers" or down-like structures, not the modern-looking feathers. [[note]]Ironically, the close relative & probable synonym ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeOtherSmallTheropods Megapnosaurus]]'' or "Syntarsus" was the ''first'' non-bird dinosaur ever depicted with true feathers![[/note]] Still, it had bird-like features showing how far back in time the dinosaur--bird link goes. Its skull and hindlegs were similar to the more evolved theropods; its bones were hollow and had airsacs within them (its name just means "hollow frame"); and it even had a ''wishbone'', a typical bird trait.

''Coelophysis'' probably hunted down small prey, which it swallowed whole: lizards, dinosaur nestlings, fish, insects, proto-mammals, and whatnot. In the Triassic the top-predator roles was played by non-dinosaur archosaurs like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeNonDinosaurianReptiles Postosuchus]]'' or ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Rutiodon]]'', or even larger theropods like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeLargeTheropods Gojirasaurus]]''. ''Coelophysis'' is often described as an "successful underdog" which finally managed to outcompete non-dino-archosaurs, anticipating the following domination of the dinosaurs in the Jurassic world. It is usually portrayed as a gregarious animal that lived and sometimes hunted in packs; even though the pack-behavior was possible, the pack-hunt is unlikely.



Together with the large herbivorous ''Plateosaurus'', ''Coelophysis'' is the dinosaur you've more chances to see in those documentary works portraying the Triassic Period, to show how the earliest dinosaurs looked (even though in RealLife there were many other dinos in the Triassic, some even more primitive than the latter: ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Staurikosaurus]]'' and ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Thecodontosaurus]]'' as just two examples). In these works, the smaller ''Coelophysis'' is used to represent the very start of the dinosaur evolution, while the bigger ''Plateosaurus'' representing a more advanced-enlarged stage. An excellent example of all this is the first episode of the TV documentary ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'', in which the two animals are shown living together in North America (in RealLife only the coelophysis was North American, [[MisplacedWildlife the plateosaur was found in Europe]]). On the other hand, ''Coelophysis'' has been far less common in fiction or other more popular media, since it is too humble-looking and generic to be interesting; the most known appearance may be "Spot" from the 1974 children's television series ''Series/LandOfTheLost''.

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Together with the large herbivorous ''Plateosaurus'', ''Coelophysis'' is the dinosaur you've more chances to see in those documentary works portraying the Triassic Period, to show how the earliest dinosaurs looked (even though in RealLife there were many other dinos in the Triassic, some even more primitive than the latter: ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePrimitiveSaurischians Staurikosaurus]]'' and ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropodPredecessors Thecodontosaurus]]'' as just two examples). In these works, the smaller ''Coelophysis'' is used to represent the very start of the dinosaur evolution, while the bigger ''Plateosaurus'' representing a more advanced-enlarged stage. An excellent example of all this is the first episode of the TV documentary ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'', in which the two animals are shown living together in North America (in RealLife only the coelophysis was North American, [[MisplacedWildlife the plateosaur was found in Europe]]). On the other hand, ''Coelophysis'' has been far less common in fiction or other more popular media, since it is too humble-looking and generic to be interesting; the most known appearance may be "Spot" from the 1974 children's television series ''Series/LandOfTheLost''.



If you hear about it in documentary media, it will likely be for two things: its former record of "the smallest dinosaur" (classically described as [[TastesLikeChicken chicken-sized]] because its first-found skeleton was only 2 ft long, but was from a subadult), and its former status as "the closest relative of Archaeopteryx" (despite similarities, it was possibly less close to birds than tyrannosaurs). Another compsognathid, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Sinosauropteryx]]'' from Early Cretaceous China, shows downy covering around its skeleton but ''not'' pennaceous feathers; this was probably the same for ''Compsognathus'', too.

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If you hear about it in documentary media, it will likely be for two things: its former record of "the smallest dinosaur" (classically described as [[TastesLikeChicken chicken-sized]] because its first-found skeleton was only 2 ft long, but was from a subadult), and its former status as "the closest relative of Archaeopteryx" (despite similarities, it was possibly less close to birds than tyrannosaurs). Another compsognathid, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeBirdlikeTheropods Sinosauropteryx]]'' from Early Cretaceous China, shows downy covering around its skeleton but ''not'' pennaceous feathers; this was probably the same for ''Compsognathus'', too.



Sadly, ''Brachiosaurus'' recently also went through [[TaxonomicTermConfusion some naming troubles]], but its situation isn't as severe as the ''Apatosaurus''-''Brontosaurus'' deal – the name ''Brachiosaurus'' remains valid, however its best-known species, ''B. brancai'', had to be placed in a different genus, named ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffatitan Giraffatitan]]''. [[note]]Gregory S. Paul first suggested they were distinct in 1988. This suggestion was followed by George Olshevsky in 1991 and Creator/DougalDixon in 2006. Otherwise, it was not taken seriously until Michael Taylor proved Paul, Olshevsky and Dixon correct in 2009.[[/note]] ''Giraffatitan'' ("titanic giraffe") was found in Africa in the Tendaguru site two decades after the US brachiosaur, and is known from complete remains with show a distinctive "domed" skull. An impressive, 12 m tall ''Giraffatitan'' skeleton was mounted in the Berlin museum in the 1930s: this has been the biggest mounted dino-skeleton until two decades ago, and the model of the popular image of the brachiosaur lasted for decades. On the other hand, the valid ''Brachiosaurus'' has long been known only by fragments, and its skull was described only few years ago. This skull, which had a smaller "dome" than Giraffatitan's, was long classified as another kind of sauropod, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Camarasaurus]]''; ironically, it was just ''this'' skull that was put in the original "Brontosaurus" skeleton. The popular "brontosaur" is just a MixAndMatchCritter made of ''Apatosaurus'' and ''Brachiosaurus''.

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Sadly, ''Brachiosaurus'' recently also went through [[TaxonomicTermConfusion some naming troubles]], but its situation isn't as severe as the ''Apatosaurus''-''Brontosaurus'' deal – the name ''Brachiosaurus'' remains valid, however its best-known species, ''B. brancai'', had to be placed in a different genus, named ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffatitan Giraffatitan]]''. [[note]]Gregory S. Paul first suggested they were distinct in 1988. This suggestion was followed by George Olshevsky in 1991 and Creator/DougalDixon in 2006. Otherwise, it was not taken seriously until Michael Taylor proved Paul, Olshevsky and Dixon correct in 2009.[[/note]] ''Giraffatitan'' ("titanic giraffe") was found in Africa in the Tendaguru site two decades after the US brachiosaur, and is known from complete remains with show a distinctive "domed" skull. An impressive, 12 m tall ''Giraffatitan'' skeleton was mounted in the Berlin museum in the 1930s: this has been the biggest mounted dino-skeleton until two decades ago, and the model of the popular image of the brachiosaur lasted for decades. On the other hand, the valid ''Brachiosaurus'' has long been known only by fragments, and its skull was described only few years ago. This skull, which had a smaller "dome" than Giraffatitan's, was long classified as another kind of sauropod, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropods Camarasaurus]]''; ironically, it was just ''this'' skull that was put in the original "Brontosaurus" skeleton. The popular "brontosaur" is just a MixAndMatchCritter made of ''Apatosaurus'' and ''Brachiosaurus''.



Titanosaurs are based on the genus ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Titanosaurus]]'' which was first described in 1877 and used as a "wastebin taxon" since then. The classification of titanosaur genera is still in debate and many (including ''Argentinosaurus'') are based on fragmentary remains [[note]]we don't know how its head looked exactly, because the argentinosaur's skull is not among these remains[[/note]]. New finds and further cladistic research may still change the descriptions of these animals. Titanosaurs seem to have been more compact than earlier sauropods, with shorter necks and tails, solid bones, and wider frames. At least some titanosaurs had crocodile-like skin armor; in one case (''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Saltasaurus]]'') this was fully developed as bony plates similar to ''Ankylosaurus''. On the other hand, ''Argentinosaurus'' probably didn't develop an armored skin.

Length and weight estimations of ''Argentinosaurus'' are necessarily speculative, but the consensus seems to put the length at 98 ft / 30 m (like ''Diplodocus'') and the weight at about 73 metric tons (about twice a ''Brachiosaurus''). Few people know, however, that another South American titanosaur, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Antarctosaurus]]'', has left some possible remains almost the same size of the argentinosaur, which were found ''several decades before''. Being very scant and dubious, they have been largely ignored. Other sauropods were previously extimated even heavier than 73 tons (see in the following section) but these valuations appear positively exaggerated. Such heavy land-animals would haven't even able to survive, and the Blue Whale still remains the official record-holder of all times (only other sea-creatures could have overweighed it in the past).

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Titanosaurs are based on the genus ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropods Titanosaurus]]'' which was first described in 1877 and used as a "wastebin taxon" since then. The classification of titanosaur genera is still in debate and many (including ''Argentinosaurus'') are based on fragmentary remains [[note]]we don't know how its head looked exactly, because the argentinosaur's skull is not among these remains[[/note]]. New finds and further cladistic research may still change the descriptions of these animals. Titanosaurs seem to have been more compact than earlier sauropods, with shorter necks and tails, solid bones, and wider frames. At least some titanosaurs had crocodile-like skin armor; in one case (''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife (''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropods Saltasaurus]]'') this was fully developed as bony plates similar to ''Ankylosaurus''. On the other hand, ''Argentinosaurus'' probably didn't develop an armored skin.

Length and weight estimations of ''Argentinosaurus'' are necessarily speculative, but the consensus seems to put the length at 98 ft / 30 m (like ''Diplodocus'') and the weight at about 73 metric tons (about twice a ''Brachiosaurus''). Few people know, however, that another South American titanosaur, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropods Antarctosaurus]]'', has left some possible remains almost the same size of the argentinosaur, which were found ''several decades before''. Being very scant and dubious, they have been largely ignored. Other sauropods were previously extimated even heavier than 73 tons (see in the following section) but these valuations appear positively exaggerated. Such heavy land-animals would haven't even able to survive, and the Blue Whale still remains the official record-holder of all times (only other sea-creatures could have overweighed it in the past).



On the other hand, ''Argentinosaurus'' became popular among dino-fans for being described as "the biggest ever dinosaur" in the show. But this is not an isolated case, however. Several other sauropods have been at one point described the same way since the very first sauropod discoveries. One of the first ones was ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Atlantosaurus]]'' "Atlas lizard". Many others followed since then, with scientists seemingly competing with each other for who coined the [[CoolVersusAwesome most awesome name]] - it's just ''Argentinosaurus'' one of the rare exceptions, meaning simply "lizard from Argentina".

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On the other hand, ''Argentinosaurus'' became popular among dino-fans for being described as "the biggest ever dinosaur" in the show. But this is not an isolated case, however. Several other sauropods have been at one point described the same way since the very first sauropod discoveries. One of the first ones was ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropods Atlantosaurus]]'' "Atlas lizard". Many others followed since then, with scientists seemingly competing with each other for who coined the [[CoolVersusAwesome most awesome name]] - it's just ''Argentinosaurus'' one of the rare exceptions, meaning simply "lizard from Argentina".



* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauroposeidon Sauroposeidon]]'' (the god [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Poseidon]] was also known as the "Earth Shaker," geddit?) was described in 2000 based on four extremely elongated neck vertebrae found in Oklahoma (which were, incidentally, first thought to be petrified logs). If it was a brachiosaurid, it might have had the longest neck of every creature ever (even longer than the neck of ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Mamenchisaurus]]''). However, data published in 2012 puts it closer to the titanosaurs. Living in Early Cretaceous USA along with ''Deinonychus'', [[Series/ClashOfTheDinosaurs some portrayals]] have depicted deinonychosaurs bringing down [[RuleOfCool adult]] ''Sauroposeidon''.

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* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauroposeidon Sauroposeidon]]'' (the god [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Poseidon]] was also known as the "Earth Shaker," geddit?) was described in 2000 based on four extremely elongated neck vertebrae found in Oklahoma (which were, incidentally, first thought to be petrified logs). If it was a brachiosaurid, it might have had the longest neck of every creature ever (even longer than the neck of ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeSauropods Mamenchisaurus]]''). However, data published in 2012 puts it closer to the titanosaurs. Living in Early Cretaceous USA along with ''Deinonychus'', [[Series/ClashOfTheDinosaurs some portrayals]] have depicted deinonychosaurs bringing down [[RuleOfCool adult]] ''Sauroposeidon''.



Its adult size was astonishingly variable, from 16 ft / 4.8 m up to 33 ft / 10 m, and its weight ranged from 600 kg to 4 metric tons. At a first glance, ''Plateosaurus'' looks like [[MixAndMatchCritter a cross between a diplodocid and a theropod]]. The general body-shape was sauropod-like, with a small head, long neck, sturdy body, and long flexible tail (and also the typical thumb-claws). The limbs and stance were theropod-like; it was bipedal, walking on hind legs that were slightly folded, rather than pillar-like. The hindfeet had distinct digits with a claw on each. The neck was shorter and more flexible than a typical sauropod neck thanks to its shorter vertebrae, recalling a bit the neck of some theropods. The head was rather theropod-shaped too, but their teeth were small and blunt, apt to grabbing vegetation instead of tearing meat. The closer relationship with sauropods is betrayed by one detail: the hands and feet of the prosauropods had ''five'' digits each like sauropods, while true theropods lost the fifth digit both in their hands and their feet (except for the most primitive controversial theropods, like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Herrerasaurus]]'' and its relatives, which had five digits on their hands/feet).

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Its adult size was astonishingly variable, from 16 ft / 4.8 m up to 33 ft / 10 m, and its weight ranged from 600 kg to 4 metric tons. At a first glance, ''Plateosaurus'' looks like [[MixAndMatchCritter a cross between a diplodocid and a theropod]]. The general body-shape was sauropod-like, with a small head, long neck, sturdy body, and long flexible tail (and also the typical thumb-claws). The limbs and stance were theropod-like; it was bipedal, walking on hind legs that were slightly folded, rather than pillar-like. The hindfeet had distinct digits with a claw on each. The neck was shorter and more flexible than a typical sauropod neck thanks to its shorter vertebrae, recalling a bit the neck of some theropods. The head was rather theropod-shaped too, but their teeth were small and blunt, apt to grabbing vegetation instead of tearing meat. The closer relationship with sauropods is betrayed by one detail: the hands and feet of the prosauropods had ''five'' digits each like sauropods, while true theropods lost the fifth digit both in their hands and their feet (except for the most primitive controversial theropods, like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePrimitiveSaurischians Herrerasaurus]]'' and its relatives, which had five digits on their hands/feet).



those of other large herbivores and almost always found isolated. One rare exception is a group of about 8 juvenile ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Pinacosaurus]]'' found together, probably dead in the same moment during a sand-storm.

''Ankylosaurus'' probably detains the sad record of the worst-known Stock Dinosaur. Even in ''documentary works'', its size, shape, and composition tend to be pictured incorrectly, often with traits from other ankylosaurian species. The incompleteness of the remains justify only partially this. One common mistake is to leave out the tail club, or to have it shaped incorrectly -- for example, adding spike to it. A famous example of the latter is the "''Ankylosaurus''" (actually a ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Scolosaurus]]'') painted by Charles Knight while defending itself against a tyrannosaurid: it is undersized and has two spikes on its tailtip. When based on RealLife fossils, the club usually appears two-lobed like that of an ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Euoplocephalus]]'' (a close relative commonly depicted in popular dino-books), instead of elliptical. The bony covering on its back should be a snugly fitting mix of large and small plates and be interspersed with short spikes. Many classic portraits, on the other hand, show long spikes only on the sides, in a similar way of the related Nodosaurids. Other portraits go even further showing totally spikeless ''Ankylosaurus''es (see the aforementioned finale of ''WalkingWithDinosaurs''). Finally, the broad head should have four horns behind the eyes and the ends of the mouth. Ironically, one of the few correctly-shaped ankylosaurs in cinema is the [[AllAnimalsAreDogs dog-like]] Url from Disney's ''Dinosaurs'' (he was strongly undersized, but this may be justified if he was a young). Many other inaccuracies seen in ankylosaur portraits are substantially the same of the stegosaurs, so see above.

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those of other large herbivores and almost always found isolated. One rare exception is a group of about 8 juvenile ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Pinacosaurus]]'' found together, probably dead in the same moment during a sand-storm.

''Ankylosaurus'' probably detains the sad record of the worst-known Stock Dinosaur. Even in ''documentary works'', its size, shape, and composition tend to be pictured incorrectly, often with traits from other ankylosaurian species. The incompleteness of the remains justify only partially this. One common mistake is to leave out the tail club, or to have it shaped incorrectly -- for example, adding spike to it. A famous example of the latter is the "''Ankylosaurus''" (actually a ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Scolosaurus]]'') painted by Charles Knight while defending itself against a tyrannosaurid: it is undersized and has two spikes on its tailtip. When based on RealLife fossils, the club usually appears two-lobed like that of an ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Euoplocephalus]]'' a Euoplocephalus (a close relative commonly depicted in popular dino-books), instead of elliptical. The bony covering on its back should be a snugly fitting mix of large and small plates and be interspersed with short spikes. Many classic portraits, on the other hand, show long spikes only on the sides, in a similar way of the related Nodosaurids. Other portraits go even further showing totally spikeless ''Ankylosaurus''es (see the aforementioned finale of ''WalkingWithDinosaurs''). Finally, the broad head should have four horns behind the eyes and the ends of the mouth. Ironically, one of the few correctly-shaped ankylosaurs in cinema is the [[AllAnimalsAreDogs dog-like]] Url from Disney's ''Dinosaurs'' (he was strongly undersized, but this may be justified if he was a young). Many other inaccuracies seen in ankylosaur portraits are substantially the same of the stegosaurs, so see above.



Compared to other stock dinosaurs, ''Triceratops'' and his relatives have been portrayed fairly accurately. The ceratopsids in the original movie ''The Lost World'' (the TropeMaker, from year 1925) are nearly as realistic as those seen in the 1999 docu ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' (which are actually ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Torosaurus]]''[[note]]though some research suggests that ''Torosaurus'' is just a more mature form of ''Triceratops''[[/note]]). Thanks to their evident resemblance with rhinos, media triceratopses have been usually portrayed agile and active like a modern ungulate mammal; basically, the only mistake in older depictions (other than the aforementioned issue regarding the legs) is the wide lizard-like mouth without the typical ornithischian cheeks (see also ''Iguanodon''). ScienceMarchesOn even for "Mr. Three-Horn" however, and a third element (the completely scaly hide) has revealed to be an inaccuracy as well. Extremely recent finds indicate that ''Triceratops'' was covered in bristles. Today, many scientists believe ''every'' dinosaur was at least partially covered in filamentous structures (just like modern mammals).

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Compared to other stock dinosaurs, ''Triceratops'' and his relatives have been portrayed fairly accurately. The ceratopsids in the original movie ''The Lost World'' (the TropeMaker, from year 1925) are nearly as realistic as those seen in the 1999 docu ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' (which are actually ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids Torosaurus]]''[[note]]though some research suggests that ''Torosaurus'' is just a more mature form of ''Triceratops''[[/note]]). Thanks to their evident resemblance with rhinos, media triceratopses have been usually portrayed agile and active like a modern ungulate mammal; basically, the only mistake in older depictions (other than the aforementioned issue regarding the legs) is the wide lizard-like mouth without the typical ornithischian cheeks (see also ''Iguanodon''). ScienceMarchesOn even for "Mr. Three-Horn" however, and a third element (the completely scaly hide) has revealed to be an inaccuracy as well. Extremely recent finds indicate that ''Triceratops'' was covered in bristles. Today, many scientists believe ''every'' dinosaur was at least partially covered in filamentous structures (just like modern mammals).



''Styracosaurus'' lived in North America 76—75 million years ago, slightly earlier than ''Triceratops''. It was discovered in 1913 during the second great North American "dino-rush." [[note]]Most Cretaceous dinosaurs were actually described during this "rush," But only the coolest-looking ones joined the stock dinosaur ensemble: ''Tyrannosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Ankylosaurus'', ''Struthiomimus'', ''Parasaurolophus'', and ''Corythosaurus''.[[/note]] About half as long as a triceratops (only 18 ft / 5.5 m, weighing nearly 3 tons), the styracosaur was actually even more rhino-like. It had much longer horn above the nose but only hints of horns above its eyes. It had a round, short frill, but this headgear was one to match: several pairs of long spikes protruding from the end of the frill in a rayed manner, and shorter protuberances in the anterior edge. This sort of HornedHairdo incidentally makes its head resemble the ''Statue of Liberty''. No other known dinosaur had such an ornamentation: other relatives had one isolated pair of spikes at the most, for example ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Centrosaurus]]''. ''Styracosaurus'' had also jaws shorter and stronger than those of ''Triceratops''; some speculate styracosaurs were more sociable than triceratopses and lived in more numerous herds.

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''Styracosaurus'' lived in North America 76—75 million years ago, slightly earlier than ''Triceratops''. It was discovered in 1913 during the second great North American "dino-rush." [[note]]Most Cretaceous dinosaurs were actually described during this "rush," But only the coolest-looking ones joined the stock dinosaur ensemble: ''Tyrannosaurus'', ''Styracosaurus'', ''Ankylosaurus'', ''Struthiomimus'', ''Parasaurolophus'', and ''Corythosaurus''.[[/note]] About half as long as a triceratops (only 18 ft / 5.5 m, weighing nearly 3 tons), the styracosaur was actually even more rhino-like. It had much longer horn above the nose but only hints of horns above its eyes. It had a round, short frill, but this headgear was one to match: several pairs of long spikes protruding from the end of the frill in a rayed manner, and shorter protuberances in the anterior edge. This sort of HornedHairdo incidentally makes its head resemble the ''Statue of Liberty''. No other known dinosaur had such an ornamentation: other relatives had one isolated pair of spikes at the most, for example ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsids Centrosaurus]]''. ''Styracosaurus'' had also jaws shorter and stronger than those of ''Triceratops''; some speculate styracosaurs were more sociable than triceratopses and lived in more numerous herds.



The styracosaur has appeared in several works since the first portrayal in 1933 (in ''Film/TheSonOfKong''), and is also a common feature in toys and popular books. On the other hand, recent documentaries haven’t represented it so frequently. Maybe because in RealLife ''Styracosaurus'' could not battle TyrannosaurusRex as ''Triceratops'' did, but only smaller carnivores like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Daspletosaurus]]''.

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The styracosaur has appeared in several works since the first portrayal in 1933 (in ''Film/TheSonOfKong''), and is also a common feature in toys and popular books. On the other hand, recent documentaries haven’t represented it so frequently. Maybe because in RealLife ''Styracosaurus'' could not battle TyrannosaurusRex as ''Triceratops'' did, but only smaller carnivores like ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeLargeTheropods Daspletosaurus]]''.



Lived during the Late Cretaceous 70--65 million years ago in North America like many well known dinosaurs. It usually shows up when an author feels like showing an "exotic" dinosaur. Its relationship with other dinosaurs has long been uncertain: originally classified as an ornithopod [[note]]Originally, scientists tended to classify all bipedal ornithischians in the ornithopod group: for example, the parrot-billed early ceratopsian ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Psittacosaurus]]'', the small primitive boar-tusked ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLIfe Heterodontosaurus]]'', and sometimes even the primitive quadrupedal armored ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Scelidosaurus]]''.[[/note]], its affinity with ceratopsians was demonstrated only in the 1980s.

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Lived during the Late Cretaceous 70--65 million years ago in North America like many well known dinosaurs. It usually shows up when an author feels like showing an "exotic" dinosaur. Its relationship with other dinosaurs has long been uncertain: originally classified as an ornithopod [[note]]Originally, scientists tended to classify all bipedal ornithischians in the ornithopod group: for example, the parrot-billed early ceratopsian ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeCeratopsidPredecessors Psittacosaurus]]'', the small primitive boar-tusked ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLIfe ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLIfePrimitiveOrnithischians Heterodontosaurus]]'', and sometimes even the primitive quadrupedal armored ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifeAnkylosaurs Scelidosaurus]]''.[[/note]], its affinity with ceratopsians was demonstrated only in the 1980s.



''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Stegoceras]]''.

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''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs Stegoceras]]''.



Being totally bipedal, pachycephalosaurians were superficially similar to theropods: however, their jaws and grinding posterior teeth were typically ornithischians (and thus plant-eating). However, ''Pachycephalosaurus'' had weaker jaws than ceratopsians or hadrosaurs and still retained small pointed teeth on its jaw-tips which were lost in the most evolved bird-hipped dinosaurs: this would indicate the pachy had a mixed diet based on plant material with insect and small vertebrates as a supplement. Its relative ''Stegoceras'' shows small five-fingered forelimbs, slender body, long tail, and running legs [[note]]perhaps less adapted to running than those of the similar-shaped "gazelle-dinosaur" ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Hypsilophodon]]''[[/note]]. The body of ''Pachycephalosaurus'' probably was similar to ''Stegoceras'', but being the former larger than the latter, its body might have had an overall stockier frame.

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Being totally bipedal, pachycephalosaurians were superficially similar to theropods: however, their jaws and grinding posterior teeth were typically ornithischians (and thus plant-eating). However, ''Pachycephalosaurus'' had weaker jaws than ceratopsians or hadrosaurs and still retained small pointed teeth on its jaw-tips which were lost in the most evolved bird-hipped dinosaurs: this would indicate the pachy had a mixed diet based on plant material with insect and small vertebrates as a supplement. Its relative ''Stegoceras'' shows small five-fingered forelimbs, slender body, long tail, and running legs [[note]]perhaps less adapted to running than those of the similar-shaped "gazelle-dinosaur" ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Hypsilophodon]]''[[/note]].''Hypsilophodon''[[/note]]. The body of ''Pachycephalosaurus'' probably was similar to ''Stegoceras'', but being the former larger than the latter, its body might have had an overall stockier frame.
1st Jul '17 3:36:58 PM Wikkler
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The large ''Pachycephalosaurus'' was once the only bonehead portrayed in fiction. This changed in the 2000s when two smaller relatives, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs]]'' and ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs]]'' ''[[Franchise/HarryPotter hogwartsia]]'' (the latter discovered as recently as 2006) started making occasional appearances as well, thanks to their [[RuleOfCool even spikier heads]]. A very recent theory (2009) suggests that these two horned pachys were just juvenile ''Pachycephalosaurus''; if so, the latter will remain the only pop-cultural bonehead.

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The large ''Pachycephalosaurus'' was once the only bonehead portrayed in fiction. This changed in the 2000s when two smaller relatives, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs]]'' ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs Stygimoloch]]'' and ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs]]'' ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs Dracorex]]'' ''[[Franchise/HarryPotter hogwartsia]]'' (the latter discovered as recently as 2006) started making occasional appearances as well, thanks to their [[RuleOfCool even spikier heads]]. A very recent theory (2009) suggests that these two horned pachys were just juvenile ''Pachycephalosaurus''; if so, the latter will remain the only pop-cultural bonehead.
1st Jul '17 3:35:38 PM Wikkler
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The large ''Pachycephalosaurus'' was once the only bonehead portrayed in fiction. This changed in the 2000s when two smaller relatives, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Stygimoloch]]'' and ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Dracorex]]'' ''[[Franchise/HarryPotter hogwartsia]]'' (the latter discovered as recently as 2006) started making occasional appearances as well, thanks to their [[RuleOfCool even spikier heads]]. A very recent theory (2009) suggests that these two horned pachys were just juvenile ''Pachycephalosaurus''; if so, the latter will remain the only pop-cultural bonehead.

to:

The large ''Pachycephalosaurus'' was once the only bonehead portrayed in fiction. This changed in the 2000s when two smaller relatives, ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Stygimoloch]]'' ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs]]'' and ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Dracorex]]'' ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLifePachycephalosaurs]]'' ''[[Franchise/HarryPotter hogwartsia]]'' (the latter discovered as recently as 2006) started making occasional appearances as well, thanks to their [[RuleOfCool even spikier heads]]. A very recent theory (2009) suggests that these two horned pachys were just juvenile ''Pachycephalosaurus''; if so, the latter will remain the only pop-cultural bonehead.
15th Jun '17 6:39:47 PM TVRulezAgain
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The only-valid ''Megalosaurus'' is a fairly generic theropod some 30 ft / 9 m in length, similar to an elongated allosaur but smaller and more primitive. Even though its historical relevance makes it a common sight in classic and modern dino-books, the "big lizard" didn't go a long way in popular works after the two important mentions in early literature (''Literature/BleakHouse'' and ''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}''). In the 20th century it heavily suffered the competition with ''Tyrannosaurus'' and ''Allosaurus'' - and the resolution of the "wastebasket" issue didn't make the case against it better. Apart from some occasional documentary, you've got low chances to see any "megalosaur" both in cinema and in TV media --- just as an example, ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' chose to portray the contemporary close-relative ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Eustreptospondylus]]'' in the Jurassic-Europe episode. There is, however, the curious case of the TV show ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', which has one "megalosaur" in the form of Bob Sinclair: but he doesn't look particularly like any dinosaur at all.

to:

The only-valid ''Megalosaurus'' is a fairly generic theropod some 30 ft / 9 m in length, similar to an elongated allosaur but smaller and more primitive. Even though its historical relevance makes it a common sight in classic and modern dino-books, the "big lizard" didn't go a long way in popular works after the two important mentions in early literature (''Literature/BleakHouse'' and ''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}''). In the 20th century it heavily suffered the competition with ''Tyrannosaurus'' and ''Allosaurus'' - and the resolution of the "wastebasket" issue didn't make the case against it better. Apart from some occasional documentary, you've got low chances to see any "megalosaur" both in cinema and in TV media --- just as an example, ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' chose to portray the contemporary close-relative ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Eustreptospondylus]]'' in the Jurassic-Europe episode. There is, however, the curious case of the TV show ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', which has one "megalosaur" in the form of Bob Earl Sinclair: but he doesn't look particularly like any dinosaur at all.
20th Apr '17 10:09:07 PM schoi30
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''T. rex'' was discovered by Barnum Brown slightly before the start of the XX century, and described by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1905. Since then, it has been a hit with the audience and possibly ''the'' most famous dinosaur for almost a century. During this time ''T. rex'' has changed from the [[MightyGlacier heavy, fat-bellied giant]] with goose-like gait and flexible tail seen in ''Fantasia'' to the [[LightningBruiser slender, running beast]] seen in ''Franchise/JurassicPark''. We were waiting to see it and/or its chicks depicted with downy feathers, and recently it has been seeping in (Thank you ''Documentary/DinosaurRevolution'', ''Film/DinosaurIsland'', ''{{Pokemon}}'', and ''VideoGame/{{Saurian}}'').

to:

''T. rex'' was discovered by Barnum Brown slightly before the start of the XX century, and described by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1905. Since then, it has been a hit with the audience and possibly ''the'' most famous dinosaur for almost a century. During this time ''T. rex'' has changed from the [[MightyGlacier heavy, fat-bellied giant]] with goose-like gait and flexible tail seen in ''Fantasia'' to the [[LightningBruiser slender, running beast]] seen in ''Franchise/JurassicPark''. We were waiting to see it and/or its chicks depicted with downy feathers, and recently it has been seeping in (Thank you ''Documentary/DinosaurRevolution'', ''Film/DinosaurIsland'', ''{{Pokemon}}'', ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', ''WebAnimation/MightyMagiswords'', and ''VideoGame/{{Saurian}}'').
15th Mar '17 12:09:45 PM 0000
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Most dinosaurs of this kind (and many early bird genera) lived in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesozoic Mesozoic Era]], nicknamed "The Age of Dinosaurs," 250-66 million years ago (mya). The era is divided by geologists and palaeontologists into three periods: from the most ancient to the most recent one, they are the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triassic Triassic]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic Jurassic]], and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous Cretaceous]]. You'll note that most stock dinosaurs come from North America during either the Late Jurassic or the Late Cretaceous.

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Most dinosaurs of this kind (and many early bird genera) lived in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesozoic Mesozoic Era]], nicknamed "The Age of Dinosaurs," 250-66 252-66 million years ago (mya). The era is divided by geologists and palaeontologists into three periods: from the most ancient to the most recent one, they are the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triassic Triassic]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic Jurassic]], and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous Cretaceous]]. You'll note that most stock dinosaurs come from North America during either the Late Jurassic or the Late Cretaceous.
8th Mar '17 11:21:36 AM MrMediaGuy2
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Recently, it was shown that it wasn't even ''carnivorous'' at all: its strong beak wasn't hooked like an eagle's, and its body frame was stocky, seemingly slow-moving. It only was an herbivore who used its bill to crack nuts, and cut vegetation - making erroneous the BizarroWorld portrayal in Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs where birds were shown ruling mammals. Anyway, the gastorn/diatryma was a real giant in its forestal world, 40 million years ago: while mammals were still small, some birds grew to large size.

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Recently, it was shown that it wasn't even ''carnivorous'' at all: its strong beak wasn't hooked like an eagle's, and its body frame was stocky, seemingly slow-moving. It only was an herbivore who used its bill to crack nuts, and cut vegetation - making erroneous the BizarroWorld portrayal in Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs where birds were shown ruling mammals. [[note]]However, this does ''not'' mean it was the GentleGiant news articles claimed it was. Ostriches and cassowaries are herbivores too, but they're also some of the few birds that have been known to ''kill'' people. And ''Gastornis'' not only grew to their size, but it also had a powerful beak that would've been useful for fighting off the land-dwelling crocodiles that were the true dominant predator.[[/note]] Anyway, the gastorn/diatryma was a real giant in its forestal world, 40 million years ago: while mammals were still small, some birds grew to large size.
12th Jan '17 1:39:53 PM MrMediaGuy2
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With the Phorusrhacids, on the other hand, we have no doubts this time: thanks to their light weight and slender running legs, they ''were'' active hunter of small mammals. Not only that, with their strongly hooked, very eagle-like bill, they did not swallow their prey whole. It has recently been discovered they had even ''one clawed finger'' protruding from each of their tiny wings [[note]]This is not so strange as one may think: there are also living birds with this feature, the most notable being the ''two-fingered'' young [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoatzin Hoatzin]][[/note]], for uncertain purpose. Perhaps the most amazing-looking among all prehistoric birds, they have recently nicknamed [[CarnivoreConfusion terror-birds]] in pop- documentaries (for example, [[WalkingWithDinosaurs Prehistoric Park]].)

to:

With the Phorusrhacids, on the other hand, we have no doubts this time: thanks to their light weight and slender running legs, they ''were'' active hunter of small mammals. Not only that, with their strongly hooked, very eagle-like bill, they did not swallow their prey whole. It has recently been discovered they had even They were once thought to have ''one clawed finger'' protruding from each of their tiny wings [[note]]This is not so strange as one may think: there are also living birds with this feature, the most notable being the ''two-fingered'' young [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoatzin Hoatzin]][[/note]], for uncertain purpose. However, it was later discovered that their living relatives, the seriemas (see below) have similarly-shaped wings and lack wing claws, making these fingers unlikely. Perhaps the most amazing-looking among all prehistoric birds, they have recently nicknamed [[CarnivoreConfusion terror-birds]] in pop- documentaries (for example, [[WalkingWithDinosaurs Prehistoric Park]].)
11th Jan '17 5:00:34 AM Morgenthaler
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''Allosaurus'' entered pop culture before ''Tyrannosaurus''. After its description, it was briefly considered the "biggest land carnivore ever" together with ''Megalosaurus''. In Conan Doyle’s ''Literature/TheLostWorld'' (1912) the two scientists encounter a giant carnivore, and argue about whether it is an ''Allosaurus'' or a ''Megalosaurus'' (maybe a reference to the recent "bone wars.") Soon later, both dinosaurs got [[OvershadowedByAwesome overshadowed]] by the more impressive (and [[RuleOfCool much cooler-named]]) ''Tyrannosaurus rex'' in pop-media, especially cinema. ''Allosaurus'' has somehow managed to survive the supremacy of the rex... automatically becoming its PoorMansSubstitute, as the two animals tend to be easily confused with each other in the public mind.

to:

''Allosaurus'' entered pop culture before ''Tyrannosaurus''. After its description, it was briefly considered the "biggest land carnivore ever" together with ''Megalosaurus''. In Conan Doyle’s ''Literature/TheLostWorld'' ''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}'' (1912) the two scientists encounter a giant carnivore, and argue about whether it is an ''Allosaurus'' or a ''Megalosaurus'' (maybe a reference to the recent "bone wars.") Soon later, both dinosaurs got [[OvershadowedByAwesome overshadowed]] by the more impressive (and [[RuleOfCool much cooler-named]]) ''Tyrannosaurus rex'' in pop-media, especially cinema. ''Allosaurus'' has somehow managed to survive the supremacy of the rex... automatically becoming its PoorMansSubstitute, as the two animals tend to be easily confused with each other in the public mind.



# '''TropeMaker:''' ''Literature/TheLostWorld''

to:

# '''TropeMaker:''' ''Literature/TheLostWorld''
''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}''



The only-valid ''Megalosaurus'' is a fairly generic theropod some 30 ft / 9 m in length, similar to an elongated allosaur but smaller and more primitive. Even though its historical relevance makes it a common sight in classic and modern dino-books, the "big lizard" didn't go a long way in popular works after the two important mentions in early literature (''BleakHouse'' and ''LostWorld''). In the 20th century it heavily suffered the competition with ''Tyrannosaurus'' and ''Allosaurus'' - and the resolution of the "wastebasket" issue didn't make the case against it better. Apart from some occasional documentary, you've got low chances to see any "megalosaur" both in cinema and in TV media --- just as an example, ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' chose to portray the contemporary close-relative ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Eustreptospondylus]]'' in the Jurassic-Europe episode. There is, however, the curious case of the TV show ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', which has one "megalosaur" in the form of Bob Sinclair: but he doesn't look particularly like any dinosaur at all.

to:

The only-valid ''Megalosaurus'' is a fairly generic theropod some 30 ft / 9 m in length, similar to an elongated allosaur but smaller and more primitive. Even though its historical relevance makes it a common sight in classic and modern dino-books, the "big lizard" didn't go a long way in popular works after the two important mentions in early literature (''BleakHouse'' (''Literature/BleakHouse'' and ''LostWorld'').''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}''). In the 20th century it heavily suffered the competition with ''Tyrannosaurus'' and ''Allosaurus'' - and the resolution of the "wastebasket" issue didn't make the case against it better. Apart from some occasional documentary, you've got low chances to see any "megalosaur" both in cinema and in TV media --- just as an example, ''WalkingWithDinosaurs'' chose to portray the contemporary close-relative ''[[UsefulNotes/PrehistoricLife Eustreptospondylus]]'' in the Jurassic-Europe episode. There is, however, the curious case of the TV show ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', which has one "megalosaur" in the form of Bob Sinclair: but he doesn't look particularly like any dinosaur at all.



# '''TropeMaker:''' ''Literature/TheLostWorld''

to:

# '''TropeMaker:''' ''Literature/TheLostWorld''
''Literature/{{The Lost World|1912}}''
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