Created By: TheMorrison on December 10, 2013 Last Edited By: TheMorrison on February 7, 2014
Troped

Domesticated Dinosaurs

When people keep dinos and other prehistoric animals as pets, pack animals, &c.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Most fiction detailing interaction between humans and dinosaurs portrays the relationship as purely antagonistic; dinos want to eat us, and we want to not get eaten. But that's not the extent of our interaction with most animals we actually deal with, is it? This trope is another way of imagining what that interaction might look like. What if we found a use for dinosaurs? Since Everything's Better with Dinosaurs, logically, a world where dinosaurs are kept as pets, mounts, or beasts of burden is better than our own world.

Despite the name of this trope, it can also apply to any prehistoric animal.

Also see Horse of a Different Color and Cool Pet, as well as All Animals Are Dogs for what usually happens with such creatures, and Fluffy Tamer for the sort of human character who keeps these things around. Typically occurs in a One Million B.C. setting, a Lost World, in Medieval Prehistory, or as a result of Time Travel. A pretty severe inversion of the Prehistoric Monster trope, too, since it relies on dinosaurs being just another class of animals.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • The earlier chapters of Black Cat has Madam Freesia, an aristocrat who really likes to collect rare objects, including a pet T. rex named Flora, who escapes and causes much destruction.

Comics
  • In Runaways, Gert has a pet raptor named Old Lace.
  • 2000 A.D. ran with this idea by having the Cursed Earth - the post-apocalyptic wasteland between the Mega Cities of North America - infested with reborn dinosaurs. A long-running strip followed a pioneer "wagon train" leaving Judge Dredd's Mega-City One to search out an unspoilt corner of the continent in which to build a better life; they encountered both raptor packs, some of which had been "tamed" by sub-human mutant tribes as riding beasts, and by others as beasts of burden.
    • Elsewhere in 2000 AD, tyrannosaurs repeatedly turn on humans who try to tame them. A story arc revolved around a bull tyrannosaur with a certain sentience, who absolutely hated the humans who'd treated him sadistically.

Films - Animated

Films - Live Action
  • The Valley of Gwangi. An old west rodeo makes a successful sideshow out of an eohippus, and then they find an allosaurus and try to put him in the circus. Naturally, he escapes and eats a lot of people.
  • The Prehysteria series of kids' movies involve pet dinosaurs.

Literature
  • Jurassic Park is about a failed attempt at creating a dinosaur zoo. Certain spin-off video games let you succeed, though, by focusing on the upkeep of such a park if it really worked.
    • In the book (although dropped from the film), one of inGen's long-term plans was to breed small dinosaurs for children to keep as pets, and make it so that they could only survive off of food produced by inGen, giving them a nice monopoly on them.
  • Dinotopia is a borderline example, since all the dinosaurs could talk and were basically treated like people.
  • In More Information Than You Require, the "pseudosaur" is listed as one of the hideous steeds of the molemen. Actually a subversion, because although the mole-men think that pseudosaurs are dinosaurs, they're actually just oversized iguanas.
  • S.M. Stirling's The Sky People has the Earth outpost tame dinosaurs via neural implant.
  • Oliver Butterworth's The Enormous Egg. A triceratops is hatched from a giant hen's egg and becomes the pet of a boy named Nate Twitchell, who names it "Uncle Beazley".
  • In Gerald Durrell's children's book The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure (the sequel to The Fantastic Flying Journey), the Dollybut siblings and their great-uncle Lancelot travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs. By the end of the story, they adopt two juvenile animals: a female diplodocus and a male pterosaur.

Live-Action TV
  • Prehistoric Park is about a successful attempt at creating a dinosaur zoo. It's basically just a documentary series about the management of a zoo, but the zoo happens to be for dinosaurs.
  • On Primeval, Abbey kept a Coelurosauravus as a pet. His name was Rex.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship" has the Doctor taming a triceratops and then riding it around the ship.
    • Spinoff series Torchwood gives the main protagonists a pet pteranodon.
  • Inverted on Dinosaurs, where the ridiculously-suburbanized dinosaurs keep pet humans.

Tabletop Games
  • In Warhammer, the Lizardmen ride various distinctly dinosaurian steeds into war. One such creature, the therapod-like Cold One, is also available to the Dark Elves. It's a bit of a stretch to call Cold Ones domesticated, though, as the rider needs to cover themselves in an unguent that masks their scent so the beasts won't attack them.
    • Warhammer Forty Thousand's Eldar and Dark Eldar have access to Cold One-like steeds, and the Tau Empire's Great Knarloc is very much like a Tyrannosaurus rex, but they mount a big gun on its back.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In Eberron, the halflings of the Talenta Plains are basically a Central Asian nomadic tribe of dinosaur riders. They ride dromaeosaurids and herd leaellynasaura.
    • The standard rules also make this definitely possible, with druids and rangers given access to various prehistoric animals as their companions. Additionally, the 3.5 supplements Frostburn and Sandstorm suggest that paladins in arctic or desert settings might use megaloceras and diprotodons, respectively, as mounts, and the book Arms and Equipment Guide offers the "axebeak" (a distinctly phorusrhacid bird) as a steed.
    • Module WG 6, Isle of the Ape. One of the groups of cavemen had phorusrhacids that they used as "hounds" to hunt down prey.
  • Pathfinder also gives druids access to dinosaurs and pterosaurs as companions, and the Kelids are a steppe nomad culture who ride domesticated mammoths.
  • Ironclaw and Jadeclaw have dinosaurs substitute for cows and horses. The text refers to them as "lizards," but the illustrations clearly show dinosaurs.

Video Games

Web Comics
  • In The Order of the Stick the Empire of Blood uses a lot of dinosaurs in their military and in their gladiator arenas.

Western Animation
  • The very first cartoon character of all time, Gertie the Dinosaur, was a saurodod who did tricks on command, and would metatextually interact with live actors. If you're having trouble picturing this, imagine the "Hello John" scene from Jurassic Park, which was a Shout-Out to this.
  • The Flintstones, famously. The prehistoric humans kept dinosaurs as pets and used them as industrial machines (e.g. a brontosaurus was used as a steam shovel).
  • Dino Riders, which was about guys who ride dinosaurs.
  • In the Porky Pig short "Prehistoric Porky" cave-Porky has a pet brontosaurus named Rover.
  • In the Futurama episode "I Dated a Robot", Fry fulfills one of his dreams: riding a T. rex in the Jurassic Kiddie Park.
  • Conversed in Arthur when Arthur, Buster, and the Brain are writing a fanfic sequel to Robin Hood. Buster wants to write a scene where pirates ride an Apatosaurus into town and crush buildings. Brain points out that "dinosaurs and pirates never coexisted."
  • Dino-Boy. The title character had a baby brontosaurus named "Bronty" as a pet. The villains in various episodes sometimes had dinosaurs as beasts of burden, mounts, attack animals and so on.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Rock N' Roar", Buster tried to get his soccer ball back when it fell down a hole, but instead, he picked up an egg that hatched into a dinosaur. He tries keeping him as a pet, naming him "Rover", and even raising him to be a vegetarian, but Rover's massive size made a mess of Acme Acres and Monty tried to trap him. At the end, Buster had to return Rover to the cave where he found his egg.
  • On the Hanna-Barbera Saturday Morning Cartoon Mighty Mightor, Sheera has a pet mammoth calf named Bollo. Little Rok also has a pet dodo bird, although that's a borderline example, since the dodo went extinct relatively recently. Plus, the villains of the show regularly used dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals as mounts and attack animals.
  • InDuckTales, Bubba the Caveduck has a pet triceratops named Tootsie.

Other
  • There's a popular photoshopped image floating around the internet of Napoleon Bonaparte riding on an allosaur.
    • Images of Jesus riding a dinosaur or of Bible-era farmers riding triceratops are often used to advertise, or satirize, creationism.
Community Feedback Replies: 58
  • December 10, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    A subtrope of Cool Pet.
  • December 10, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    You should probably separate the examples out by media type.
  • December 10, 2013
    Dalillama
    Literature
  • December 10, 2013
    StarSword
    Video Games:
  • December 10, 2013
    Chabal2
    • Warhammer has Cold Ones, horse-sized velociraptors used by both Dark Elves and Lizardmen as cavalry. It's a bit of a stretch to call them domesticated in the former's case though, as the rider needs to cover themselves in an unguent that masks their scent so the beasts won't attack them.
    • Warhammer 40 K: Exodite Eldar (hippie space elves) are known to ride giant dinosaurs into battle, and occasionally by Dark Eldar beastmasters.
      • The Kroot's Great Knarloc is, for all intents and purposes, a T Rex with longer arms.

  • December 10, 2013
    darthcaliber
    Meet The Robinsons: the T-rex seems the typical vicious beast at first but once freed from the villain's mind control he is docile and playful as a puppy so the family ends up adopting him.
  • December 10, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    • In the Porky Pig short "Prehistoric Porky" cave-Porky has a pet brontosaurus named Rover.
    • Runaways: Gert has a pet raptor named Old Lace.
  • December 10, 2013
    Floria
    • InPathfinder, druids can have dinosaurs and pterosaurs as animal companions.

    If non-reptilian prehistoric creatures count:
    • The Kellids in Pathfinder are a steppe nomad culture who use domesticated mammoths as pack animals.
  • December 10, 2013
    Snicka
    This can happen both in an One Million BC and a Medieval Prehistory setting, or as a result of Time Travel.
  • December 11, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work names, sorted the examples by media and added context to the The Flintstones example.

    The Dino Riders example is a Zero Context Example and needs more information about how it is this trope.
  • December 11, 2013
    dmorton
    • In Futurama . In the episode "I Dated a Robot", Fry fulfills one of his dreams, riding a T-rex in the Jurassic Kiddie Park.
  • December 11, 2013
    DAN004
    • In RWBY, Monty Oum (series creator) often created joke images with a velociraptor in it, interacting with the characters. In one pic he even sings in a band.
  • December 11, 2013
    StarSword
    Western Animation:
    • Conversed in Arthur when Arthur, Buster, and the Brain are writing a fanfic sequel to Robin Hood. Buster wants to write a scene where pirates ride an Apatosaurus into town and crush buildings. Brain points out that "dinosaurs and pirates never coexisted."
  • December 11, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Webcomics
    • In The Order Of The Stick the Empire of Blood uses a lot of dinosaurs in their military, and gladiator arenas.
  • December 11, 2013
    abateman
    Prehysteria!. Kid finds dinosaur eggs, keeps the dinos as pets. He names the T-Rex Elvis. They made a few sequels.
  • December 11, 2013
    Karalora
    Tabletop Games example: Ironclaw and Jadeclaw avoid Furry Confusion by having dinosaurs substitute for cows and horses. The text refers to them as "lizards," but the illustrations clearly show dinosaurs.
  • December 12, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature
  • December 12, 2013
    Snicka

    Also, not only Napoleon Bonaparte, but also Jesus is often portrayed riding a dinosaur on online photoshopped pictures.
  • December 12, 2013
    Snicka
  • December 12, 2013
    dandyman
    Anime and Manga
    • The earlier chapters of Black Cat has Madam Freesia, an aristocrat who really likes to collect rare objects, In a surprise to Rinslet and others, her latest collection is actually a T-Rex named Flora, that recently breaks free run rampant through the city.
  • December 12, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    Gertie The Dinosaur: An early cartoon and vaudeville routine in one. Winsor Mc Cay comes on stage live and introduces his pet brontosaurus Gertie (animated on a projected film) who does tricks on command.
  • December 13, 2013
    Chabal2
    Chrono Trigger: Ayla's caveman tribe keep (four-legged) pterosaurs as flying mounts while the Reptites (sentient dinosaurs) keep T Rexes.
  • December 13, 2013
    Synchronicity
    ignore this reply, sorry!
  • December 13, 2013
    JonnyB
    Also a 'shop online of Jesus riding a velociraptor. (And one of Ronald Reagan doing the same thing, I believe.)
  • December 14, 2013
    Arivne
    Western Animation
    • Dino Boy. The title character had a baby brontosaurus named "Bronty" as a pet. The villains in various episodes sometimes had dinosaurs as beasts of burden, mounts, attack animals and so on.
  • December 14, 2013
    StarSword
    Is the OP planning to update this?
  • December 20, 2013
    TheMorrison
    This is the OP. I've been busy for a while. Thanks to whoever sorted the examples by media form. I'd say this one is ready for launch?

    Bump, also.
  • December 21, 2013
    Snicka
    Well, there's a handful of examples in the comments that should be added. After that, I think it's ready for launch.
  • December 21, 2013
    kjnoren
    It's far from ready to launch! The description must be improved with a proper definition, and there are no hats yet.
  • December 21, 2013
    Snicka
    Indeed, the current description is rather messy.

    Everything Is Better With Dinosaurs and All Animals Are Dogs should be mentioned in the description.
  • December 21, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    I mentioned that this is a Sub Trope of Cool Pet... in the very first post. Maybe add it in the draft at some point?
  • December 21, 2013
    TheMorrison
    Okay, I've cleaned up the description a bit from the original proposal-style format and integrated these later examples into it. Forgive me for not knowing the format and procedure so well; I haven't launched a trope in a while. And I'm still not entirely clear on the hats thing.
  • December 21, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ "The hats thing" comes from other people who thinks that your description is good enough.
  • December 22, 2013
    Snicka
    • In World Of Warcraft, trolls use giant raptors as mount.
      • The kodo, which serves as mount and beast of burden for the tauren, also looks somewhat like a dinosaur.
  • December 24, 2013
    StarSword
    @OP: You know you can copy our potholes and wiki syntax by clicking the pencil next to our comments, right?
  • December 30, 2013
    TheMorrison
    I did not know that. Thank you.

    Can we get some more hats now?

    Bump.
  • December 31, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ I'll give you mine after you add Cool Pet in the description, which... you know, I mentioned in the very first post on this page.

    EDIT: And it seems this is actually the second time I have to ask you to do this.

    EDIT2: Italicized and namespaced the examples.
  • December 31, 2013
    Surenity
    (something else to add to Jurassic Park)
    • One of inGen's long term plans was to breed small dinosaurs for children to keep as pets, and make it so that they could only survive off of food produced by inGen, giving them a nice monopoly on them.
  • January 13, 2014
    TheMorrison
    Cool Pet is in there now, as is the bit about Jurassic Park. Sorry for the delay; again, I've been very busy.

    Bump.
  • January 13, 2014
    Snicka
    Add the example from The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure, and you get my hat.
  • January 13, 2014
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Rock N' Roar", Buster tried to get his soccer ball back when it fell down a hole, but instead, he picked up an egg that hatched into a dinosaur. He tries keeping him as a pet, naming him "Rover", and even raising him to be a vegetarian, but Rover's massive size made a mess of Acme Acres and Monty tried to trap him. At the end, Buster had to return Rover to the cave where he found his egg.
  • January 13, 2014
    Snicka
  • January 13, 2014
    m8e
    Related to Fluffy Tamer.
  • January 13, 2014
    Snicka
    ^ More specifically, the owner of the dinosaur may be a Fluffy Tamer. Even the trope image for Fluffy Tamer is a kid with a tamed dinosaur!
  • January 13, 2014
    dyson88
    Inverted in the series Dinosaurs where in at least one episode the dinosaurs kept trained humans as pets.
  • January 13, 2014
    AgProv
    Comics:
    • {{2000AD}} ran with this idea by having the Cursed Earth - the post-apocalyptic wasteland between the Mega Cities of North America - infested with reborn dinosaurs. A long-running strip followed a pioneer "wagon train" leaving Judge Dredd's Mega-City One to search out an unspoilt corner of the continent in which to build a better life; they encountered both raptor packs, some of which had been "tamed" by sub-human mutant tribes as riding beasts, and by others as beasts of burden.
    • Elsewhere in {{2000AD}}, tyrannosaurs repeatedly turn on humans who try to tame them. A story arc revolved around a bull tyrannosaur with a certain sentience, who absolutely hated the humans who'd treated him sadistically.
  • January 13, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ Does that apply to all Two Thousand AD comics? Or just Judge Dredd?
  • January 14, 2014
    peccantis
    Domesticated of tame tho? They aren't synonyms.
  • January 15, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Module WG6 Isle of the Ape. One of the groups of cavemen had phororhacoses (giant non-flying birds from the Miocene period) that they used as "hounds" to hunt down prey.
  • January 16, 2014
    TheMorrison
    Added a few more of these to the draft. I don't think Denver counts, though, because he wasn't really a pet. He was one of the guys. Also, I need more information on the example from The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure, which I never read.
  • January 16, 2014
    Snicka
    Okay, I'll extend the description a little bit.

    And, on a second thought, I agree that Denver doesn't really count, he wasn't a pet indeed.
  • January 19, 2014
    Snicka
    Bumping this.
  • January 21, 2014
    TheMorrison
    Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure is now in there.
  • January 22, 2014
    Arivne
    Western Animation
    • Hanna Barbera Saturday Morning Cartoon Mighty Mightor
      • Sheera has a pet mammoth calf named Bollo. Little Rok's pet Ork doesn't count because he's a dodo bird.
      • The villains of the show regularly used dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals as mounts and attack animals.
  • January 22, 2014
    TheMorrison
    Added.
  • January 22, 2014
    TheMorrison
    • Tootsie the Triceratops from Duck Tales is the pet of Bubba the Caveduck.
  • January 30, 2014
    TheMorrison
    Also added. And bump.

    Any more hats?
  • February 7, 2014
    m8e
    Bump, gave this it's fifth hat.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=qzt1vt6g7udzjm1mgcdq59af&trope=DomesticatedDinosaurs