Created By: crazysamaritanJanuary 17, 2012 Last Edited By: crazysamaritanJanuary 25, 2012
Nuked

Cavemen and Dinosaurs

Prehistoric-style man is shown with animals from before his era.

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Trope
"There should be cartoon confessionals where we could go and say things like, 'Father, I have sinned -- I have drawn dinosaurs and hominids together in the same cartoon.'"
-- Gary Larson, creator of The Far Side

Despite the earth spending over 60 million years downtime between the fall of the dinosaurs and the rise of the cavemen, some works just have to put them together. This is a specific type of Anachronism Stew. Usually presents cavemen from One Million BC; showing Homo Erectus / Neanderthal Man as some low-intelligence thug with limited language skills. Some works use modern-era humans, except with the addition of loincloths. One way to play with this trope is to show primates with the dinosaurs, and imply that these primates are human ancestors. Another way is to take place on a different planet.

Reasons for Cavemen And Dinosaurs abound. Most commonly, it is used to show the Earth in it's prehistory. Sometimes, however, it may be used for alien planets with different evolutionary paths. Aside from setting, the dinosaurs can also be in a relationship with the humans. Perhaps the dinosaurs are used as technology, instead of, or alongside of, Bamboo Technology. Maybe they just act as a man versus nature conflict. If the perspective is reversed, perhaps the dinosaurs view hominids as a threat.

See also One Million BC for just cavemen, and Stock Dinosaurs for just dinosaurs. Prehistoria is a videogame trope with similarities. This trope does not include dinosaurs in modern-day times, unless cavemen come, too. This trope is not just for portrayals of prehistoric man as less than human; that belongs in One Million BC. Remember that any examples that are supposed to be our Earth in the past means Somewhere A Paleontologist Is Crying. If a work seriously tries to convince the audience that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time, they Did Not Do The Research. This includes any primates living with dinosaurs.

Examples:

Western Animation
  • The Flintstones are One Million BC, with modern-style humans wearing loincloths replacing the unintelligent caricature and using a combination of intelligent dinosaurs and Bamboo Technology to create 1950s conveniences.
    • to quote from their theme song, "they're a modern-stoneage family!"
  • The Herculoids took place on another planet, with Zandor and his family (humans in loincloths) living with Tundro; a rhino-triceratops-like creature that could shoot burning rocks from its horn.
    • Along with several other alien creatures.
  • Doubly Subverted in an episode of Batman The Brave And The Bold. Guy Gardner scolds Ice when they're traveling through time, saying that "Humans and dinosaurs didn't live at the same period, did you ever go to school?". And then a dinosaur attacked them. And then Cave-Batman (Batman as a caveman) saves them.
Tabletop Gaming
  • No Dungeons And Dragons edition would be complete without at least having Stock Dinosaurs in the Monster Manual. Troglodyte is another common creature.
    • The Eberron setting has an entire country of dinosaur-riding tribal halflings. Who are considered very backwards by their city-living cousins.
Comic Books
  • Elf Quest, a series taking place on a far-off fantasy world, has a brief glimpse of a dinosaur-like beast in a swamp in the original series, and in the Spin Off anthologies there are references to allosauri roaming around. The rarely seen humans are in a neolithic age.
Live Action TV
  • The 1960's TV show "It's About Time" was about two U.S. astronauts thrown back in time to the days of the cavemen. Dinosaurs were an occasional threat.
Literature
  • Subverted in an Animorphs book. The team travels back in time to the late Cretaceous, and Marco wonders if they are going to run into cavemen. Turns out Tobias liked to play with dinosaurs as a kid and tells him humans aren't going to evolve for millions of years, since This Is Reality.
  • S.M. Stirling's novel The Sky People is set in an alternate history where aliens terraformed Venus and Mars millions of years ago and have periodically transplanted species from Earth to the other planets. As a result Venus has dinosaurs, prehistoric mammals, Neandertals and Cro-Magnons living side by side.
Video Games
  • Banjo Tooie has the Terrydactyland level, a rocky prehistoric-themed world inside the Isle O' Hags where dinosaurs and cavemen both reside. It's completely standard fare for the Banjo Kazooie universe.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • January 17, 2012
    jewelleddragon
  • January 17, 2012
    chicagomel
    It's not necessarily true that they didn't do the research. People just have different interpretations of the scientific evidence...we shouldn't act like it's absolutely not possible and should consider the different conclusions drawn. It's entirely possible that the evidence better supports a different conclusion. (I'm afraid this might turn into flame bait if we aren't careful. And isn't this basically Somewhere A Paleontologist Is Crying? I'm not sure if it needs its own or not.
  • January 17, 2012
    LeeM
    Do we SERIOUSLY not have this one?! OK...

  • January 17, 2012
    TonyG
    I believe One Million BC has it covered.
  • January 17, 2012
    ArcadesSabboth
    Taking this trope as real history isn't a "different interpretation of scientific evidence." It's rejecting the entire concept of scientific evidence.

    I think the newspaper comic BC has this. I seem to remember a sauropod or two.

    The Far Side usually avoids this trope, but I found 3 examples in "The Far Side Gallery 2."

    There was a TV show, whose name I can't recall, about a suburban (U.S.?) family somehow thrown back in time to the days of our prehuman apelike ancestors, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. I'm not sure if the prehuman creatures count as cavemen, though.
  • January 17, 2012
    Stratadrake
    "There should be cartoon confessionals where we could go and say things like, 'Father, I have sinned -- I have drawn dinosaurs and hominids together in the same cartoon.'"
    -- Gary Larson, creator of The Far Side
  • January 17, 2012
    Diask
  • January 18, 2012
    PaulA
    ^ It's a sub-trope of Somewhere A Palaeontologist Is Crying, sure. That's not automatically a reason not to give it its own page.
  • January 18, 2012
    Arivne
    Arcades Sabboth: You may be remembering the Land Of The Lost Saturday morning kid's show.

    Live Action TV
    • The 1960's TV show "It's About Time" was about two U.S. astronauts thrown back in time to the days of the cavemen. There were still dinosaurs walking around.
  • January 18, 2012
    Lyendith
    This demotivational might serve as a trope image (minus the text to avoid Flame War)
  • January 18, 2012
    Cider
  • January 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^Demotivational posters are not allowed as page images per How To Pick A Good Image. The Far Side is also verboten but for a different reason.
  • January 19, 2012
    roronoapedro
    • Averted in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Guy Gardner scolds Ice when they're traveling through time, saying that "Humans and dinosaurs didn't live at the same period, did you ever go to school?". And then a dinosaur attacked them.
  • January 19, 2012
    SonofRojBlake
    Filmation series Valley of the Dinosaurs.
  • January 19, 2012
    Amaryllis
    Subverted in an Animorphs book. The team travels back in time to the late Cretaceous, and Marco wonders if they are going to run into cavemen. Turns out Tobias liked to play with dinosaurs as a kid and tells him humans aren't going to evolve for millions of years, since This Is Reality.
  • January 19, 2012
    LeeM
    "Elf Quest [has] a brief glimpse of a dinosaur-like beast in a swamp in the original series, and in the Spin Off anthologies there are references to allosauri still existing at a time when humans were still neolithic."
    • "Which probably means the story is meant to take place on earth, in One Million BC."
  • January 23, 2012
    LouieW
    Western Animation
    • In Super Mario World, Mario, Luigi, and Princess Toadstool live in Dinosaur Land with Yoshi (a dinosaur) and a number of cavepeople.
  • January 23, 2012
    hevendor717
    Banjo Tooie has the Terrydactyland level, a rocky prehistoric-themed world inside the Isle O' Hags where dinosaurs and cavemen both reside. It's completely standard fare for the Banjo Kazooie universe.
  • January 23, 2012
    Ghilz
    We have this trope (Tony G pointed it out). It's One Million BC
  • January 24, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    S.M. Stirling's novel The Sky People is set in an alternate history where aliens terraformed Venus and Mars millions of years ago and have periodically transplanted species from Earth to the other planets. As a result Venus has dinosaurs, prehistoric mammals, Neandertals and Cro-Magnons living side by side.

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