[[quoteright:225:[[ComicBook/AbbottAndCostello http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/firedino.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:225:[-That's supposed to be a harmless, vegetarian sauropod, right?-] ]]

%% One quote is enough for this page.
->'''Clay:''' Can't you speak to her? [[note]]A T-Rex[[/note]] You're practically one of those critters!\\
'''Dojo:'''[[note]]A dragon[[/note]] ''I beg your pardon!!'' That's like saying you're practically a monkey! She's prehistoric, and that's offensive to dragons! Just because she speaks with a British accent doesn't make her smart! We breathe fire, fly, and chew with our mouths closed!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown''

What could be more dangerous (or more awesome) than a ''T. rex''? A ''T.rex'' that flies and breathes fire.

This is a good example of a trope that appears to be [[EvolvingTrope changing from one thing to another]]. Basically, some people just can't get over how similar some dinosaurs are to dragons.

Both are big lizardy things, right? They're already so similar, why not have ''all'' dinosaurs be fearsome carnivores? Because hey -- big lizard things just have to eat meat, just like dragons! And if they ever meet with humans, they must [[KillAllHumans messily devour them all]]! Just like dragons!

And while we're at it, why not associate dinosaurs with lava-spewing volcanoes? Or even give them the ability to [[BreathWeapon breathe fire]]? It'd be a shame not to, right?

This is especially prevalent in pulp adventure novels, B-movies, and video games set in [[{{Prehistoria}} Prehistoric worlds]] where [[EverythingTryingToKillYou Everything's Trying To Kill You]].

There is a bit more justification for this confusion in Eastern media; it's largely due to a long-standing translation mixup. When people discovered fossil bones in ancient China, they figured they were dragon bones (to be more precise, [[OurDragonsAreDifferent bones shed by dragons who have]] [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence achieved their final, fully airborne forms]]). [[AllNaturalSnakeOil Many crushed dinosaur fossils were sold over the years as "dragon bone powder."]] No one knows how many important discoveries were lost due to the superstition. In any case, the words for "dragon" and "prehistoric creature" in most Asian languages are very similar, and sometimes it's simply used to refer to both dinosaurs ''and'' dragons. This goes a [[BilingualBonus long]][[note]]"Long" is Mandarin for dragon, "Kong Long" for dinosaur[[/note]] way to explain why many Chinese dinosaurs have dragon-derived names. Not to mention why, especially in video games, dinosaur-like creatures have fire-breathing abilities and dragon-like creatures are identified as dinosaurs.

The Western origins of this trope are a bit more complicated. It may have something to do with the [[HollywoodHistory popular notion]] that associates ancient times with loads and loads of flame-spewing volcanoes. There was a lot of volcanic activity during the Cretaceous, but it certainly was nowhere near as violent as depicted in fiction, and it had more to do with poison gas than rivers of lava and hellfire raining down everywhere. But take a look at early paleo-art and you'll not only see tons of lava, but also many dinosaurs who look suspiciously like dragons wandering in this hellish, primeval, pre-{{human|sAreSpecial}} landscape. Some art critics, like W. J. T. Mitchell, have wondered if the older "tripod stance" seen in early depictions of bipedal dinosaurs like ''TyrannosaurusRex'' is meant to at least subconsciously bring to mind images of the Biblical "upright serpent". Speaking of, this trope probably has some relationship with the belief, held by both certain creationists and some cryptozoologists, that some dinosaurs survived the mass extinction and inspired the stories of dragons. One Kent Hovind goes so far as to say that some species "must" have breathed fire (because ''Literature/TheBible'' -- or at least the King James Version -- mentions dragons) and may still exist in some LostWorld in TheAmazon or somewhere.

The older version of the trope is gradually becoming more and more discredited as it filters into the pop-culture consciousness that dinosaurs, really, were just another kind of animal. The newer version comes at the issue from a different angle: now it's more like Dragons Are Dinosaurs. Quite a few anthropologists are now suggesting that many of the legends of fantastic beasts were based upon misinterpreted fossils.

In any case, look for fantasy worlds where wizards are finding [[HereThereWereDragons dragon fossils]] and local legendary dragons who turn out to be surviving dinosaurs.

DinosaursAreDragons may be considered a subtrope of PrehistoricMonster, which talks about the pop-portraits of general prehistoric life. See also OurDragonsAreDifferent, FierySalamander, HereThereWereDragons, GiantFlyer, ReptilesAreAbhorrent, PteroSoarer, and (naturally) ArtisticLicensePaleontology.

Note that this is not limited to dinosaurs, and can apply to other prehistoric reptiles like pterosaurs, too.



* The fire-breathing sauropod logo of New York's [[http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que]].

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* To explain in advance, the Japanese word for dinosaur "Kyouryuu", translates to "fear dragon".
* In ''Manga/YuGiOh'', Dragons are dinosaurs... sort of. Dinosaur Ryuzaki has a Dinosaur ThemeDeck. However, his two strongest monsters, Serpent Night Dragon and Red-Eyes Black Dragon, are [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin dragons]]. (And in his second duel with Jounouchi later, he adds Tyrant Dragon to his deck.) Possibly justified as dragons are not affected by the arbitrary dinosaur weakness, and Ryusaki may even be exploiting the confusion here. At the time the character was created, there were far too few cards actually based on dinosaurs for a real Dinosaur deck, so obviously the next best thing is dragons.
** In the ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' verse, a two-headed dragon is identified as a ''TyrannosaurusRex''. Um, yeah.
** There is one card, Two-Mouth Darkruler, who was originally classified as a Dragon-Type, but is now a Dinosaur-Type. Hilariously, it has a counterpart known as Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon (which, aside from a {{palette swap}}, looks exactly the same) which is made from fusing two Thunder Dragons.
*** To further complicate it, in the card game, Thunder Dragon and Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon are ''Thunder''-Type monsters, and as such technically neither Dinosaurs nor Dragons. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon doesn't actually even have two heads... or look even remotely like the Thunder Dragons that fuse to make it.]]
** The [[TabletopGame/YuGiOh card game]], however, distinguishes between dragons and dinosaurs by making them two entirely different types (Dragon-Type and Dinosaur-Type). For quite a while since the start of the game, there were very few Dinosaur-Type monsters, and it was years before a particularly powerful one was released.
** This trope is played straight with the Evol archetype.
*** The [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Evolzar Evolzars]] [[UpToEleven take this up to eleven]] because they need Dinosaur-Types to summon them and they're dragons!
** For some reason, almost all of the Dinosaur-Type monsters in the various ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' video games are shown breathing fire for their attacks.
** Ryuzaki specifically notes that the Serpent Night Dragon and the Red-Eyes Black Dragon are his special rare cards (he won the Serpent Night Dragon at a tournament), which makes them an acceptable exception to his dinosaur-themed deck. He's just showing off by having them - and ends up losing both anyway.
** Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju. A Dinosaur-Type monster has never looked so much like a dragon.
** ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'': While Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and all of its forms are Dragon-Types, most of them resemble dinosaurs, due to their lack of wings and their primary way of locomotion, which is running.
* ''{{Franchise/Digimon}}'' is full of dinosaur {{mon}}s which can breathe fire, primarily of the ''TyrannosaurusRex'' variety. Many of these fill the role of TheHero's {{Bond Creature|s}} in any given series, when that role isn't filled by an actual dragon {{mon}}. [[Anime/DigimonAdventure Grey]][[Anime/DigimonXrosWars mon]] and [[Anime/DigimonSavers GeoGreymon]] are nearly perfect embodiments of this trope. It's justified in the case of [[Anime/DigimonTamers Guilmon]]; he's an AscendedFanboy's drawing come to life, was specifically based upon the aforementioned Greymon, and isn't particularly bright to begin with.
** An odd variation of the trope: the "dramon" family is a subset of {{mon}}s possessing the "DNA" of a dragon ancestor {{mon}} and thus considered to be "true" dragons, and this grouping does include some obvious dinosaurs, ''TyrannosaurusRex''-based or otherwise. Not all "dramon" Digimon can breathe fire, but the trope applies in the sense of them being considered dragons. For example: [[DigimonWorld3 Cannondramon]], a Cyborg Digimon of this family, looks like ''[[NinjaPirateZombieRobot a diplodocus with railguns strapped to its back]]''.
** All cases are quite likely justified given the nature of Digimon as a whole: many are stated to be the product of accumulating data on one given subject from the internet given life, so in an in-universe sense, ''Digimon'' [[MindScrew uses this trope because its users of this trope were specifically born of this trope's prevalence]]. And let's face it, dragon/dinosaur mons are the only ones in the franchise which can breathe fire...
* ''VideoGame/DinosaurKing'' is an... interesting attempt to make a generic Mon show with actual animals. It was even weirder to see them [[OneWingedAngel change shape]], breathe fire, and perform "electric tackles".
* The Dinosaur Empire in ''Manga/GetterRobo'' occasionally gave fire-breathing abilities to their Dinosaur-type {{Robeast}}s. They also gave them Missile Launchers and {{Death Ray}}s, so some tinkering is to be expected.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Orochimaru's {{Orochi}} form is heavily influenced by modern depictions of dinosaurs, being partially covered in feathers.
* If you forget that they are actually aliens, the T-Rex from the Dinosaur Arc of ''Manga/{{Gantz}}'' has the power to send fireballs through his mouth.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* This is where we mention Topps' ''TabletopGame/DinosaursAttack''.
* In ''Anime/CardfightVanguard'', [[OurDragonsAreDifferent there are a lot of dragons]], but the [[WeHaveReserves Tachikaze clan]] are the only clan with dinosaur-themed units; in fact, the clan has a pre-historic theme going on. Their unique race of robotic dinosaurs, however, is called "Dinodragons", a name that makes no reference to one of its main features - the robotic bit - but bafflingly signposts them as ''another'' kind of dragon.
** Furthermore, in booster set 11, an archetype of similarly-named units was introduced, called the "Ancient Dragons", which are all just robotic dinosaurs with a distinctive colour scheme.
* Like the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga, the card game has many instances (and some subversions) of this trope.
** "Jurrac" is a dedicated Dinosaur archetype that reeks of this trope, with most of its monsters either breathing or otherwise manipulating fire in some way.
** "Evol" is another chiefly Dinosaur archetype with a subset of boss monsters called "Evolzar" whose members are all Dragon-type.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* While the dragons in ''{{ComicBook/Bone}}'' come in all shapes and sizes, some look like dinosaurs with wings attached to them, most notably a T-Rex, a Stegosaur, and a sauropod (many don't even have wings).
* Played with in ''ComicBook/DemonKnights''; the characters ''call'' the [[BuffySpeak big lizardy creatures]] dragons, because it's [[DarkAgeEurope The Dark Ages]], but to the audience they're clearly dinosaurs with no draconic characteristics at all.
** Also worth noting that they make a distinction between "true dragons" (dinosaurs) and "heraldic dragons" (the fire breathing flying ones, presumably. The only "heraldic dragons" we see are mechanical).

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Oddly, ''Disney/{{Fantasia}}'' may have a lot to do with the volcano subtrope. "Rite of Spring" begins with a seemingly endless field of lava-spewing volcanoes. A short and easily missed transition shows the progress of life on Earth and then suddenly cuts to an extended scene set during the late Cretaceous. Given that this is one of the most influential dinosaur film moments ever, perhaps many people missed the transition....

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' is either a dragon or a dinosaur depending on which fan you ask. Indeed, the fantastic nature of most {{Kaiju}} sways from one extreme to the other depending on the movie. [[Film/{{Gojira}} The original film]] says that he's a sea-dwelling dinosaur (not to different from his current self) who was resurrected and mutated by [[ILoveNuclearPower the miracle of atomic mutation]] and he just happened to fit into the local dragon mythology, which is full of VirginSacrifice.
** His origin is given much more clearly in ''Film/GodzillaVsKingGhidorah'' which reveals he really is a mutated dinosaur that became a legendary figure.
** The confusion among English-speaking fans, at least, is probably due to the American dub of ''Film/GodzillaRaidsAgain''. In it, an educational film reel explained that dinosaurs, including Godzilla (there called Gigantis) and Anguirus, were ''created from pools of burning lava and sulfur'', resulting in their being walking fire elementals of sorts.
* The beginning narration in ''Film/ReignOfFire'' mentions that scientists found fossils that confirm that dragons were responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs. This doesn't state their relation to the dinosaurs, but may imply a distant relation.

* Defied rather fatally in ''Literature/BearingAnHourglass'' where Gawain the the dragon slayer, prior to the events of the novel, dies at the jaws of an allosaur he thought was a dragon. In-universe, the two are very different species with different behavior patterns, and the allosaur's persistence caused Gawain to be crushed to death inside his own armor.
* Several years earlier than ''Film/DragonsAFantasyMadeReal'' (enough to wonder if a lawsuit could be justified), Creator/PeterDickinson's book ''The Flight of Dragons'' took the view that dragons were long-surviving prehistoric creatures -- though not necessarily dinosaurs. He provides plausible means whereby dragons could be huge, breathe fire, have a reason to hoard gold, and so on, all based on the mechanism whereby they flew. He even sketches out an evolutionary path, and provides a reason why neither fossils nor cave paintings of dragons should exist. Though the "no fossils" explanation is a little hard to swallow, since he says that the powerful acids that dragons use to make hydrogen would dissolve the entire body when the dragon dies. 1) The head, neck, and tail at least would be safely out of range of the fluids, and 2) the acids would spread and drain away out of the body along with becoming neutralized from reacting with things.
* One character in the ''Literature/{{Drenai}}'' books by Creator/DavidGemmell remembers "dragon" skeletons that he saw in a museum, while thinking that it was ''impossible'' for such animals to breathe fire without burning their own long throats. Given that we're dealing with quite low LowFantasy here, it is implied that he saw just a mundane dinosaur fossil.
* The KillAllHumans aspect is ubiquitous in pulp fiction. Authors seemed to like portraying ''every'' dinosaur species, including such herbivores as triceratops and stegosaurs, as carnivorous. Not only that, but both the legitimate carnivores and the herbivores appear to [[ToServeMan prefer humans over any other potential prey]].
** In a ''Literature/{{Tarzan}}'' novel, our hero meets a ''Stegosaurus'' who can '''fly''' (using its spiky things as aerofoils).
** Interestingly, in more recent years, some paleontologists (such as Greg Paul and [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/markwitton/522293984/ Mark Witton]]) have suggested that at least some ceratopsians habitually added some protein to their diet; carrion and maybe even small animals. There's direct fossil evidence for omnivory in at least one ceratopsian, ''Psittacosaurus''. So a meat-eating ''Triceratops'' isn't ''that'' outlandish; it's just that it would be more similar to the same behavior in wild boar. (The obsession with [[ToServeMan eating humans]] is still silly, and the flying ''Stegosaurus'' thing is just ''[[SoBadItsGood hilarious]]''.)
*** Even modern ''deer'' will chew up a bit of carcass if they get their teeth on it. Protein is protein, even for most herbivores.
* In the Creator/RobertAHeinlein novel ''Literature/GloryRoad'', the heroes encounter a dragon in the MedievalEuropeanFantasy world they are in. The novel presents the dragon as a dinosaur which due to evolutionary traits (a high sulfur content in its body) had the ability to breathe fire.
* Played with in Creator/LarryNiven's ''Warlock'' universe where, as mana is used up, the magical great dragons die off and metamorphose into rocky skeletons embedded in the rocks and stones of the mountains.
* Franchise/{{Conan|TheBarbarian}} encounters what he calls a dragon (clearly an - unaccountably predatory - ''Stegosaurus'' from the description) in the Creator/RobertEHoward story ''Literature/RedNails''. It is later revealed to have been reanimated from fossils by magic.
** The ''Red Nails'' dragon doesn't really resemble a Stegosaurus except in the broadest sense. It has a large head like a snake's, a scorpion tail, serrated spines on its back, and a generally lizard-like body shape. However, Barry Windsor-Smith chose to depict it as a Stegosaurus in the ''Savage Sword of Conan'' adaptation of ''Red Nails''.
* ''{{Literature/Dinotopia}}'' is an island populated by [[IntellectualAnimal Intellectual Dinosaurs]] and shipwrecked humans. Those who escaped from the island in ancient times are the source of dragon mythology.
* This trope comes into play in-universe in ''Literature/TheStoneDanceOfTheChameleon''. The world in which these books are set has all sorts of prehistoric flora and fauna around, including many kinds of dinosaurs. Among these dinosaurs are the huimur, some kind of triceratops that is usually used as pack animal. Giant versions of these animals are outfitted with towers similar to those on war elephants, and flame pipes, and these are generally called dragons. Even so, the protagonist's father forbids him from using that word because he feels it to be barbarous.
* In ''Literature/TheIronTeeth'' web serial among the many other types of monsters they're are huge lizard creatures called drakes. Drakes are feathered and have been referred to as Saurans. So, they're totally an evolved form of dinosaur and an example of this trope.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Played in a unique fashion by ''Film/DragonsAFantasyMadeReal'', a Creator/DiscoveryChannel {{Mockumentary}} that showed "genuine" dragons as a species of prehistoric creature that survived into modern times, and which possessed a variety of fire-breathing that had a plausible biological explanation. They didn't say anything about them actually being dinosaurs, but the their overall physiological structure was consistent with that of a dinosaur.
** Also averted, as the other species of dragon shown were more closely related to crocodiles than dinosaurs, being semi-aquatic and possessing a crocodile's false palate (a valve in the back of the throat), which keeps both water and fire from entering the dragons' lungs.
** Though not technically dinosaurs, This trope was invoked, perhaps unintentionally, with the rather draconic-looking pterosaurs in the prehistoric dragon segment. Also, the Cretaceous period was depicted as an ash-choked wasteland with a sparse covering of forests and mountains.
* Played straight in a more recent special, ''Dragons Or Dinosaurs: Creation Or Evolution''. In it, the 'experts' suggest that the legends of dragons were based upon dinosaurs. Despite the illogical claims, it is surprisingly well researched.
* The creationist antagonist in the second season of ''WaterlooRoad'' held this view, and used it to sway several of the students (including a regular cast member who had been established as very impressionable) because [[RuleOfCool dragons are cool]].
** RealLife creationist literature targeted at the underage plays up the dragon angle. This is where we bring up ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'': [[http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1038/1038_01.asp "There Go the Dinosaurs"]] states that dragons were renamed dinosaurs in 1841.
* Made into a joke on ''{{Series/Friends}}'', "The one with the Secret Closet":
-->'''Phoebe:''' How would you feel if you couldn't share your cooking? Or-or imagine how Ross would feel if he couldn't teach us about dragons?
-->'''Monica:''' Dinosaurs.
-->'''Phoebe:''' Po-tay-to, po-tah-to...
* ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'' / ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' - the FiveManBand got mecha that were either dinosaurs or prehistoric animals we're fairly certain *existed*. The SixthRanger? Giant mechanical dragon. This goes further in the Sentai example, because these particular heroes are actually warriors who existed at the time of the dinosaurs and who were revived in the modern age, and their "designations" (i.e. their Ranger names and their mecha) are actually dinosaur gods that watch over and protect them.
-->'''[[http://www.spoonyexperiment.com/2008/05/13/fmv-hell-mighty-morphin-power-rangers/ Spoony]]''' I never really understood what the Green Ranger's HumongousMecha was. He doesn't even fit into the whole dinosaur thing, he just yells "Dragonzord!" And I have no idea where dragons fit into the whole dinosaur thing."
** When PR started using Dairanger footage, the dinosaur (or not) HumongousMecha were explicitly transformed into mythical creature HumongousMecha - of course, the Tyrannosaurus became a dragon.
-->'''Jason:''' Tyrannosaurus Red Dragon Thunderzord power!
** ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'' has the White Ranger with what's clearly a pterosaur mecha - called the "Drago zord", if only because "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupuxuara Tupuxuarazord]]" kinda doesn't roll off the tongue.
* The Japanese TV series ''Dinosaur Prince'' was about a boy who grew up in a [[LostWorld strange island]] and befriended a fire-breathing Brontosaurus. It turns out the island was actually created by alien invaders to grow superpowered dinosaurs for use as [[{{Kaiju}} living weapons]] to conquer the world with. Naturally , Prince and his dino were often asked by outsiders to help battle the other monsters.
* ''Series/{{Primeval}}'' has a time-displaced Dracorex getting caught in the Middle Ages before making another jump to 2009. Most of the plot of the episode revolves around convincing an equally-lost medieval knight that it's not a dragon and that he doesn't need to kill it.
** ''Primeval'' is a special example as the existence of animals travelling through the time anomalies is [[FridgeBrilliance heavily implied]] to be the origin of mythical creatures, and the MonsterOfTheWeek is many times deliberately designed to resemble those myths it "inspired". In this case, ''Dracorex'' is given a pair of "unfossilizable" dorsal membranes that look like bat wings (but aren't).
* [[spoiler:Season 2, episode 4]] of ''Series/SirArthurConanDoylesTheLostWorld'' features a dinosaur that can breathe fire. Perhaps justified because the series takes place in a LostWorld, not in prehistoric times, and it's established that life exists that is descended from prehistoric creatures but didn't exist in prehistoric times (such as lizard men).
** In a different episode, a medieval city calls on the heroes to slay a dragon, but they find that it is just a T-Rex, though they realize the medieval citizens would not know that.
* Sid & Marty Kroft's ''Series/LandOfTheLost'' featured a gigantic, fire-breathing Dimetrodon called Torchy, whose diet included raw coal that it found exposed on the walls of a canyon.

* In the most famous section of Creator/AlfredLordTennyson's ''In Memoriam A.H.H.'' dinosaurs are the primordial "dragons of the prime, / That tare each other in their slime..."

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' played this straight in the mythos of ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse''. One of the species of [[OurWerebeastsAreDifferent Changing Breeds]] are the Mokole. Nominally, they're weregators, except for the fact that, since they serve as Gaia's Memory, their War Form can be anything sufficiently lizardy drawn from earthly history. Most of them go for dinosaurs mish-mashes, but there are Eastern variants that can become dragons.
* ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Dungeons & Dragons]]'' averts this. Dinosaurs are nothing more than animals, though they're cool enough that they aren't listed in one appendix in the ''Monster Manual'', where animals normally are, but instead under their own heading. Which makes '''D''' officially (and suitably) the most feared section of all creature books for ''D'', what with [[OurDragonsAreDifferent/TabletopGames dragons]], [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons, devils]], dinosaurs, and {{Dire Beast}}s.
** Some of the dragon-related source books take an interesting approach to this issue by suggesting that dragons may be evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs, sixty-millions-years on. (This might be more plausible if [[ThisIsReality Young Earth Creationists weren't absolutely right]] in most ''D&D'' worlds.)
** In the 4th Edition ''D&D'' books, [[CallARabbitASmeerp herbivorous dinosaurs were renamed "behemoths"]], in an effort to avoid anachronisms. In the 4th edition Monster Manual, we have a "Bloodspike Behemoth" (a ''Stegosaurus''), and a "Macetail Behemoth" (an ''Ankylosaurus''). But the carnivorous dinos are now called "drakes".
*** This might have been falling in line with the Eberron Campaign Setting's dinosaur conventions. In Eberron dinosaurs don't use the Latin names we use, [[http://eberron.wikia.com/wiki/Dinosaur#Species instead they're given rather descriptive names like "fleshraker" and "swordtooth titan"]].
* ''TabletopGame/CastleFalkenstein'' is set in a parallel 19th century, replete with magic. Dragons are part of the political scene and are known to be the descendants of [[GiantFlyer pterosaurs]] who survived the extinction of the dinosaurs by developing intelligence and magic.
* In ''{{TabletopGame/Exalted}}'', the Dragon Kings are actually human-sized, sentient, armored, super-intelligent, enlightened, elementally-powered saurians who wield [[MayIncaTec Aztec]]-like crystal clubs and swords. ''[[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Oh, yes]]''.
* In ''TabletopGame/RuneQuest'' the dinosaurs are imperfect dragons who are born that way because the dragon had given into certain vices in past life. Or something like that. The dragon lifespan and spiritual life was never too clear in Glorantha. The game even advices the GM to avoid using dragons if he finds them too confusing.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* ''Ride/BackToTheFutureTheRide'' at Ride/UniversalStudios stopped short of having its ''TyrannosaurusRex'' breath fire -- but had it looking very dragon-like and living in ''[[ConvectionSchmonvection the heart of an active volcano]]''. Because animals like to live inside volcanoes. This may have ''possibly'' been an homage to the Disney diorama noted below.
* The ''Fantasia'' example was translated over into "real" life in 1966 when Disneyland added the animatronic ''Primeval World'' diorama to their Disneyland Railroad attraction. In the Diorama, a ''T. rex'' is depicted [[AnachronismStew fighting a]] ''[[AnachronismStew Stegosaurus]]'' in the midst of a volcanic landscape.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''VideoGame/AdventureIsland'' franchise, one of the ridable dinosaurs has fire breath as his power.
* A friend of the main character in ''VideoGame/LittleBigAdventure'' is called Dinofly, and he looks like a dragon, except he doesn't breathe fire.
* The Tyranno boss in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', for some odd reason, breathes fire.
* Yoshi of the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series was referred to as a dragon and a dinosaur interchangeably in Nintendo publications early on (in the Japanese version of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'', he signs his name as [[AdjectiveNounFred "Super Dragon Yoshi"]]), although Nintendo seems to have mastered the distinction now. He can't breathe fire or fly on his own, but occasional power-ups can give him those abilities.
** Yoshi's Final Smash in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'' puts him firmly in dragon territory -- he grows wings, becomes invincible, and flies around the screen breathing fire. It's even called the "Super Dragon".
** Also, in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' (which introduced Yoshi to the series), when Mario or Luigi stomps on a Dino-Rhino on Chocolate Island, it shrinks and becomes a Dino-Torch, which breathes fire ''upward''.
** Mention must also be made of the [=SMW=] boss called "Reznor" ([[Music/NineInchNails yes]]) He is/It is/They are four fireball-spitting Triceratops spinning on a waterwheel.
** Everything on Dino-Island (the setting of ''World'') is closer to a dragon then a dinosaur. The Rex enemy doesn't look at all like a T. Rex, but rather like a purple Celtic dragon.
** And there's the BigBad himself, Bowser. He looks like a dinosaur...turtle...thing, but he also breathes fire and holds the princess hostage in a castle.
* Tricky the sorta-Styracosaurus in ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' breathes fire and burrows underground.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' both uses and averts this trope. While it is possible to teach many of the dinosaur-like Pokémon in the series to breathe fire, naturally-learned fire breathing is left to Fire Pokémon and the actual Dragons. Also, it is possible to teach fire-breathing to many other creatures that bear no resemblance to dragons or dinosaurs.
** The Dragon-type Haxorus line is based on dinosaurs, according to WordOfGod. More specifically, it was mainly based on herbivorous dinosaurs (from appearances, that includes ceratopsians and possibly some pachycephalosaurids), and lo and behold, [[ShownTheirWork it's stated to be a herbivore itself]].
** In the first game, the Dragon type consisted exclusively of the Dratini-Dragonair-Dragonite line. Dragon-type trainer Lance's team thus needed some additions - including Aerodactyl.
** Aerodactyl is this Trope on itself, only played on Pterosaurs instead of Dinosaurs. It's based on a Pterodactyl, but looks like a wyvern.
** It is possible to teach Dragon-type moves to most of the non-Dragon-type Pokémon based on bipedal dinosaurs, such as Tyranitar, Groudon, Rampardos and Archeops, as well as the aforementioned Aerodactyl.
** Iris's gym team in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' was all Dragon-Types. Come [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 the sequels]], she still ''mainly'' uses dragons, but has a few dinosaur-like Pokémon thrown in too, much like Lance.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' gives us Tyrunt (as well as its fully-evolved form of Tyrantrum), one of the game's fossil Pokemon, which is a Dragon-type T-rex.
** Plays straight with the egg groups however. Nearly all reptiles are part of the Dragon egg group.
** If you choose to get technical, Altaria could qualify, seeing as it's a bird (and birds are dinosaurs) that also happens to be Dragon-type.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' introduces Jangmo-o and its evolutions, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o, more Dragon-type Pokémon that are based on dinosaurs--in the case of the evolved forms, they're clearly theropods like the aforementioned Tyrunt and Tyrantrum.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' had an infamous translation error where the Japanese word for "dinosaur" (''kyoryu'') was translated as "frightful dragon" -- in a part of the game where the player's goal was to ''find dragons'', causing much confusion.
** The sprites for the Brachiosaur and the Tyrannosaur were used (with similar colors even) for two actual dragons: Tyrannosaur? Earth Dragon. Brachiosaur? Gold Dragon.
*** The Ice Dragon has the same sprite as the Vectaur, a small, vaguely dinosaur-like enemy that can be encountered in Kefka's tower.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' somewhat rationalizes this by defining the dragon genus as an overarching term for most large reptiles, so including the more traditional wyrms and wyverns and the more historical theropods in the same evolutionary chain.
* In ''DragonSpirit'' for the TurboGrafx16, many land-based enemies are dinosaurs that spit fireballs at you.
* In ''VideoGame/MediEvil2'', the skeletal dinosaur boss breathes fire.
* ''VideoGame/PopnMusic'' has a character called Dino, who is a fire-breathing dinosaur.
* Averted in the game ''VideoGame/EVOSearchForEden'', where the dinosaurs are... just dinosaurs. Although one of the "hidden forms" you could briefly take was a flying horned dragon. To acquire this powerful OneWingedAngel form, you'll have to turn into a bird, so technically this dragon is a dinosaur.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' has a science academy which contains the assembled skeleton of a dragon on display. A nearby scholar indicates that it was a prehistoric creature that lived long ago. Nevertheless, many varieties of real, living dragons exist in the game, including both winged and non-winged varieties, some of which have even been domesticated for human use. Unfortunately for the scientists, they mostly live in places that they are unlikely to ever see.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'', one can encounter dinosaurs. They're big green lizardy things with tiny arms and lots of teeth. Also, they breathe fire. Making it worse, elsewhere, one can find actual dragons, which are ''exactly'' like red Dinosaurs with tiny wings.
** Not fire, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlogiston Phlogiston]]. Remember, these are old-fashioned creatures.
* Misuzu Kamio of ''VideoGame/EternalFighterZero'' can summon various fire-breathing (stuffed) dinosaurs with her "Gao Gao Fire" super. Sure, they're just stuffed animals, but still....
* King Dodongo from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', an "Infernal Dinosaur" who lives inside a volcano and breathes fire. By ''Twilight Princess'', the dodongos - though still volcano-dwelling firebreathers - are redesigned to be more lizardlike.
** As well as Helmasaur King of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]''.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManX 5'' has a Maverick boss named Mattrex/Burn Dinorex, a humanoid Tyrannosaurus Reploid with flame powers, including fire breath.
* Subverted in the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' games. Most of the monsters to be hunted are either dragons or wyverns. Does not stop new players from calling wyverns "those big dinosaur-like things".
** Though in-universe "Dragon" is actually just a term for "absurdly powerful and unclassifiable creature", even the dragons that are reptilian have very little similarities among each other, whereas wyverns are divided into families that all bear an acceptable amount of resemblance to one another.
*** A notable exception added in the third generation is the "Brute Wyvern", most of which tend to use the TyrannosaurusRex as their base form. So far though, only one of them has a Breath Weapon.
* One of the versions of the second ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' game is "Fire Dinosaur". They changed it to "Fire Saurian" in the US release, probably thinking nobody would know what it meant, and if they did, they wouldn't care. They were right.
* The Dragos of ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' are simply regular dinosaurs. The one Drago that falls victim to the Pig Army's chimerization plot gains the ability to breathe fire. (Though from the looks of its sprite, it appears that they just shoved a ''flamethrower'' down its throat.)
* One of the characters in the '94 arcade game ''VideoGame/PrimalRage'' is a [[BreathWeapon fire-breathing]] ''TyrannosaurusRex'' named [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Diablo]]. He's a GodOfEvil in the shape of a ''T. rex'', so he at least has a [[JustifiedTrope justification]] for it.
** This applies to nearly ''all'' the monsters in the game. They are ancient gods known as the Draconians yet most of them resemble dinosaurs. Sauron and Diablo are Tyrannosaur monsters, Armadon is some sort of Ankylosaur/Triceratops/Stegosaur hybrid, and Talon is a Deinonychus god (Only Vertigo, Chaos, and Blizzard are not saurian in appearance with Vertigo being an inter-dimensional cobra goddess and Chaos and Blizzard being ape/yeti monsters respectively). However, they aren't dinosaurs. They just '''look''' like dinosaurs and were even stated to have caused the extinction of the actual dinosaurs in the game's storyline.
* The title character of the Sega Genesis/Super Nintendo game ''VideoGame/RadicalRex'' breathes fire as his main weapon.
* ''VideoGame/{{Turok}}'' averts this trope by having a Dinosaur with bionic enhancements; flamethrowers situated at the Tyrannosaur's head spit fire, making it look similar to a dragon.
* In the first ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'', two puzzles require defeating fire-breathing dragons. Said dragons are ''T. rex'' skeletons that spit fireballs at you. (But then again, this '''is''' ''Devil May Cry''.)
* Mostly averted in ''{{VideoGame/Warcraft}}'' games. There are several creatures that look like dinosaurs or other prehistoric reptiles, most notably devilsaurs (T. rex with some spines on their back), raptors, treshadons (plesiosaur-lookalikas) and stegadons (stegosaur-like creatures with a large horned head instead of a tiny one like the real things had). Most don't breathe fire, but many stegadon variants (called thunder lizards) shoot lightning out of their horn.
** A lot of these are commonly found in areas with lots of lava
** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', dinosaurs are clearly labeled "beasts" instead of "dragonkin". Also, just to be fair, while few people know this, it is heavily implied in some tauren quests that the "thunder lizards" (lightning shooting stegodons) are not dinosaurs, but magical beasts (that Blizz just reused the model of for the stegodons) of a different sort.
*** Comedically, a new NPC in Un'Goro Crater can be constantly heard shouting about Dragons and his attempts to kill them. When you finally meet the man (Maxamillian of Northshire) it turns out he thinks the dinosaurs of the are are, well, dragons.
* According to ''{{VideoGame/Touhou}}'', dragons are an ancient race nearly on the same level as the Yaoyorozu no Kami (8 million deities). According to Morichika Rinnosuke in the source material ''Curiosities of Lotus Asia'', the world outside of Gensokyo has been re-naming dragon fossils as various types of dinosaurs.
** Rinnosuke is [[UnreliableNarrator well known for making up his own theories]] about the curiosities he collects.
* ''VideoGame/FossilFighters'' explicitly explains that the revived animals (which include more than just dinosaurs) gained superpowers as a side-effect of the cloning process, which is why that T-rex is breathing fire and that Dilophosaurus is shooting out gallons of water.
** The devs also admitted [[http://www.fossilfighters.com/html/making-of/5/ in an interview]] that they did this due to the RuleOfFun: "If we were to make it realistic, the only things the dinosaurs could do is either bite or stomp. That's why we gave each dinosaur attributes like fire or water, because we thought it would be fun to play if they breathed fire and stuff."
* The cute bubble dragons of ''VideoGame/BubbleBobble'' were referred to as dinosaurs at the time the NES version first came out ([[CaptainObvious on the NES]], not the later Virtual Console release). To be fair, [[{{UsefulNotes/Kawaisa}} they're too short and cute to tell at first glance.]]
* The dragons seen in the minigame "Dragon Drop" in ''Videogame/CrashBash'' definitely invoke this trope. They look like Baby T except with bat-like ears, minuscule wings, and different colours. The 'T' in 'Baby T', as hinted by the trope name, stands for ''Tyrannosaurus Rex''. In fact, a low-res Baby T model was ''used as a placeholder'' while the dragons were being programmed into the game.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceStationSiliconValley'' had Borassic Park, where fire-breathing dinosaurs made an appearance. Unfortunately, they (and the other dinos in that level) were invincible obstacles, not robotic animals, and therefore you could not possess them.
* Tyrannosaurus rex in the ''MonsterInMyPocket'' videogame breathes fire. Thanks to TheWikiRule, it can be identified as "''[[http://monsterinmypocket.wikia.com/wiki/Tyrannosaurus_Rex super-heated plasma from his mouth, known as atomic breath.]]''"
* In ''VideoGame/EverQuestII'', in the dungeon "Vasty Deep: The Abandoned Labs", the players discover a suprisingly anatomically accurate Tyrannosaurus Rex floating in a giant test tube. They mistake it for a kind of dragon they don't recognize.
* ''VideoGame/SeventhDragon'' has various dragons that resemble dinosaurs, though to be fair there are also dragons that look like ''other'' animals.
* The "[[{{Prehistoria}} Prehistoric Turtlesaurus]]" stage in the arcade version of ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTurtlesInTime'' (and through extension, ''[[VideoGameRemake Re-Shelled]]'') features fire-breathing dromaeosaurids, though in the SNES port they simply try to run you over.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has the "Dragons are Dinosaurs" version, at least visually. The two [[{{Dracolich}} Undead Dragons]] found in the game have skulls/head that bear a [[http://i.imgur.com/v3CEc.jpg striking resemblance]] to a T-rex skull.
* The Tyranto Rex dream eater in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'' has multiple flame breath attacks and is a brightly colored TyrannosaurusRex with some fancy markings.
* A boss from the ''{{Franchise/Kirby}}'' series, [[AnIcePerson Ice Dragon]], is a small dinosaur that first debuted in Kirby's Dream Land 2.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI'': Axe-wielding, fire-breathing crested tyrannosaurs can be found as enemies. One ([[MonsterIsAMommy Lizzie]]) can even be recruited.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Skylanders}}'', one particular character, Bash, is classified as an Earth dragon. The fact that he's without wings and fire breath can be attributed to the fact that he's affiliated with [[DishingOutDirt Earth]], but he ''also'' has an Ankylosaur-like [[BewareMyStingerTail mace tail]] and ceratopsian-style frilled head; and he can even get a horned helmet that is explicitly modeled on a Triceratops.
** There's also Dino-Rang, a dinosaur-man who is reported to get rather peeved when he's mistaken for a dragon.
* Hidden Palace's T. Rex badniks in the [=iOS=] version of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' breathe fire at Sonic when he gets close.
* VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}} has fiery and electric dinosaurs called Deinos. Also, the Nopon call the winged, three-headed Telethia "dinobeast" but [[YouNoTakeCandle their English isn't the best]].
* This trope is zig-zagged in ''VideoGame/WarlordsBattlecry III''. While dinosaurs and dragons are clearly separate units (every race potentially has access to dragons, while dinos are Ssrathi melee units), the Dragonslayer class has a skill that grants bonus XP to both dragon and dinosaur units
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', you can encounter "phoenixes" and "deepstalkers" which look like raptors (complete with feathers) and compsognathus, respectively. Of course, the phoenixes can actually breathe fire.
* Rhi'a's personal quest in ''VideoGame/SandsOfDestruction'' has you freeing her ancestor from a curse that's keeping him a zombie. Naturally, this ancient dragon bears a striking resemblance to a T-rex, as do some of the RandomEncounters around the Dragonkin Ruins of the current day. Rhi'a's grandfather appearing as a skeleton is also likely meant to bring fossils to mind, because EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs!
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/HalfMinuteHero'', in the Princess 30, the princess learns that a Dragon Scale can cure her father, so she kills a dragon-like monster and gives the scale to him, but it doesn't work, and then it is explained the monster was a dinosaur, not a dragon.

* A [[StylisticSuck "Powered By The Cheat"]] animation from ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' actually showed a The Cheat-like dinosaur drinking out of a volcano and breathing fire at one point.
---> '''Coach Z Pterodactyl''': The Cheatsaurus can do it again!

* The fan-winged dragons in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' evolved from ''[[http://www.livescience.com/animals/080715-flying-reptile.html Kuehneosaurus]]'' (a real-life lizard that lived in the Triassic and which had "wings" formed from overlong ribs which extended out from its body; it is believed to have used these to parachute from trees). The dragons destroyed their civilization in a war -- wiping out the dinosaurs in the process -- after which they became peaceful, pastoral creatures. Millions of years later, when human knights and hunters began "slaying" them, they revived their old technology and left Earth for the planet Butane in the Kuiper Belt.
* In [[http://badgods.com/view/mm-ceratosaurus/ this]] ''Bad Gods'' comic, a character tries in vain to explain the difference between dinosaurs and dragons.
* Wexter, the T-Rex pet of ''WebComic/AxeCop'', breathes fire, though this may be justified by the sheer number of super-powers invented on the spot for anything and everything.
** There's a scene in ''The Ultimate Battle'' arc that lampshades this. Axe Cop explains that Wexter must be transformed into a dragon and, at Sockarang's protests ("He can already fly and breath fire!"), insists that there's a significant difference between dragons and flying, fire-breathing tyrannosaurs.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* While most of the dragons in ''Website/DragonCave'' are fully based on classical mythology (either Eastern or Western style), this is played straighter with the 'wyverns', a sub-category of Western dragons whose have wings in the place of arms, giving the impression of a flying, magical velociraptor.
** There are also the inexplicable ''actual'' dinosaurs that very rarely show up, but those are shout-outs to [[SuperMarioBrothers Yoshi]].

* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', though at one point the ''T.rex'' swallows a fireball, spits it back out, and survives a gigantic explosion with no ill-effects.
* The [[{{Franchise/Transformers}} Dinobots']] trademark attack is fire breath; Slag (the Triceratops) actually had "Flamethrower" as his official assigned function. (Well, at least they're robots.) The ones in ''[[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Animated]]'' also breathed fire and were made from animatronic dinosaurs, but they weren't suppose to have it; it was something Megatron, who was working with an unwitting Sumdac, added so they would have a weapon.
** The Megatron from ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' started as a ''Tyrannosaurus'', but somehow (thanks to the original Megatron's spark and a lava dunking) gained a huge dragon form near the end of the series. The fact that he's a robot makes it a little easier to take, but considering they created their beast modes using scanned DNA, the dragon really comes out of nowhere, unless the G1 animated continuity episode: "A Decepticon Raider In King Aurthur's Court" is canon, then dragons really did exist in cartoon G1 Earth.
*** Megatron's Concept art ran this [[UpToEleven up to 11]] and then some. Apparently the next stage in a mythological creatures upgrade involved giving him a second head. This design was later recycled into Robots In Disguise Megs, who turned into a two-headed dragon. In a series where every animal was based on real-life DNA, this was a serious BizarroEpisode.
** And then there's Deathsaurus ([[SpellMyNameWithAnS or whichever of his 5+ names you want to call him]]), whose alt mode is somewhere between a dragon and a giant chicken...
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. The Decepticons use FossilRevival (from "cybernucleic acid") to revive Predacons, ancient Cybertronians who were wiped out in a cataclysm. Jack makes the T-rex comparison, but the first one created is a fire-breathing dragon. Turns out the first Predacon clones had a long vigil on Earth, [[AncientAstronauts inspiring a lot of human folklore]].
-->'''Miko:''' So, what were Dinobots?
-->'''Bulkhead:''' [[MythologyGag Totally different.]]
* Extremely evident in ''{{WesternAnimation/Gumby}}'', where Prickle would claim to be a dragon in some episodes (and breathe fire), and insist he was a dinosaur in others.
** What makes the inconsistency especially stupid is that there's a whole episode devoted to him proving he's a dinosaur so he can get into an ice cream parlor that doesn't allow dragons (because they melt the ice cream).
* While the series has other problems, ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' had a dino/dragon who doubled as a lighter or an oven. ("It's a living...")
* The subtler versions of this trope pop up a few times in the Franchise/{{DCAU}}. Additionally, it's clear that all the [[{{Animorphism}} animal-specific shapeshifters]] had a mixer and decided that ''TyrannosaurusRex'' would be their go-to OneWingedAngel form.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' probably deserves a mention here due to Creator/GregWeisman's ShrugOfGod in response to the question, "[[http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/faq.php?s=faq18#1 What kind of animal are Gargoyles classified as?]]":
-->"Going by evolution, the gargoyles descended from a species that is often classified along with dinosaurs, without necessarily being dinosaurs." -- from [[http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/faq.php?s=faq20#1 here]]
** ... birds?
*** More likely pterosaurs, actually, if they are indeed intended to be related to dinosaurs without being within the group.
*** Given they have hair and mammary glands, Therapsids are more likely candidates, WordOfGod notwithstanding. Otherwise, we hit [[NonMammalMammaries another trope]].
*** WordOfGod says that gargoyles ''aren't'' mammals, but a different class of animals called "gargates." They ''do'' nurse their young, though. Yeah, [[MST3KMantra try not to think about the biology issues too hard]].
* In Disney's ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'', Jake's magic-hunting teacher Mr..(I mean Prof.) Rotwood had the theory that dragons were evolutions of the dinosaurs. Being the American Dragon, Jake knew this was a bunch of hooey.
* [[TheOneGuy Spike]], the baby dragon from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic,'' is sometimes mistaken by new fans for a young dinosaur, in part because because he [[BadassAdorable shares]] [[BigEater various]] [[NonHumanSidekick traits]] with [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Yoshi]] (who is also often interpreted as a dinosaur). The fact that he essentially turns into a purple {{Franchise/Godzilla}} in "Secret Of My Excess," lacking the wings prominently featured on other fully grown dragons in the show, doesn't help much.
* Taken to the extreme in the ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "Limousine Lunchtime", In order to win a new limo, Mordecai and Rigby must fight other limo drivers to the death, then they have to face a dinosaur, made out of limos, that breathes fire.
* This is played with on ''WesternAnimation/DocMcStuffins'' when Stuffy (toy dragon) and Bronty (toy brontosaurus) meet, Doc says that they are like family and that they could be cousins. In a later installment, Bronty refers to Stuffy as "Cousin Stuffy."

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Chinese word for dinosaur is 恐龙 (traditional 恐龍, pinyin ''kǒnglóng'', "fearsome dragon.")
** The Japanese uses the same signs for dinosaur, ''kyouryuu'' (恐竜 or 恐龍) (竜 is Japanese variant of 龙/龍).
* Many dinosaur names include word meaning "dragon"
** The skull of the pachycephalosaurus ''Dracorex hogwartsia'' is housed at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Its name, which means "Hogwarts' Dragon King", was voted on by fans of ''Literature/HarryPotter''. Most visitors probably see past the name. Though ''Dracorex'''s [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracorex head]] ''does'' look a lot like a horned dragon, [[JustifiedTrope so the name fits in this case]].
** Several Chinese dinosaurs have "long", the Mandarin word for "dragon", in their names, i.e. ''Dilong paradoxus'', ''Guanlong wucaii'', ''Mei long'', ''Yinlong downsi'', and ''Tianyulong confuciusi''.
** Translations of dinosaur names into Chinese almost always include "long", in place of the "saurus" -- for example, ''Tyrannosaurus rex'' is known as "Ba wang long" or "Bao long", meaning "tyrant king dragon" or "violent dragon".
** There's also an oviraptorosaur called ''Hagryphus'' ("Ha's gryphon") and Welsh prosauropod called... ''Pantydraco''... (It's... not [[DracoInLeatherPants what it sounds like]]. It's derived from the Welsh valley "Pant-y-ffynon".)
** Name of possible first Polish real dinosaur, ''Smok wawelski'', is just name of a monster from legend well known in Poland. ''Smok wawelski'' means "Dragon of Wawel". Wawel is castle on hill in Cracow, former capital of Poland.
** Sometimes it is applied to non-dinosaurian reptiles as well. "Bakonydraco" is a pterosaur from Hungary; [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakonydraco it doesn't look very much like a dragon though]], and the azhdarchid family of pterosaurs are named for a legendary Persian dragon. The most famous of them, ''Quetzalcoatlus'', was named for the feathered serpent God Quetzalcoatl from Myth/AztecMythology. Given its [[http://web.archive.org/web/20150908052700/http://www.azmnh.org/Exhibits/images/skies/img6.png immense size]] and status as an apex predator, the resemblance between it and a dragon is not difficult to see.
** Related to the Dragons Are Dinosaurs version of this trope (although nobody could mistake them for dragons): ''Homo floresiensis'' almost instantaneously gained the [[FanNickname nickname]] "Hobbit". ''H. floresiensis'' wasn't widespread enough to account for many myths of TheFairFolk.
* Adrienne Mayor argues that fossil discoveries are the source for all the myths about giants, gryphons, and dragons in her books.
* The original Mediterranean legend of the Gryphon is rather different from the modern, highly symbolic [[MixAndMatchCritters Mix-and-Match Critter]] we're all familiar with. For one thing, it didn't have wings. Therefore, it's been suggested that it may have started out as an attempt to describe a protoceratops skeleton.
* In a related example, it is said that in ancient China, alchemists often ground dinosaur fossils into powders and used them in traditional herbal medicine believing them to be dragon bones.
** Not just dinosaur fossils, any fossil seems to qualify for "dragon bone" status (Many of them are actually mammal fossils. iirc, the first ''Gigantopithecus'' specimens were discovered this way)
** The same happened in Europe. For example, a purported dragon skull conserved in a Swiss church for centuries actually belonged to a woolly rhinoceros.
** Also, has anybody ever wondered about the similarities between [[RaptorAttack dromaeosaurs]] and the feathery half chicken/half reptile cockatrice and/or basilisk? Feathered dinosaur fossils may have been discovered earlier than people think...
* Kent "Dr Dino" Hovind claims that dinosaurs were dragons, breathed fire, rode on Noah's Ark and may still be alive in remote places (and was possibly the inspiration for the ''WaterlooRoad'' example above).
** Though some others ''do'' claim dragon legends come from human and dinosaur co-existence (mainly ''young''-earth creationists, as opposed to old-earth or progressive creationists, who are more likely to say that it was just the fossils that were the inspiration). It's just that hardly any make the much larger jump from "dragons are inspired by dinosaurs" to "dinosaurs breathed fire."
** Recent billboards for the Creation Museum have been using dinosaurs to attract children to the venue. Among the dinosaur signs is a fire-breathing dragon.
* Many of the old, outdated reconstructions of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and other Mesozoic reptiles were made to resemble the traditional appearance of dragons. They often sported lizardlike heads with rows of spines running down their backs. Good examples include [[http://dic.academic.ru/pictures/wiki/files/72/Hylaeosaurus.jpg this (somewhat)]] and [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LOpbWIPseDg/S0d72d-wb9I/AAAAAAAAAP4/VWfSUyRNy_Q/s400/441076537_47bc319d9b_o.jpg the theropod in this picture]], who is also {{Groin Attack}}ing his prey. Ironically, the more accurate later dinosaur reconstructions wound up reshaping the way dragons were envisioned, making ''them'' appear more dinosaur-like.
* Played with in one online list of the most likely creatures for dragons to be based on. While the highest-listed creatures on the list were pterosaurs, the rest were living reptiles (or, in one case, a living fish, and in another, an [[ItMakesSenseInContext inanimate object]]). See it here[[http://www.livescience.com/11320-top-10-beasts-dragons-reality-myth.html]]
* It's generally agreed at this point that the legendary cyclops -- a giant with one eye in the middle of its forehead and very pronounced fangs that get forgotten in most modern depictions -- was inspired by mammoth skulls. The tusks are the fangs and the central hole for the trunk could easily be mistaken for an eye socket.
** Similarly, the inspirations of the western unicorn are quite varied. Among more modern misidentified animals (the horns of narwhals, rhinoceros, antelope or goats/horses with genetic defects) one suggested explanation for the myth stipulates that the unicorn myths might have been started by the folkloric memory or the fossils of ancient European rhinoceros species such as ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elasmotherium Elasmotherium]]''.
* Many sauropods are now believed to have had dragon-like spines down the back of their necks, though these animals are unlikely to have flown or breathed fire, and were herbivores.
* When the first Archaeopteryx fossil was found, it was mistaken for a dragon. Archaeopteryx is a genus of early bird that is transitional between feathered dinosaurs and modern birds.
* [[http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/wonder/dragon-dinosaur-discovered-in-china/vi-AA8LS5k This]] recent discovery, which refers to the discovered species as a "Dragon Dinosaur".
* ''[[http://www.theguardian.com/science/lost-worlds/2015/apr/29/bird-yi-qi-the-dinosaur-evolution-flight-feather-nature Yi qi]]'', a recently discovered scansoriopterygid (a group of long-fingered arboreal theropods closely related to birds) dinosaur, which had membranes of skin stretched across its hands, and so likely resembled a tiny feathered wyvern. It was probably not capable of flying, and used its bat-like wings for gliding.
* Close variant: [[UsefulNotes/{{Philippines}} In Filipino tribal folklore,]] ''crocodiles'' are dragons of the sea-serpent variety.