Henry Wu: We could easily breed slower, more domesticated dinosaurs.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 1 Million B.C. setting, a Lost World, in Medieval Prehistory, or as a result of Time Travel, but can also appear in a present-day setting with Living Dinosaurs. A pretty severe inversion of the Prehistoric Monster trope, too, since it relies on dinosaurs being just another class of animals.
John Hammond: "Domesticated dinosaurs?" Nobody wants domesticated dinosaurs, Henry. They want the real thing.
John Hammond: "Domesticated dinosaurs?" Nobody wants domesticated dinosaurs, Henry. They want the real thing.
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Anime and Manga
- In Runaways, Gert has a pet Deinonychus named Old Lace. She was genetically engineered in the distant future and is given orders via a psychic link.
- 2000 AD 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.
- Complex example in Jurassic World. Raptor handler Owen Grady is on very familiar terms with the park's four Velociraptors, and has raised them from birth to gain their trust, but he'll emphatically deny controlling them. When another park worker falls into their enclosure, Owen's able to get the raptors to stay back long enough for the other man to flee, then even he has to make a run for the exit before he's eaten. Owen may be the pack's alpha, but that just means he has to always been on guard for challenges to his authority. Sure enough, near the climax, the raptors briefly switch sides and help the part-raptor I. rex, but hesitate to attack Owen and his partner Barry. Owen ultimately convinces them to help, at which point three of them give their lives fighting to protect him.
- The park includes a dinosaur petting zoo containing young herbivores, including Triceratops with saddles that kids can ride. Which is a good way to assure your visitors that the dinosaurs are safe, and if the baby dinosaurs grow up around their human counterparts, they'd be less inclined to be hostile towards them as adults.
- Kate in Dinosaur Island (2014) has a pet dinosaur that acts a little bird-like.
- While under the care of the protagonic couple, the baby sauropod acts like a domesticated puppy in Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend.
- 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. BioSyn, a competitor, worried they would make it so that they could only survive off of food produced by inGen, giving them a nice monopoly on them.
- Dinotopia, despite being the page image, is actually a subversion. The dinosaurs are every bit as intelligent as the humans and live in a Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My! society.
- 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.
- The Stone Dance of the Chameleon takes place in a world inhabited by a lot of prehistoric animals. The local population has domesticated ceratopsids called huimur, small versions of which serve as pack animals and giant versions of which are ridden to war like war elephants, and theropods called aquars, which are ridden like horses.
- In Chrono Hustle Jack gets himself a pet Triceratops while in the Cretaceous.
- Robert Mash's How to Keep Dinosaurs is a full book on dinosaur care with elaborate CG enhanced photo illustrations featuring dinosaurs in the modern world. The book covers dinosaurs as house pets, guard animals, livestock, and as zoo animals with a sense of Black Comedy throughout.
- One of the Ciaphas Cain novels features dinosaurs used as livestock. Unfortunately, the Tyranids are on the planet, meaning they're just walking Power Ups for the 'nids.
- The book The Way Things Work is a children's book about how various machines function. The framing device is from the perspective of a visitor to a society that domesticate and use woolly mammoths in everything. The machines explained in the book are operated by, used upon or represented by the mammoths.
- The Dinosaur Lords has dinosaurs in all parts of society, replacing Earthly creatures. They're bred for eggs, food and hides, they're kept as pets, they pull carts and plow fields, they carry burdens and, above others, they're war mounts.
- The above should more accurately state modern creatures, since dinosaurs are every bit as Earthly as horses, cows, pigs, humans and so on.
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 and construction of a zoo, but the zoo happens to be for dinosaurs and other prehistoric critters.
- On Primeval, Abbey kept a Coelurosauravus (not a dinosaur but a gliding reptile) as a pet. His name was Rex.
- Doctor Who:
- The 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.
- Power Rangers Dino Charge: In the series finale, the Rangers go back in time and, in the course of defeating the Big Bad, unintentionally prevent the extinction of the dinosaurs; when they return to the present, they discover that dinosaurs survived into the present day, and the museum where they work is now a dinosaur zoo.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000, in the season 11 episode riffing "The Land that Time Forgot" Kinga and Max start a dinosaur BBQ bar and grill "Moon 14 Mesozoic Ranch", all human remains powerwashed out. Then Max forgets to lock the Allosaurus cage and they run for it.
- As with the source, this is invoked in The Flintstones, complete with a ball-spitting Bronto Crane.
- In Magic: The Gathering's Ixalan set, the Aztec-inspired Sun Empire have domesticated feathered, solar dinosaurs.
- 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 (the unguent also eventually deadens the rider's senses, one Dark Eldar was able to get rid of a rival by replacing the unguent with a placebo, the rider getting promptly ripped apart when he tried to get on his mount).
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The Eldar and Dark Eldar used to have access to Cold-One-like steeds in the 1st edition. Exodite Eldar still have them in background material.
- Certain Imperial Guard regiments also use Cold-One-like steeds instead of horses for their cavalry units. Experimental rules for them were released, but never made it into a codex.
- Dinosaur-like creatures called Grox are kept as livestock on many Imperial worlds. A more dangerous creature called Carnosaurus (possibly the same creature used by Warhammer Lizardmen) is also mentioned to exist on a number of planets.
- The Tau Empire's Great Knarloc is very much like a Tyrannosaurus rex with a big gun mounted on its back. The Kroot also ride smaller Knarlocs into battle.
- 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 Diprotodon, respectively, as mounts, and the book Arms and Equipment Guide offers the "axebeak" (a distinctly phorusrhacid bird) as a steed.
- Module WG6, 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.
- In Myriad Song many planets have dinosaurs for some reason, Troodons are a playable race, the descriptions for some species mention that they're often domesticated.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- Guar are vaguely theropod-like dinosaurids, about the size of a cow, which the native Dunmer farm for their hides and use as beasts of burden. Despite their awkward and clumsy appearance, they are Not So Harmless and are quite capable of defending themselves. Concept art for the game shows them being ridden by armed and armored Dunmer as Beasts Of Battle, but this was not present in the game itself. (There are still mentions of Guar being ridden in the lore, however.)
- In the Tribunal expansion, Goblins are shown to train Durzogs, a sort of reptilian dog, for combat and protection.
- In Skyrim, Giants herd woolly mammoths. The relationship is said to be symbiotic, with the mammoths allowing the Giants to milk them and create cheese in exchange for the Giants' protection.
- Zoo Tycoon:
- In the first game, the expansion pack Dino Digs basically let you create a Jurassic Park of your own.
- Zoo Tycoon 2 has the similar expansion Extinct Animals, but with a wider variety of other extinct critters besides dinosaurs.
- In Star Trek Online, the Voth, a race of Rubber-Forehead Aliens descended from Earth dinosaurs (from VOY: "Distant Origin"), use dinosaurs with freaking laser beams as pack animals and, for lack of a better term, living armored vehicles.
- In Chrono Trigger, Ayla's caveman tribe keep (four-legged) pterosaurs as flying mounts while the Reptites keep Tyrannosaurs.
- In World of Warcraft, trolls often ride giant raptor-like creatures, while the tauren (minotaur people) typically ride the brontotherium-like kodo. Also, raptors, devilsaurs, ceratopian direhorns and stegodons (picture a stegosaurus with the head of a rhinoceros) can be tamed by hunters.
- The Mario franchise gives us Yoshi, who is referred to as both a dinosaur and a dragon. "Domesticated" might not be exactly the right word, as they're intelligent, have their own culture, and aren't treated as animals at all; but they do give people rides.
- Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis allows you to build and run your own dinosaur park similar to that of the book and movie, but hopefully without the whole breaking-out-and-eating-people thing (unless you want that to happen).
- In Monster Hunter , Aptonoth (large herbivorous Monsters with traits from different kinds of dinosaurs, generally resembling duck-billed dinosaurs) are sometimes used as working animals by NPCs. In Monster Hunter Stories riders, including the protagonist, can tame any monster, and you can see Velocidromes being used as working animals as well.
- Monster Rancher has the Zuum species, known as Dino in the first game. They're known for being friendly and easy to raise, with well-balanced stats.
- Pokémon: Any dinosaur-like Pokémon under the control of the player or an NPC counts.
- One of the biggest selling points of Ark Survival Evolved is giving the player the ability to tame dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. Those that are big enough can be fitted with saddles so that the player can ride them.
- Original War: In this game set 2 million years ago (and thus too late to have actual dinosaurs) all three factions can boost their meager numbers by training local "apemen". The Arabs can also tame sabertooth tigers and mastodons.
- In The Order of the Stick the Empire of Blood uses a lot of dinosaurs in their military and in their gladiator arenas.
- In The Fellowship of Heroes a supervillain overran the southwest states with dinosaurs, many states were evacuated, Texas decided to domesticate them. It's first mentioned when Crusader wrangles up a baby brontosaur that escaped from a traveling rodeo.
- The very first cartoon character of all time, Gertie the Dinosaur, was a sauropod 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).
- Bizarrely, many of these were sentient and would even remark on their lot in life with "It's a living."
- Dino and the unnamed Sabertooth Tiger were Fred and Wilma's pets, acting like a dog and cat respectively. Dino in particular was particularly fond of Fred and would tackle him to the ground when Fred came home.
- 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 episode "I Dated a Robot", Fry fulfills one of his dreams: riding a T. rex in the Jurassic Kiddie Park.
- Not dinosaurs, but still prehistoric. The episode "Fun on a Bun" sees cavemen riding mammoths and using other Ice Age critters as war beasts.
- One future episode of The Simpsons featured a zoo of resurrected dinosaurs and pterosaurs where the dinosaurs could also perform tricks a la SeaWorld.
- 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 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.
- In DuckTales, Bubba the Caveduck has a pet Triceratops named Tootsie.
- In Sonic Underground, Chomps is Knuckles' carnivorous pet dinosaur who serves him by devouring intruders who came onto Floating Island.
- 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 also often used to advertise, or satirize, creationism.
- Human beings have domesticated and kept dinosaurs for thousands of years and have produced hundreds of breeds for various purposes including their eggs, meat, ornamental purposes and as pets: We just call them birds. Some examples include chickens, ducks, turkeys, canaries, budgerigars, and pigeons.
- Other birds, while not domesticated (as in, their genetic structure is still largely the same as their wild counterparts) can be successfully tamed and kept as well. Examples of these include falcons, ostriches, finches, and parrots.
- There are lots of toys that have this premise to them, often remote-control critters. They're very rarely accurate, though.
- Young Earth Creationists believe that humans and dinosaurs coexisted in biblical times and that some dinosaurs were domesticated back then. They are correct, but not the way they think.