Okay so... Time Travel is a reality in the dinosaur society. It's so commonly used that the various dinosaurs react to time travelers in pretty much the same way as they would with tourists. Than again, it's basically the writer's way to avoid Temporally Misplaced Wildlife, which is fine.
Plot Bunny: Suppose a few dinosaurs miss the train, and the local train station only gets a train at very rare random intervals. They decide to start a new family in their new time and end up creating a new occurrence of their species either before their actual appearance, or after their extinction. Time paradox at its purest.
Remember, the show is for children who are just learning to identify different animals by name. But the producers did kind of acknowledge this idea. There is an episode where Tiny accidentally leaves her favorite toy in a friend's nest before boarding the train (it is rescued by another pterosaur) and that's more than enough drama for the target audience.
Hell if we're going this far. "Hey, Mr. Conductor, how come you've never taken us past the late Cretaceous?"
In one episode, the characters are comparing their collections and one of them had a collection of fossils. In other words, they had a collection of the fossilized remains of dinosaurs they met earlier.
Why don't the dinosaurs know about the asteroid? Wouldn't some of them, at least those in late Cretaceous, attempt to evacuate into the future? Or why not further into the past?
Why isn't dinosaur society in ruins? They can all see into their own future and know that they'll soon be extinct or evolve into something different. They also don't have a centralised government. It should be INTELLIGENT, TIME-TRAVELLING DINOSAUR WARS. Which would get this show so much more ratings.
Here's how I see it. The Troodons discovered how to transport between time and place, but only put it into the past, so they would know all the species they met (Troodons have become paleontologists). Thus the only way they would know of the extinction is when the Troodons have reached the time of extinction. That would mean that if Troodons tried escaping, they would be stranded in time, so they would probably stay at their home.
How did the dinosaurs invent time-travel? They would also have a mastery of quantum mechanics, and at least know how to split the atom. it should be TIME-TRAVELLING DINOSAUR NUCLEAR WARS.
Something happens to the Doc's train after the events of Back to the Future 3. and the Doc and his family are probably eaten.
I love this theory so much...
How do the dinosaurs cope with the predators having to kill to eat? It's especially jarring seeing as there are herbivores that are friends with members of a carnivorous species.
For that matter, what if Tank's secretly an omnivore but is too afraid of being judged by his fellow juvenile Triceratops about it?
Buddy is a Tyrannosaurus being raised by a Pteranodon family. Despite these Pteranodons having T. rex friends, what are the chances of them being eaten by Buddy one day?
Pteranodon is a carnivore who eats fish. Buddy could very likely have survived on a diet of non-cartoony fish.
That's actually what he does in the show. However, in one episode Buddy does remark that he thinks fish don't taste very good and that he would prefer to eat something else...
In addition to fish-eating while at Pteranodon Terrace, Buddy's shown being fed carrion when eating on the Dinosaur Train, so there's that. Later episodes also show him eating carrion when he get it, sometimes with other dinosaurs of his species or similar species.
In one of the later episodes they meet a Deinosuchus that is explicitly stated to eat Pteranodon.
In a recent episode with Carson Carcharodontosaurus who prepares food from carrion, Ms. Pteranodon asks what the carrion is from. Carson's response? "It's a secret!". So this raises even more questions. Exactly WHY would Carson want to keep the carrion's source a secret? Then you realize that this is a near-utopian universe where all sentient prehistoric animals, predator and prey alike, are great friends, and killing a fellow sentient creature would probably be considered taboo... OH GOD.
In "Back In Time", it's revealed that some of the time tunnels are just sitting there, abandoned, unexplored, and most importantly, unregulated. There are a number of problems with this.
Nobody knows who has been through them. When the gang actually got to the Permian, the Synapsid they met had already heard of the Mesozoic and the Dinosaurs — he just thought they were mythical creatures in a fairy tale world. There had to have been some kind of basis for him to have heard those stories, though, which means that at least one dinosaur has definitely slipped under the radar into time periods where they don't belong before.
It suggests that the Time Tunnels were not made by the Dinosaurs. While this would make sense, it begs the question; if the Troodons didn't make them, who did? And what happened to them?
Maps of the train line - at least the ones showing it as a single line, rather than a network - indicate that it follows a path through time as well as space (one end in the Triassic, one in the Cretaceous), therefore it seems logical that the tunnel beyond the end of the line runs further into the past.
The Dinosaur Train appears to run on coal... meaning that it runs on dead, fossilized dinosaurs. THE FUEL IS PEOPLE!
Most fossil fuels are older than dinosaurs.
In any case, the creators seem to have thought about this. The coal tender is filled with leaves.
There is also the fact that a huge percentage of the dinosaurs they visit would gladly eat them for lunch if this were realistic, and yet their mom is completely fine with their visits.
As a sort of response to the above Fridge Horror, maybe the dinosaurs use Cenozoic mammals for their food? It would explain why the train has never gone forwards in time from the end of the Mesozoic as theres nothing there but farm animals, essentially.
This opens up its own brand of Fridge Horror. As Cenozoic mammals ourselves, are we being farmed as a food source by hyper-intelligent time-traveling dinosaurs while being purposely kept in the dark about it? Is our entire civilization engineered for the primary purpose of feeding theirs? Dear god...