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Tropesaurus Index

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For dinosaurs, dinosaur-related, and other prehistoric tropes and Useful Notes. Despite the name, this index also covers non-dinosaurian prehistoric life. See also Avian Tropes, for the dinosaurs' descendants.



  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Cavemen tend to be portrayed as knuckle-dragging, slow-witted brutes clad in skins and carrying clubs.
  • All Flyers Are Birds: Pterosaurs (and sometimes other flying animals like bats) are often given bird-like characteristics, regardless of whether they are birds or not.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Unrealistic or inaccurate depictions of prehistoric life. Can be extremely Serious Business for some.
  • The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed: When the Cretaceous period is featured in a work, it will always be immediately before the famous meteorite hits the Earth and sets off the mass extinction. Can also refer to other historical events like how arriving in Europe in 1939 always seems to mean get caught in the start of World War 2.
  • Dinosaur Doggie Bone: Gigantic, fossilized bones make excellent dog toys!
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  • Dinosaur Media: Index of media focusing on dinosaurs and prehistoric life.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Dinosaurs and dragons tend to be treated as the same thing or to borrow traits from one another.
  • The Dinosaurs Had It Coming: The dinosaurs brought their extinction on themselves.
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs: Dinosaurs kept as domesticated animals for various purposes.
  • Dumb Dinos: Dinosaurs are often portrayed as very stupid, slow, and overly aggressive.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Dinosaurs are cool, therefore they make anything they're in more awesome.
  • Feathered Fiend: Just because something is covered in fluffy feathers (whether it's a giant bird or a non-avian theropod), it can still be terrifying!
  • Fossil Revival: Fossilized creatures being brought back to life.
  • Frazetta Man: Prehistoric "humans" portrayed as vicious, stupid, hairy and generally little more than somewhat upright apes.
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  • Gentle Giant Sauropod: The generic depiction of sauropods being docile and friendly animals.
  • Goofy Feathered Dinosaur: Feathered dinosaurs portrayed as comedic and non-threatening.
  • Handsome Heroic Caveman: Prehistoric cavemen with Nubile Savage appearance that usually are The Hero in their stories.
  • Headbutting Pachy: The unrealistic portrayal of Pachycephalosauria dinosaurs headbutting things.
  • Kids Love Dinosaurs: There's something fascinating about dinosaurs in the eyes of children.
  • Living Dinosaurs: Surviving non-avian dinosaurs found living somewhere remote.
  • Lost World: A hidden, often secret location where people and creatures long gone from the outside word still survive.
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: Mammoths are the most common "face" or symbol of the Ice Age, and their presence is often used as a shorthand for it and associated concepts.
  • Medieval Prehistory: Prehistoric life in a vaguely medieval setting.
  • Megalodon: A massive prehistoric shark, believed to have been similar to the modern great white.
  • 1 Million B.C.: Generalized prehistoric setting melding together creatures from wildly different time periods, chiefly dinosaurs, cavemen and mammoths.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Ascribing the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs to a variety of eclectic causes.
  • Prehistoria: Video game levels themed around dinosaurs and prehistory.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Prehistoric and extinct creatures depicted not as true animals but as scary bloodthirsty monsters. Serious Business for some.
  • Ptero Soarer: Unrealistic or inaccurate portrayals of pterosaurs. Can be Serious Business for some.
  • Raptor Attack: Unrealistic or inaccurate portrayals of dromeosaurid dinosaurs. Very Serious Business for some.
  • Slurpasaur: Real-life lizards with fake horns or fins glued on used as stand-ins for dinosaurs in old movies.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: The most frequently featured species of dinosaurs and other extinct animals in media.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Portrayals of the Loch-Ness Monster or similar things, implied to be surviving dinosaurs.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: The iconic "king of dinosaurs", featured in media more often than any other species.
  • Whateversaurus: A fictional prehistoric critter that didn't exist in reality, often with a stock suffix in its name.

Useful Notes:

Alternative Title(s): Dinosaur Tropes


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