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Tropesaurus Index

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This is not a Velociraptor.note 

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


  • Age of Reptiles: When even a Constructed World has an age ruled by dinosaurs and/or other reptilian creatures that later gave way to a modern age of mammals.
  • 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 other flying animals like bats) are often given bird-like characteristics, regardless of how much they actually have in common with birds.
  • Anachronism Stew: A very common case when coping with prehistoric or extinct life, ex. cavemen interacting with nonbird dinosaurs.
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  • Aquatic Hadrosaurs: The outdated depiction of hadrosaur dinosaurs as semi-aquatic creatures.
  • Aquatic Sauropods: The outdated depiction of sauropod dinosaurs as primarily water-dwelling animals.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Unrealistic or inaccurate depictions of prehistoric life.
  • Behemoth Battle: Giant prehistoric animals are often seen battling each other.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: They can appear as background elements, either real or fictional.
  • Contemporary Caveman: A caveman living in modern times for some reasons.
  • 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 getting caught in the start of World War 2.
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  • Dinosaur Doggie Bone: Dogs chewing on fossilized bones the way they would on regular bones.
  • 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.
  • Doofy Dodo: Dodos (not prehistoric but extinct few centuries ago) are often portrayed as goofy and harmless.
  • 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.
  • Gentle Giant Sauropod: The generic depiction of the giant long-necked dinosaurs 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 portrayal of Pachycephalosaur dinosaurs headbutting things.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: The explosive power of the celestial body that hit the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous killing the last dinosaurs is often measured in billions of Hiroshima bombs.
  • Jurassic Farce: Parodies of Jurassic Park, one of the most influential works featuring dinosaurs.
  • Kids Love Dinosaurs: There's something fascinating about dinosaurs in the eyes of children.
  • King of the Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex as portrayed as either the undisputed apex predator of the Cretaceous or a literal ruler of other dinosaurs.
  • 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 world 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, sometimes claimed to be hidden in our oceans still today.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Dinosaurs or other extinct creatures are often misplaced in fiction, ex. the north-american Tyrannosaurus rex living along with the african Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.
  • Mokele-Mbembe: An aquatic dinosaur said to live deep within isolated jungles.
  • Notzilla: When a Kaiju is based on the very theropod-like Godzilla.
  • 1 Million B.C.: Generalized prehistoric setting melding together creatures from wildly different time periods, chiefly dinosaurs, cavemen and mammoths.
  • Panthera Awesome: Smilodon or "saber-toothed cat" portrayed as a simple ancient version of modern big cats. Predatory dinosaurs are also often given color schemes based on those of big cats.
  • 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: Extinct creatures are depicted as scary, ruthless, dumb, and violent brutes rather than looking and behaving like natural present-day animals.
  • Primate Versus Reptile: A giant primate and a giant reptile, often something dinosaurian, fight King Kong-style.
  • Primitive Clubs: Primitive beings, such as cavemen, are often portrayed as wielding crude, simple clubs.
  • Ptero Soarer: Unrealistic or inaccurate portrayals of pterosaurs.
  • Raptor Attack: Unrealistic or inaccurate portrayals of dromeosaurid dinosaurs.
  • Savage Spinosaurs: Spinosaurids, expecially Spinosaurus and Baryonyx, depicted as fearsome predators.
  • Science Marches On: An extremely common trope when coping with prehistoric life, heavily influencing the popular portrayals of the extinct beings.
  • Slurpasaur: Real-life lizards with fake horns or fins glued on used as stand-ins for dinosaurs in old movies.
  • Social Ornithopod: The Ornithopod dinosaurs (including the hadrosaurs) are usually shown to be social animals that either live in herds, groups and/or are placid in nature.
  • Spinosaurus Versus T. rex: Whenever a Spinosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus rex appear in the same work, they always have a fight.
  • 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.
  • Temper-Ceratops: The Ceratopsian dinosaurs are described as being akin to bulls and rhinos; temperamental and aggressive by herbivore standards.
  • Tough Armored Dinosaur: The Thyreophoran dinosaurs (stegosaurs and ankylosaurs) portrayed as warlike and resilient.
  • T. Rexpy: A fictional creature inspired by Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Undead Fossils: When the remains of prehistoric animals start moving on their own.
  • 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