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"No! It's... it's a Calvinosaurus! Named after the renowned archeologist who discovered it, the huge Calvinosaur can eat an ultrasaur in a single bite!"
Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

Many works are set in prehistory. However, some works just do a few episodes in prehistory, while mostly in other eras. When this happens, they usually have a prehistoric animal be an ancestor of the characters in the show.

However, most writers only know a few types of dinosaur. When they don't think they can pass off any of them as the ancestor of their character, they tend to use either "Xsaurus", "Xdactyl", "X. rex", "Xraptor", "Xdon" or similar naming schemes to quickly create a new species of dinosaur, filling in the template with any word that seems relevant to the beast in question or just looks cool. "Saber-toothed X", "Woolly X", "Cave X", and "Dire X" are also used in a similar manner, usually by sticking the descriptors in front of any given species of modern mammal to create an ice age-themed version of its species. May also sometimes occur in modern-day set dramas involving mutated animals.

Funny Animal characters are usually neanderthals (or what fiction tends to think neanderthals were like) unless they are antagonists.

Note that this includes both portmanteaus or mix and match critters of a modern-day animal and a prehistoric animal. May intersect with Artistic License – Paleontology. Related to Dire Beast and Prehistoric Animal Analogue and its subtrope T. Rexpy.


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    Comic Books 
  • Atomic Robo:
    • In one of the Free Comic Book Day issues, Dr. Dinosaur manages to make a cyborg Tyrannosaurus that he dubs a "Futuresaurus Rex".
    • In a later FCBD issue, he makes a killer "Omnisaur" — half Triceratops, half Ankylosaurus, and half Stegosaurus.
      Robo: Aren't those herbivores?
      Dr. Dinosaur: [to Omnisaur] You were supposed to tell me everything!
    • Dr. Dinosaur himself claims to be a dromaeosaur and the sole survivor of an ancient dinosaur civilization, but thanks to his numerous anatomical inaccuracies, Robo is convinced he’s just someone’s escaped genetic experiment, invoking this in-universe.
  • Dennis the Menace (UK): At least one strip features a caveman version of Dennis, accompanied by a sabre-toothed Gnasher.
  • Garfield: His 9 Lives: The "Cave Cat" segment shows Garfield as a saber-toothed housecat and Odie as a giant green saber-toothed dogsaurus.
  • "Valley of the Dildosaurs", a 1975 NSFW comic parodying dinosaur movies (mainly "Valley of the Dinosaurs"), even goes on a lampshading tangent: "Yes, we know that Hornysaurus and Vibratodon never lived at the same time!"

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: One strip has Calvin pretending to be a T. Rexpy called a Calvinosaur that's big enough to eat an "ultrasaur" note  in one bite. Another story arc had Calvin apparently discovering the bones of an unknown dinosaur and naming it the Calvinosaur (which sort of resembled Birdo with a rhino horn), until he was informed by his mother that the "bones" he had discovered was just litter someone had buried.
  • Garfield: The title panel of this strip has Odie as a Dogasaurus.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 65: The film is filled almost entirely of these, partly by virtue of the main characters being Human Aliens with no concept of dinosaurs (meaning none are given names). There are creatures resembling scaly raptors, a featherless Oviraptor-like theropod, but with numerous sharp teeth, some sort of small bipedal ankylosaur bearing a distinct but almost certainly coincidental resemblance to Jakapil, emaciated quadruped reptiles (identified in the soundtrack as Lagosuchus, despite not being dinosaurs and living nowhere near the Late Cretaceous) and a gigantic four-legged predator resembling some sort of primitive archosaur, but even bigger than a Tyrannosaurus. The only identifiable animals are two Tyrannosaurus.
  • The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms: The Rhedosaurus is a massive carnivorous dinosaur that moves around on four legs and has no trouble hanging out at the bottom of the ocean.
  • The Giant Behemoth: The eponymous behemoth is called a Paleosaurus. It has the quadrupedal stance and long neck of a sauropod, sharp teeth and claws of a theropod, and crocodile-like scaly skin.
  • Godzilla: The films use this trope as a frequent explanation for its Kaiju, Hand-Waving their enormous size and apparently supernatural abilities by saying that they simply aren't on the fossil record and thus anything goes.
    • Godzilla himself is sometimes described as a dinosaur called a "Godzillasaurus" that mutated and grew to massive size due to exposure to radiation in the 1950s, but other times, like in the original film and the MonsterVerse continuity, it's made clear that he was always that big.
    • Anguirus somewhat resembles an Ankylosaurus but far, far larger. His head horns are similar to those of ceratopsians as well.
    • Rodan is either a colossal and very fictional relative of the Pteranodon or another atomic mutation depending on the continuity, much like Godzilla. In the MonsterVerse setting, he's stated to be an ancient superspecies hailing from the Permian period, meaning he isn't even a pterosaur at all, but something similar and far older predating the entire pterosaur order by millions of years!
    • Baragon is a quadrupedal dinosaur that can burrow through the ground like a mole and breathe fire. Although he's a fraction of Godzilla's size he's still much larger than any real dinosaur. Strangely, he's got a pair of mammalian-like ears, which has led some fans to consider him a synapsid instead.
    • Gorosaurus is essentially a Kaiju-sized Tyrannosaurus with no special abilities. He can use his prehensile tail and powerful legs to deliver a nasty kangaroo kick, however. Some official sources claim he is a descendant of Allosaurus.
    • Likewise, Titanosaurus is a massive semi-aquatic dinosaur that resembles a Spinosaurus, with large sails on his back and a long, crocodile-like snout. There is an actual dinosaur called Titanosaurus that bears no relation. note 
  • Jurassic World sees the park shift from reviving known dinosaurs to engineering one of their own, called Indominus rex. Claire explains to Owen that they chose the name to sound scary and be easy to remember, as complex names weren't popular with the public. In earlier drafts of the script, she was going to be called Diabolus rex. A Stegoceratops (Stegosaur/Triceratops hybrid) was also going to be in the movie, but was scrapped so that the I. rex would be the only specially engineered beast, though that didn't stop toys of it from being made. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom then takes the Indominus template and applies it to a Raptor Attack, creating the Indoraptor.
  • King Kong (2005): Given that this adaptation of the 1933 classic has taken paleontology and evolution into account, all of the inhabitants of Skull Island with the exception of human natives are fictional animals with appearances based on their real-life prehistoric counterparts. Their names (not spoken in the movie but explained in the supplementary books) invoke this trope, such as Vastatosaurus rex, Venatosaurus and Ferrucutus, though the token sauropod is called simply Brontosaurusnote .
  • A Sound of Thunder: The film has baboonasaurs, flying batasaurs and the claim that lions are somehow descended from allosaurs.
  • At the beginning of Yor: The Hunter from the Future, the title character kills an unnamed dinosaur that looks like a mashup of all the best bits of Triceratops and Stegosaurus. What it's doing in the future is anyone's guess.

  • Geronimo Stilton: Particularly painful puns (especially if you know Greek and/or Latin) pepper the pages of the Cavemice books. Notable examples include Autosaurus (which would mean "self reptile"), a type of dinosaur that's used as a car equivalent, and Octosaurus ("eight lizard"), which isn't even a dinosaur at all, but a giant octopus.
  • Gravity Falls: Journal 3: In the section based on "The Land Before Swine", Dipper describes Soos as discovering an unknown, vaguely spinosaurus-like dinosaur, and naming it "Raddawgceratops".
  • Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future has saber-toothed humans and ground slothmen.
  • Science Made Stupid, a parody of children's science books, has a Puppisaurus in a sidebar about mammal-like reptiles (the group did exist, albeit as a group of animals increasingly closely related to true mammals, but it didn't include a Puppisaurus).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers:
    • In Power Rangers Time Force, the Quantum Ranger had a dinosaur mecha called the Quantasaurus Rex, or Q-Rex for short. The Mirai Sentai Timeranger version was simply the V-Rex. Power Rangers Megaforce would later recycle the Q-Rex name for its dino mecha in homage to the original.
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger plays on the Japanese word for dinosaur(s), "kyoryu"; calling their dino-like mecha "bakuryu" ("blastosaurs").
    • Power Rangers: Dino Thunder called its main mecha combination the Thundersaurus Megazord. One episode also had the Rangers' class at a paleontology dig, and when Kira tried to get Dr. O's attention she claimed that she found a "morphasaurus" fossil.
    • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger does a similar wordplay as Abaranger, naming their mecha "kishiryu" ("knightosaurs"). It also involves two made-up species, a "Needlesaurus" (a stegosaurid) and a "Tigersaurus" (a reptilian version of a Smilodon, as opposed to the real-life mammal). When Power Rangers Dino Fury adapted the season, it dispensed with the made-up names and just said these mecha were a Stegosaurus and Saber-Toothed Tigernote .
    • Dino Fury also has Solon, a cyborg dinosaur who identifies her species as Solonosaurus.
  • Terra Nova is pretty weird about this, featuring real-life dinosaurs like Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Carnotaurus (which were separated by thousands of miles and/or millions of years) alongside made-up dinos like Acceraptor and Ovosaurus.

    Multiple Media 
  • Star Wars has the mighty Mythosaur, found on the planet Mandalore. It's a giant kaiju with curling tusks more like an elephant's. In the Star Wars Legends continuity, the Mandalorians hunted them to extinction.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Epic Level Handbook describes the prismasaurus, a club-tailed hadrosaur-like dinosaur with a row of rainbow scales running down its back and capable of emitting bursts of magical, rainbow-colored light.
    • Eberron has a number of made-up dinosaurs to go with the regular dinosaurs found in the setting.
  • Magic: The Gathering has several dinosaur cards, of which only a few are real species (a couple of Allosaurs and a Dilophosaur). Made-up species mentioned include Brontodon, Altisaur, Aegisaur, Cacophodon, Monstrosaur, Tuskodon, Dromosaur, Tyrannodon, Fungosaur, Gigantosaurus, Gnathosaur, Aerosaur, Imperiosaur, Vantasaur, Magmasaur, Heliopterus, Pangosaur, Polyraptor, Pyroceratops, Regisaur, Ferocidon, Leosaur, Armasaur, and Badgersaur. (These only account for about half the cards though, many of the rest being more descriptive like "Horncrest", "Sailback", and "Hammerskull"; and there are a whole lot of "[Description] Raptor" cards. "[Description] Ceratops" and "[Description] Pteron" are also used.)
  • In Warhammer, one Lizardmen subrace is known simply as "Saurus". Among their Beasts of Battle are such creatures as the Stegadon ("roofed tooth"), the Terradon ("earth tooth", for a toothless flying creature) and the Carnosaur ("meat lizard", a generic name for meat-eating dinosaurs). The Bastiladon, a pseudo-ankylosaur, is actually given a fairly appropriate name meaning "fortress tooth". More explicitly made-up creatures include the spike-covered Razardons and the cave-dwelling, eyeless Troglodons.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Quest: Various monsters are modeled and/or named after dinosaurs, and they tend to be classified in the Dragon family:
    • Dragon Quest II has two pterosaurs called the Terrordactyl and Tyrannodactyl.
    • Dragon Quest IV has another pterosaur family; the earliest variant is simply called a Pteranodon but later versions include the Terrornodon and the ice-breathing Chillanodon. Variants of the Komodo lizard monster also include the Eoraptor and Podokesaurus.
    • Dragon Quest V introduces a line of Triceratops-turtles, named Tortoceratops, Tyrannoceratops, and Terrorceratops. Further variants appear in Dragon Quest X as Trikaceratops and Dragon Quest Walk as Sunanosaurus.
    • Dragon Quest VI includes an axe-wielding dragon monster called a Hackasaurus. One can even join your party. It also has Palette Swaps called the Axesaurus and Tyrantosaurus, and in Dragon Quest X the Halberdsaurus and Paladinsaurus.
    • Dragon Quest Monsters has a monster called the Stabosaur, though it would be renamed the Swordgon in later games. Its sequel has a cave dino called the Stalagosaur, which gets a variant in Dragon Quest of the Stars named the Crevassaurus.
    • Dragon Quest VII has a sea dragon called the Seasaur. Dragon Quest VIII also has a shark-serpent sea beast with a dino name, but it steals the existing name of Megalodon.
    • One of the Optional Bosses in Dragon Quest IX is Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.
    • Dragon Quest XI has some magic-wielding scholar dragons as monsters; with the earliest version you encounter being called a Professaurus.
  • 46 Okunen Monogatari: The Shinkaron (the obscure PC-98-exclusive precursor to the way better known SNES game E.V.O.: Search for Eden) has the player talking to a musical dinosaur called Sugiyaman (named after the game's composer Koichi Sugiyama). There are also some fictional dinosaur species made up by the creators that lead to speculatuve evolutionary paths (like Gorgon, Reptillian Alien, Goblin, a Shenlong-esque Asian Dragon, a Godzilla -esque Kaiju and others) which often end up as a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Fossil Fighters calls its revived dinosaurs-and-other-beasts "Vivosaurs". There are also undead Vivosaur variants, "Boneysaurs" and "Zombiesaurs"; as well as made-up species like "Frigisaurus", "Ignosaurus", and "Saladasaurus". In Fossil Fighters Frontier, you're given a genetically engineered dinosaur as your partner that changes forms throughout the game. It starts as a "Nibblesaurus", then becomes a "Munchasaurus" and a "Chompasaurus". Its final form averts this trope, instead going by the name "Crimson Ravager".
  • Inazuma Eleven: Big and his mother Rockstar are an unidentified species of giant Theropod dinosaurs.
  • Pokémon: The very first family in the Pokédex is a line of dinosaur/plant hybrids named Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur. Aerodactyl is also a cross between a gargoyle or a wyvern and a pterodactyl. Later games add a sabertoothed dinosaur named Haxorus.
  • Primal Carnage: Among all the real dinosaur and pterosaur species, the token dromaeosaur is a fictional genus called the Novaraptor, a genetically engineered creation which is nearly identical to the Jurassic Park raptors in appearance and ferocity, thereby sidestepping any issues regarding inaccuracy in its design. It comes in both a scaly and a feathered variant, although the difference is purely cosmetic.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time has a reference to this in the prehistoric level, called "Prehistoric Turtlesaurus". No actual turtlesaurus appear, but funny enough, you fight Slash (who kind of looks the part) as a boss in the SNES port.
  • World of Warcraft has expies of famous dinosaurs roaming around various Lost World zones. These include stegodons, pterrordaxes, direhorns, and the mighty devilsaurs.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: One of the common indigens that roams the planet Mira are sauropod-like Millesaurs.
  • Yooka-Laylee includes a dinosaur character that's a throwback to the days of 64-bit gaming, named Rextro Sixtyfourus.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10 has two saurian forms among the aliens he can turn into; he calls them "Humungousaur" and "Astrodactyl", while the actual species are named the Vauxausaurians and Pturbosaurians respectively.
  • The Croods is all about this, where aside from a sloth, the film has prehistoric fauna of colorful Mix-and-Match Critters; the one with most screentime is a "Macawnivore", a sabre-tooth tiger colored like a macaw (nicknamed Chunky).
  • Dino Squad has many examples. Most of the mutated creatures created by Victor Veloci were mutated mixes of modern day and ancient creatures. Only the Dino Squad were 'perfect' creatures.
  • Eek! The Cat: The "Terrible Thunderlizards" segment often uses this. Like a porcupinosaurus, for example.
  • The Flintstones sometimes makes vague references to creatures like a "chickensaurus". Additionally, Dino is apparently called a "snorkasaurus", while Hoppy is a kangaroo-like creature called a "hoppasaurus".
  • The Future Is Wild features a saber-toothed wolverine, a caracararaptor, and a turtlesaurus (specifically named a snowstalker, carakiller, and toraton).
  • Ice Age: Scrat is a saber-toothed squirrel. He is somewhat inspired by Leptictidium, an actual small, hopping prehistoric mammal with a long snout, but the similarities end there. Since the release of the movie, another prehistoric mammal, Cronopio, was discovered to be even more similar to Scrat.
  • Johnny Test: The catsaurus and catdactyl on Bling-Bling's Island.
  • Looney Tunes: "Prehistoric Porky" shows Porky to be descended from a cavepig, while "Pre-Hysterical Hare" shows Bugs to be descended from a saber-toothed rabbit.
  • My Little Pony:
  • Phineas and Ferb: "The Tri-Stone Area" has Perry as a saber-toothed platypus.
  • Invoked in Primal with the Night Feeder. Most of the other prehistoric animals in the show are easily identifiable as real species. The fact that the Night Feeder isn't, instead resembling some bizarre mishmash of different dinosaurs, just serves to make it even more obviously unnatural and frightening.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "Ugh" has SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward as a cavesponge, caveoctopus, and cavestarfish, with Gary as a giant snailsaurus.
    • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water has a Squidosaurus, a cross between Squidward and a Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Tom and Jerry: "Prehisterics" has Tom as a saber-toothed housecat and Jerry as a cavemouse. During the short they encounter a giant saber-toothed rabbit.
  • Total Drama: The mammal variant in "Up the Creek". Boney Island is home to, among other things, "woolly beavers", giant tusked rodents that Chris describes as survivors from the Pleistocene.

Alternative Title(s): Fictional Prehistoric Creature