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9th Oct, 2019 12:48:00 PM

How so? I guess dinosaur->dragon->fire->hot->magma->volcano, but that connection seems really tenuous.

9th Oct, 2019 04:54:51 PM

A degree of Truth in Television — there was more volcanic activity when the Earth was younger, and you can only play the meteor card once, but we know volcanoes killed a lot of dinosaurs because lava makes for such nice clear fossils (edit: my mistake, see below). So it gets exaggerated. There's a little Cool vs. Awesome to it, as well — dinosaurs are already cool scary monsters, so how can we make this even more exciting? Chekhov's Volcano.

And then there's the whole idea of the Lost World hidden within the bowels of the earth, which gets conflated with magma activity underground, and if there are any primitive tribes of humanoids there's the association with sacrifices to the volcano god. Plus kaiju are often sleeping underground, and earthquakes caused by giant dragons or thunderlizards are common throughout real-world mythology... It's a whole bunch of things, really.

Edited by Unsung
9th Oct, 2019 05:51:11 PM

@phallanx- association of dinosaurs and volcanoes is one of the thing listed under the Dinosaurs Are Dragons page. I don't know why, but it's already there. From the page:

"It may have something to do with the popular notion that associates ancient times with loads and loads of flame-spewing volcanoes. There was a lot of volcanic activity during the Cretaceous, but it certainly was nowhere near as violent as depicted in fiction, and it had more to do with poison gas than rivers of lava and hellfire raining down everywhere. But take a look at early paleo-art and you'll not only see tons of lava, but also many dinosaurs who look suspiciously like dragons wandering in this hellish, primeval, pre-human landscape."

@Unsung: lava does not leave fossils. If you're being sarcastic, this isn't the place.

Edited by BattleMaster
9th Oct, 2019 06:09:03 PM

Not sarcastic, just wrong. Not lava but ash and gas, mud, and occasionally tar upended by volcanic activity, which popular culture incorrectly envisioned, as it will, as big dramatic rivers of lava. Sorry about that.

Edited by Unsung
9th Oct, 2019 07:17:56 PM

^ If it makes you feel better, ancient pyroclastic flows did leave us some of the better fossil beds we have (the thing where the volcano erupts mud and ash, and just simultaneously buries and flash-fries everything within a few miles)

I think that's also part of the maybe-a-trope we've got here- cool natural history paintings of dinosaurs about to get Pompeii'ed become "this is a mandatory scene in explanations of ways fossils get made", becomes "dinosaurs hang around volcanoes".

Edited by Scorpion451
9th Oct, 2019 08:02:12 PM

Ha, thanks. Learn something new every day, right? But yeah, I think this could be worth trying out on TLP. Worth adding a line to 1 Million B.C., at the very least.

Edited by Unsung
9th Oct, 2019 11:40:03 PM

Seconding 1 Million B.C..

My theory for the association is that volcanoes were once thought to be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. Science Marches On and this is now a discredited idea, as they were actually killed off by effects of an asteroid impact, but the old hypothesis lingered on in pop culture long after this, resulting in images of scientifically-outdated dinosaurs lumbering around volcanoes before their impending doom.

Volcanic ash does enhance fossil preservation, though lava flows don't and it's not as simple as a whole dinosaur instantly turning to stone or whatever.

Edited by naturalironist
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