Explore extinct life by their name
(i.e., genus)

Explore extinct life by family groupings
(i.e., cladistic relationships)

Explore extinct life by geological time period
(i.e., when the life form lived)

Explore extinct life by geographic location
(i.e., where the fossils were found)

Explore extinct life by paleontologist/author
(i.e., person(s) who named the life form)

Explore fantasy life forms shaped by the human mind and experience
(i.e., fictional creatures & monsters)

An introduction to the Extinct Life Pictorial Encyclopedia along with some statistics regarding what information is available

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Fantasy (Pop Culture) Characters/Creatures
"Dinosaurs may be extinct from the face of the planet, but they are alive and well in our imaginations."
Steve Miller (Author of Freaks! How to Draw Fantastic Fantasy Creature)
 
This section of The Dinosaur Fan attempts to associate fantasy/pop culture characters/creatures with their potential extinct life form inspirations. There really is no reason to do this except I thought it would be fun and interesting. I have not made any attempt to be "scientific" about this information. Most of the data was gathered from the internet with a minimal amount of validation on my part. In those cases where I could not find potential extinct life form inspirations published on the internet, I took the liberty of guessing based on images from my extinct life card collection.

In a vain attempt to convince the reader that I have not totally lost my mind, below is a summary of the findings of a 1998 science-based, tongue-in-cheek analysis of Godzilla by the renowned paleontologist Ken Carpenter which, if nothing else, proves that I am not the only one who occasionally muses on such obscure trivia as is presented in this section of The Dinosaur Fan.

“Godzilla has traits that evolved multiple times among different groups of large carnivorous theropods, creating a strange dinosaurian mosaic. Not to mention all those radiation-spurred mutations.

Still, the monster’s anatomy holds enough clues to place him within a particular part of the dinosaur family tree. Godzilla’s long arms and four fingers on each hand indicate that the “Big Guy” is a basal theropod, or, in other words, belongs to one of the early branches of the group’s family tree. And even though the bony fins along Godzilla’s back are reminiscent of the herbivore Stegosaurus, Carpenter pointed out that some theropods–such as Ceratosaurus–had less-flashy bony armor along their spines. Perhaps the prominent ornaments on Godzilla were highly-modified versions of body armor that was more subtle among his ancestors.

More than anything else, though, Carpenter pointed to Godzilla’s head as the key to the mutant dinosaur’s identity. Godzilla has a short, deep skull reminiscent of a group of theropods called abelisaurids–dinosaurs such as Carnotaurus and Skorpiovenator that were cousins of Ceratosaurus. (In fact, the abelisaurids were a subgroup within the Ceratosauria.) Combined with the finger count and osteoderms, Carpenter noted, the creature’s skull suggests that Godzilla is some sort of ceratosaur–perhaps even a form that smooths the transition between more archaic ceratosaurs and the deep-skulled abelisaurids. Exactly how such a strange dinosaur survived to the modern era, and how radioactivity created such a monstrosity, are questions best left in movie mythology.” (Source: Smithsonian.com, What Kind of Dinosaur is Godzilla?)

It is certain that I've missed some pop culture characters/creatures, so if you can add to the list in this site, please feel free to contact me at: mmriley@dinofan.com so that I can add the information. Also, if you have an alternative extinct life form inspiration you think might be a better fit for a particular pop culture character/creature, please feel free to share your thoughts and I'll add the information.

Use caution; check the data before you use it. NOTE: the information presented throughout this website has NOT been reviewed by any person or organization. All information has been gathered and/or synthesized by me. I am doing my best to provide accurate data however, if you use material from this website for any reason, I would advise you do so with EXTREME CAUTION as there is a good chance that omissions, errors and/or outdated information may exist.
 
Current Number of Fantasy Life Forms
936

Top 20 Fantasy Life Form Topics
 TopicCharacter Count
Astrosaurs62
Ice Age58
Primeval57
The Land Before Time55
Dinotopia52
Sci-Fi & Fantasy51
Dink, The Little Dinosaur49
Walking with Dinosaurs47
The Lost World38
Walking with Beasts38
Dinosaur In My Pocket34
Dinosaur Train32
Power Rangers32
The Flintstones27
Dino-Riders26
Godzilla23
Jurassic Park22
Dinosaur King17
Dinosaurs (TV Show)17
A Journey to the Center of the Earth16
Monsters, Myths & Cryptozoology16
 
 

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