Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween 2014: Thirteen Monsters

Since today is Halloween I feel it would be appropriate to focus on something spooky...like monsters.  Monsters are cool since they can pretty much look like anything your imagination wants them to.  Many dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals are names after famous monsters, or have horror-themed aspects to their names.  Some are pretty obvious, others need to be translated in order to be understood.  Some of these names are featured in my post from 2013 about interesting dinosaur names.  I have illustrated a fun little painting of thirteen prehistoric animals all taking the physical forms of whichever monster or horror aspect they are named after.  Can you name them all?


Once you think you have been able to identify as many as you can I put the answers below, starting with the monsters at the top of the page, working down from left to right.



This plant-eating dinosaur's name means "dragon king from Hogwarts" because its skull resembles that of what a dragon from the Harry Potter universe's could look like.



This small ceratopid's name translates to "gryphon horn face".  Gryphons were creatures from folklore of various ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures which were half eagle and half lion.  The first ceratopid fossils found by people thousands of years ago are believed to have sparked the myth of the gryphon. 




Name means "gargoyle reptile".  This was an armored dinosaur that reminded the paleontologists who named it of a stone gargoyle. 

Anthracosuchus balrogus 


This crocodile's genus and species name translates to coal crocodile balrog.  A balrog is a demon, often associated with fire that wields a whip made of flames, from the Lord of the Rings universe.  The character, Gandalf, the grey wizard, battles one in The Fellowship of the Ring.   



Name means "devil horn face" because this ceratopian's horns bear a resemblance to those of demons in pop culture.

Beelzebufo 


Name means "devil frog".  This prehistoric amphibian was the largest frog known to science.



Name means "monstrous murderer".  This was a tyrannosaurid and therefore was likely survived by killing other animals for food...therefore it was a murderer and a monster.  The name is really cool-sounding, okay?



Name means "gore king".  This was another tyrannosaurid predator that, since it also ate meat, was probably exposed to some gore now and again.  Is the name obvious?  Yes.  Is it cool enough to make this fact excusable?  I'd say so.

Minotaurosaurus 


Name means "minotaur reptile" this was an armored dinosaur which was named after the minotaur, a monster from Greek Mythology with the head of a bull and body of a human, because of it's horns.



Name means "Medusa horn face".  This ceratopsian dinosaur was named after Medusa, a monster from Greek mythology called a Gorgon.  Gorgons had snakes for hair, the source of inspiration for this dinosaur's name since its horns were particularly curved and almost wavy like snakes.

Styxosaurus


Name means "Styx reptile".  This plesiosaur was named in honor of the River Styx from Greek mythology, which separates the land of the living from the underworld.

Charonosaurus 


Name means "Charon reptile".  This duck-billed dinosaur was named after Charon, the being from Greek mythology who carries the dead across the Styx to the underworld.



Name means "demon from the river Styx".  Named because its impressive horn arrangement makes it resemble a demon that might lurk in the river of death in a Greek myth.

Hope you enjoyed my little monster-dinosaur fusion!  Happy Halloween!

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