Origins of the space dinosaur
These revelations about past mass extinctions were concurrent with human-driven extinctions, like the annihilation of the passenger pigeon and the severe endangerment of bison. Even as people marveled at the idea that an entire group of animals could unceremoniously die off, as evidenced by fossils found on the American frontier, they were accelerating contemporary extinctions on the very same land.Once the public had (somewhat) acclimated to the idea that the planet was not, in fact, served up fresh for human beings, a sense of Earthling rivalry with dinosaurs began to emerge. There was a public hunger to imagine clashes between dinosaurs and humans, with the dinos usually represented as monstrous brutes and the people equipped with sophisticated weapons and a righteous sense of superiority.
“‘Space, the final frontier,’ is just the 20th century version of the American dream”
While astronomers cast doubt on the Venutian dinosaur theory long before the Venera landings, these imaginative riffs influenced many people. For producer Michael Uslan, creator of Dinosaucers, the demystification of these wild theories about Mars and Venus was central to his inspiration to remould the exodinosaur trope in fiction.
Read more: The Demystification of Venus
Jurassic Park… in space
Here’s what it is: The planet Reptilon orbits the Sun in the opposite position from Earth, rendering it undetectable to astronomers. Reptilon and Earth follow an exodinosaur tradition of being twin planets with the same sequence of evolutionary events, but unlike Earth, Reptilon was not hit by an asteroid 66 million years ago. On Reptilon, dinosaurs survived and developed into an intelligent species capable of interplanetary spaceflight. The show follows the battle between Reptilon’s bad Tyrannos and the good Dinosaucers, and a group of human kids, called the Secret Scouts, who get swept up in it.
“Now it is our turn to rule the earth, and it looks as if we are creating the conditions for our own extinction“