What is that? Wednesday: Realistic Dinosaurs

I’m a paleontologist. I’m a little selective about dinosaur toys… understandably. So when I saw this toy set at the drug store yesterday, I had to buy it – if only to protect unsuspecting children from buying it and thinking its contents really represented actual dinosaurs.

Realistic dinosaurs! With replica details!
Realistic dinosaurs! With replica details!

The dinosaurs inside look pretty… exciting.

Are you sure those are all dinosaurs?
Are you sure those are all dinosaurs?

Let’s take a closer look at these purported ‘dinosaurs.’

Typical dinosaurian fare - if a little dated.
Typical dinosaurian fare – if a little dated.
A duck-billed dinosaur.
A duck-billed dinosaur.

Two for two. Looking good for actually having dinosaurs in the box.

Some sort of ceratopsian, with a very, very long nasal horn.
Some sort of ceratopsian, with a very, very long nasal horn.

Three for three.

Wait. Does this dinosaur have ears? What is this?
Wait. Does this dinosaur have ears? What is this?

Well, this animal is mostly dinosaur-y. But no dinosaur has external ears. But I’ll just overlook that for now…

Oh... This is a cross between Archaeopteryx and a pterosaur, no doubt. Maybe it's Rodin.
Oh… This is a cross between Archaeopteryx and a pterosaur, no doubt. Maybe it’s Rodin.

Birds are dinosaurs. Archaeopteryx is a dinosaur. But pterosaurs are not dinosaurs. Not even close…

Er.. I'm used to seeing the sail-backed Dimetrodon in packages of dinosaurs, but this... It's not Dimetrodon. It's um... Yeah.
Er.. I’m used to seeing the sail-backed Dimetrodon in packages of dinosaurs, but this… It’s not Dimetrodon. It’s um… Yeah.

Uh.

A dragon? Seriously?
A dragon? Seriously?

Even I know that dragons aren’t dinosaurs. Sheesh.

A uintathere. A mammal. Not a dinosaur.
A uintathere. A mammal. Not a dinosaur.

I can understand how Dimetrodon can end up in a box of dinosaurs. But this is obviously a mammal. Someone ought to be fired.

Wow. Macrauchenia. Also a mammal, but at least a member of an extinct group of South American mammals called Litopterns
Wow. Macrauchenia. Also a mammal, but at least a member of an extinct group of South American mammals called Litopterns

Uh, yeah. Guys. That’s another mammal.

What do you get if you cross a staple remover and an anteater? Not a dinosaur!
What do you get if you cross a staple remover and an anteater? Not a dinosaur!

And here is a Dungeons and Dragons critter called Bulette. Yeah. Not a dinosaur.

Jar Jar Binks plus crocodile plus a thagomizer equals... not a dinosaur.
Jar Jar Binks plus crocodile plus a thagomizer equals… not a dinosaur.

Oh, come on! You’re not even trying! This ain’t no dinosaur!

I hope my public service is appreciated. Alas, I suspect some kid is going to be disappointed that he didn’t get the realistic dinosaurs set of his or her birthday. I’m a terrible person.

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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