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PE0: Myths by DinoHunter2 PE0: Myths by DinoHunter2
Here's some random art I forgot I did! The idea was that I was going to help someone learn about dinosaurs by doing "Prehistoric Education" sessions on here with cartoon dinosaurs and facts to go with them. Interest waned and I never made it past this first set here, which is probably better for my temper anyway because DA has a lot of snobs and trolls when it comes to paleo stuff (no offense to the serious and well mannered dino-enthusiasts out there, of course!). The first set was myths, though, which seems like a fairly harmless thing to upload. I'd like to think nobody's gonna start a furious argument with me about whether or not dinosaurs dragged their tails. =P

(...but now that I think of it, I better clarify that the raptor in the bottom-center panel is deliberately JP styled, haha.)


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Section 1: Misconceptions

As with pretty much everything else, there are stereotypes, myths, and misconceptions when it comes to dinosaurs. Some of them are pretty easy mistakes to make... others should've been common knowledge a century ago. Here are a few of both, just to show you what to watch out for!

Dinosaurs Were Cold-Blooded. This is a very, very old misconception. Scientists haven't actually believed that dinosaurs were cold-blooded since the early 1870s... it's an idea that's literally been wrong for over a hundred years. The simple truth is that while dinosaurs were technically reptiles, they weren't the kind we have today. They were much more closely related to birds than anything like lizards or snakes, and modern knowledge of their internal anatomy shows us that they lead pretty active lifestyles. They weren't sluggish, they didn't drag their tails, and they definitely didn't curl up and die whenever it got cold. Some were active only at night and a few even thrived in polar conditions.

Dinosaurs Had Pea-Sized Brains. This is one of the most commonly accepted “facts” about dinosaurs, but truthfully it's every bit as old and wrong as the idea of them having cold blood. Dinosaurs, on average, weren't any more or less intelligent than modern animals: they were an extremely diverse group, and the size and complexity of their brains varied greatly. Naturally, some were smarter than others, but very few actually had “pea-sized” brains... even poor old Stegosaurus had a bigger brain than that.

Dinosaurs Were Just Big Lizards. This is far and away the oldest misconception there is about dinosaurs, and there's really nothing else I can say besides IT IS WRONG! The only thing dinosaurs and lizards have in common is scaly skin, legs, and tails, and if that's all it takes to be a lizard then I guess we better reclassify a lot of fish, mammals, and insects. Besides that, we know now that a lot of dinosaurs had feathers, so is the resemblance really even there anymore?

Everything Prehistoric is a Dinosaur. This is one I hear all the time: people calling pterosaurs “flying dinosaurs”, plesiosaurs “underwater dinosaurs”, and stuff like that. To be fair it's a very easy mistake to make if you don't know a lot about dinosaurs... but after this you won't be able to use that excuse anymore, will you? Here are a few simple rules that should help you tell the difference most of the time: there are no dinosaurs that can fly, no dinosaurs that live underwater, and no meat-eating dinosaurs that walk on four legs. None of the creatures above are dinosaurs. Especially the lizard!
BONUS: Plesiosaurs couldn't twist their necks like this! All those swan and snake-necked guys you see in Loch Ness photos and video games are incorrect. Plesiosaurs had fairly stiff necks... think of them like underwater giraffes.

Dinosaurs Held Their Hands Like This! Cue silly pose and growling. This has become one of the most iconic features of meat-eating dinosaurs in current modern culture, but that's unfortunate, because it's wrong. Studies of their wrist bones show that theropods (the meat-eating dinos) couldn't actually hold their hands this way. In life their hands would have pointed inward with the palms facing each other, which would've been better for grabbing prey anyway.

Dinosaurs Fought Cavemen. This one is pure Hollywood myth. Scientists have known from the very beginning that dinosaurs and humans never coexisted; dinosaurs lived in a different era millions of years before our time, and even the very last of their kind would've been extinct way before humans showed up. The only dinosaurs that primitive man would have hunted were birds, and nowadays we just call that Thanksgiving dinner.
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:iconqueenserenity2012:
QueenSerenity2012 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2014
Technically there are marine and flying dinosaurs, since birds occupy niches in the oceans and the air. Outside of that, this is excellent!
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:iconsinsajoart:
Sinsajoart Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
This is the bad thing about knowing too much. 
-Cant....resist.....¡¿WATER DINOSAURS?! ¡THERE ISNT SUCH THING LIKE WATER DINOSAURS, THOSE ARE MARINE REPTILES RAAARGHHH! *incinerates*

Same goes to Pterosaurs and Prehistoric reptiles (and prehistoric mammals, you dont know how far people can go). And another misconception: the people usually refer to Pterosaurs as "Pterodactyl".
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:iconzewqt:
ZeWqt Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014
Actually there is water Dinosaurs, even today... The penguins for example! :meow:
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:iconsinsajoart:
Sinsajoart Featured By Owner Edited Sep 25, 2014
Ohh. Very wise! :) 
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:iconsagittariussigner:
sagittariussigner Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist
Misconceptions, misconceptions, misconceptions, everywhere, everywhere...
Great take on those mainstream myths.
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:iconbrenton522:
brenton522 Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Actually I think the public depicts dinosaurs as too smart, because of Jurassic Park.
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Eh, really just with media depictions of "raptors" and occasionally Troodon, IMO. I've never just met a random, average person who thought dinosaurs were smarter than they really were. A lot of them still think of them as (literally) big lizards.
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:icondinolover09:
DinoLover09 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist

The only myths I don't like are the first three. THe only thing I like about 3 is that you drew a Triceratops/Chameleon hybird.  The second half I find hysterical. ;P

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:iconfrapt:
frapt Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013
Seriously. These myths need to die. Especially the "Dinosaurs are big lizards" one.
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sadly they'll probably persist for a long time still, it's just the public's idea of what they are. I've had to explain to people in just the last few years that dinosaurs weren't cold blooded and frilled lizards aren't dinosaurs.
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:iconakagiart:
AkagiArt Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The dimetrodon thing has always boiled my oil. That and the assumption that all prehistoric animals had saber teeth...

Regardless though; I always loved the fictional caveman vs dinosaur thing though. Its ignorant, but in a cute cowboy vs indians kinda way (this is coming from a native american). Maybe more in a 'alternate earth" kind of setting or "post apocalyptic primal rage" thing though.

Somewhere between all these things and hearing adults refer to saurapods as "long necks"...
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:icondinolover09:
DinoLover09 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That cameleon triceratops is funny.
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:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ERR... SO MANY THINGS WRONG!! BLARG BLAGR BLARG I TROLL YOU NOW!!!

Love the work :D A couple of these I didn't even realize people believed like the Every thing old is a dinosaur belief. I blame Hollywood for these.
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really? That's probably the one I hear most often, lol. Thanks, though!
Reply
:iconmanaista:
manaista Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The one I see and that bothers me the most is the one where cavemen and dinosaurs are together!
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:iconscatha-the-worm:
Scatha-the-Worm Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I can kinda forgive some people with the Everything Prehistoric is a Dinosaur one, when they are like my mother and just didn't know that they weren't until I told her. Some people just don't...well, care I guess, though that sounds bad.

Also, humans may not have gotten to hunt (or be hunted by, as is more likely) the big dinos, but as turkey is indeed delicious, I count that as a shame. I bet sauropod was tasty.
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:iconblakeroats:
BlakerOats Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Misconceptions or not, they still make for fun movies. :XD:
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I haven't forgotten that you all watched Planet of Dinosaurs without me. :l
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:iconblakeroats:
BlakerOats Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't worry. . .

WE CAN WATCH IT AGAIN!!!!:iconretardiloveitplz:
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconyeahplz:
Reply
:iconmonsterkingofkarmen:
MonsterKingOfKarmen Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
GJ
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:iconsupersaiyan4godzilla:
SuperSaiyan4Godzilla Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Student Writer
I don't fuckin' care if dinosaur's were big lizards or not...

Chameleon triceratops is the only triceratops.
Reply
:iconrendragonclaw:
RenDragonClaw Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is all kinds of fun. It catches a nice sense of humor along with laying out how things with dinosaurs actually work. I think people like to group pterosaurs and aquatic prehistoric fauna together with dinosaurs because it completes the iconic prehistoric theme. The realms of land, sea and air evolved together and occasionally interacted so it's easier to lump them all together to complete the biosphere in one's head. Doesn't make it any less wrong or the various species anyless distinct unto themselves but good luck telling a five year old that.
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:iconakitymh:
AkityMH Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
myths they may be, VERY much so... but they are still wonderful B-Movie stuff.
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:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
That tricer-guana is adorable, though.
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:iconsaurianpride:
Saurianpride Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
And thus came the day when two of my favorite artists on DA spoke to each other.
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:iconhypergojira:
hypergojira Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Just wanted to point out the dinos are not just “much more closely related to birds,” - birds are technically dinosaurs. Thus, your last misconception is probably wrong. Heck, I fought with a parrot at the pet store the other day. That damn dinosaur wanted the button on my coat!
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, technically birds are just small theropods, but you know what I mean: people never fought big, prehistoric dinosaurs.
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:iconhypergojira:
hypergojira Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Yes, I know. I should have added a little winking emoticon. They might have fought terror birds though. That is about as close as we will get until we reverse engineer some dinos.
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Woe to those who will live to see the age of Velocemu hornerensis.
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:iconhypergojira:
hypergojira Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
yes indeed
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:iconmecha-gregole:
Mecha-GREGOLE Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Except for terror birds like gastornis, and I beleive even a couple of enormous, fully flight capable, anthrophagous raptors.
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay, okay, that's true... maybe at this point I'd be better off just saying "One Million Years BC is a really unrealistic movie", lol.
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:iconlomi-nogard:
LOMI-Nogard Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
You mean the last Atlan-alien didn't build the Pyramids with wooly mammoths? Nooooo! ;)
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know, it's hard to believe that's not the truth! =P
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:iconsirkaijuofvaudeville:
SirKaijuOfVaudeville Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
These may all be public misconception, but in the case of the last two (and plesiosaur necks) its still something to explore in fiction as they are iconic and like it or not hold a special place in our hearts. :3
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Of course. I'm still a fan of twisty-neck Plesios lol.
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:iconsirkaijuofvaudeville:
SirKaijuOfVaudeville Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think most in this community still are, lol.
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And eel-tailed Mosasaurs! Though I still don't know what the consensus is on that regarding whether or not all of them had shark-tails or if it was just the more advanced ones.
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:iconsirkaijuofvaudeville:
SirKaijuOfVaudeville Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I'm not too sure on that consensus either.
Either way "retrosaurs" are cool. End of Story. So cool in fact, I made an entire hollow filled with retro-ized dinosaur species in KAS, lol.
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:iconmecha-gregole:
Mecha-GREGOLE Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Well, recent discoveries have shown that some dinosaurs could rotate their wrists into the iconic position, but it wasn't the default so it still counts.

The pea brain one especially bugs me. >_> The brain has plenty of functions beyond thinking, people! Like, you know, allowing the body to function. If a dinosaur had a pea-sized brain, it would've have to have been a very small species.
The stegosaurs are responsible for the myth. What people seem to conveniently forget is that stegosaurs also had really tiny heads. Their brains were perfectly proportional.

I'm still miffed over the plesiosaur's stiff necks though. >_> What's the *point* of having a long neck if you can't strike like a snake?
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:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really? I hadn't heard that. Neat, though. Reminds me of how the found out Dromaeosaur tails weren't as rigid as everyone was stressing.
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:iconravensaurs-rex:
Ravensaurs-Rex Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I rather like the cartoony one-two punch approach you have taken to these myths.
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:iconhewytoonmore:
HewyToonmore Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Oh man, I remember these myths from when I was a kid! Great job, dude! :D
Reply
:icondinohunter2:
DinoHunter2 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! Unfortunately I still hear all of these regularly today.
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:iconhewytoonmore:
HewyToonmore Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Oye.
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