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Top Ten Dinosaurs

Posted October 4, 2012 by Seán Earley in Ramp Lists

Are you a big dinosaur geek? Was your first cinema outing as a child to Jurassic Park?  Was your VHS copy of The Land Before Time threadbare? Did your PJs have dinosaurs on?  Were you scolded several times for touching dinosaur bones in the Natural History Museum? Do you even do dino artwork? All of this is true of Ramp.ie’s Seán Earley, if it’s true you too then a) you’re his soulmate and b) you should read on. Here’s our seven favourite Top Ten dinosaurs.


7. Stegosaurus

Solar panels on your back. Genius. Heavy but genius. Couple that with a spiked tail and you’re basically a self-sustaining holiday home on wheels. Stegosaurus could either cool down or get energy from the spade-shaped panels on their backs. The spikes on their tails provided them with some sort of defense mechanism. Mind you, it was behind them. Imagine trying to defend yourself with a baseball bat that you could only hold behind you? Their tiny heads housed very small brains. We don’t care much for them.

6. Triceratops

‘Three-horned battle tank’ is what the English translation of its Latin classification should be. Sturdy units of muscle topped with three deadly horns. Like a deadlier version of an elephant. We imagine they were quite grouchy characters and could get up a bit of speed if the moment took them. Bizarrely there were no Bicertopses or Uniceratops.

5. Velociraptor

Depicted by Hollywood as the Late Cretaceous badboys of prehistory, raptors were pretty scary. Well, so they’d have us believe. Rows upon rows of the sharpest, flesh-ripping teeth, retractable claws and serial killer eyes. Except Hollywood missed out on the attire. A think layer of furry feathers is now believed to have adorned the raptor. Not so scary now are they? OK, yeah, we guess they’re still pretty terrifying.

4. Tyrannasaurus Rex

The big boy. The hunter. The pant-wetter and the Marlon Brando of dinosaur flicks the world over. Research indicated that if you asked 100 people to draw a dinosaur 80% of them would draw a T-Rex. *Actual research may not have been conducted* The T-Rex was a fearsome beast and the nearest modern equivalent we have in the animal kingdom would be a lion. King of the jungle, the T-Rex would have certainly had some personality complexes and been a definite loner. Yet he’s a role model for every destructive child under the age of 5. Rawr.

3. Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus is the perfect example of Hollywood’s movie-makers being plain lunatics. In Jurassic Park, this creature was portrayed as having a retractable neck frill and being capable of spitting some black venomous poison into the eyes of its prey. There is nothing in either scientific record or fossil evidence to support that it could do either of those things. To be honest we’re not sure why Michael Crichton stopped there. Sure they should have made him fly, made his head rotate 360 and speak with the voice of Lucifer himself. Bat shit cray cray

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2. Plesiosaurs

We’re not saying it does exist. But if Nessy is real, you can bet it’s a relative or good chum of the plesiosaur. The huge majestic swimming dino with large flippers, extended neck and oar-like tail fits the bill perfectly for the lore of the Loch Ness Monster. We’d squee with geekdom if it was a plesiosaur in Loch Ness as was imagined in that film with Mel Gibson. In fact that was a pretty awful film. What was it called again? Passion of the Christ or something?

1. Parasaurolophus

Everyone’s favourite is always something like a Diplodocus or a Tyrannosaurus but not us. Parasaurolophus is the one for us!

There was always something about their backwards crests that intrigued. Could they be used it as some sort of projectile rocket? Or maybe they stored food in it like a camel’s hump? Only in recent times archaeologists deduced that they used it for communication. It’s a prehistoric musical instrument close to that of a member of the woodwind family. A team of experts (who’d little else to do) working from fossil remains reconstructed the nasal cavity and crest of a Parasaur and recreated the noises it made. Fascinating stuff that makes us geek out.

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About the Author

Seán Earley

  • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

    Pterosaurs! Death from above. Pterrifying, more like.

  • http://twitter.com/ElleEmSee Laura

    Nessie IS real and we’ll beat up anyone who suggests otherwise.

  • http://twitter.com/HybridVigour Alan Barrett

    Worth pointing out that in reality Velociraptor were about the size of a large turkey, while the creatures portrayed in Jurassic Park were, size-wise, more like Deinonychus.

    Also, no Ankylosaurus? For shame!

  • Will

    What’s that show I can’t think of? It was like Roseanne, except with dinosaurs? Refuse to google. Will remember…

    • Sinéad

      Do you mean… The Dinosaurs?

      Amazing comparison to Roseanne. The Da dinosaur had a hard hat and a lunchbox, totally like John Goodman! The kid used to whack the Da’s head with a saucepan and scream ‘Not the Mamma!’. It was great.

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