Here’s a 1978 Marvel comic called “Devil Dinosaur.”
“If dinosaur evolution were an Austin Powers movie, T. rex would be Dr. Evil.”
So says the official National Geographic website.
A recent Discovery Channel program about dinosaurs was called “Monsters Resurrected.”
Why do we demonize meat-eating dinosaurs? If you read the old accounts of explorers in Africa, they used to refer to lions, tigers, gorillas and even elephants as beasts and monsters. But no one does that with living animals anymore because we understand them more fully as complex and vulnerable creatures.
Tyrannosaurs are shown in most movies——and most documentaries——as rampaging killing machines. But real meat-eaters don’t have it so easy. Predators get kicked by prey, they get chased off a kill by other predators, and they starve.
Perhaps people associate meat-eating with the moral evil of murder. Perhaps we make monsters out of dinosaurs because they’re unknown enough to allow us to place them on a mythic plane. That’s OK for comic books and stories—after all, Dinotopia romanticizes dinosaurs both as allies and adversaries—but I don’t think marketing departments of science publications should use that angle, because it stands in the way of a more interesting scientific understanding.
Thanks, Andy, for the comic! Comic copyright Marvel.