When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #61: Dino’s That Need More Love: Ouranosaurus

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https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

If you’ve been following this blog for a long time now (and if so than I think you deserve a long overdue THANK YOU) you may remember my Top 20 Favorite Dinosaurs post, in which I had Ouranosaurus as number 16. My opinion’s have remained mostly unchanged, and Ouranosaurus is still a personal favorite of mine. I’m not sure exactly what it is that draws me to this creature, I just think it has a really cool look. I remember reading dinosaur books as a kid and this guy would pop up every once and a while; and every time he did I would be intrigued. This dinosaur was actually quite common in books and illustrations, but it’s appearances in media have been fairly slim for now. I think that needs to change. 

Ouranosaurus has only made one appearance in a documentary to my knowledge, in the critically acclaimed Planet Dinosaur. In it, Ouranosaurus is shown as a contemporary of the infamous Spinosaurus.

It is quite common to see these two species together in books and illustrations, as they both lived in northern Africa during the mid Cretaceous. However, Ouranosaurus fossils are actually found in slightly older sediments than the ones Spinosaurus were found, so whether or not these creatures actually coexisted is somewhat dubious. I guess people just love the image of two similarly sailed dinosaurs living in the same environment.

Ouranosaurus made cameo appearances in the background of some of the later Land Before Time sequels, but they never played any significant roles in the films. They were basically there to populate the background with different species of dinosaurs. I do applaud the film makers for going with such a lesser know dinosaur, though.

Ouranosaurus also has a role in Dinosaur King, but that shouldn’t come to your surprise. Every dinosaur has a role in Dinosaur King. Opistho-freakin’-Coelicaudia has a role in Dinosaur King.

Surprisingly, Jurassic Park is probably responsible for introducing this creature to a wider audience. True, Ouranosaurus never appeared in any of this films, and only had a small appearance in a tie in comic…

…but the species has made a major appearance in one of Jurassic Park’s most popular video games.

Ouranosaurus is one of the several species you can create and exhibit in the theme park simulator Jurassic Park : Operation Genesis. Although it was probably added just so they can round out the dinosaur species you can find in the North Africa dig site (because after Jurassic Park 3 they kind of had to add Spinosaurus), I’m still impressed they decided to add this of all dinosaurs to the roster of the game. I personally really like the design and coloration they gave the creature in Operation Genesis, and I think it may actually be one of my favorite restorations of the creature to date.

Yes, a Jurassic Park video game gave me a favorite restoration of a dinosaur.

Inconceivable.

Still, I believe Ouranosaurus deserves to make more appearances in mainstream media, as I feel it is a distinct and interesting creature that can a different look compared to the more commonly used hadrosaurs and iguanodonts.

Next time, I finally return to the Jurassic Park toys as promised and review the figures from The Lost World line.

Yes, this is a thing that exists.

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11 thoughts on “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #61: Dino’s That Need More Love: Ouranosaurus

      1. It was probably thought up to help establish a world where the fauna were more or entirely dependent on evolution rather than letting players have the assumption that the creatures just poofed into existence with all these crazy traits. Evolution definitely hasn’t been tossed out the window in the game. In several of the older titles, there used to be one species of monster known as velociprey which dwelled in a variety of habitats, but predominately in forests and hills similar to those in lowland Scotland. Those are the blue raptor guys with the red and black crests. However, in one title (Monster Hunter Freedom) a new and rare variety of velociprey was introduced; the white velociprey. The white velociprey coexisted with regular velociprey as they were essentially just velociprey with white hides and slightly faded violet crests.
        In the next game that was released (Freedom 2), the village of Pokke and the snowy mountains were introduced. Along with these new areas came new monsters. Most relevant to what I’m saying are the giaprey.
        In Freedom 2, white velociprey have been removed from the forests and hills. Giaprey are the descendants of the white velociprey, sporting their white hides along with their own light blue stripes and crests, and new frost sacs which they use to produce a mixture that instantly covers whatever it hits with frost.
        While the creature in the picture above isn’t a gaiprey, I am associating it with evolution in the game because it shares several characteristics that are shared amongst other monsters. The animal is essentially a mix between velociprey and the rath wyverns (rathalos was the first flagship monster). While the creature has the same head, number of claws on its forelimbs, and is assumed to be of similar size to velociprey, it shares the placement of wing claws and its leg shape with rathalos and rathian along with the appearance of scales along its dorsal line that would later become the segmented carapaces on the same creatures.
        I kind of wish they kept this sort of line of thought when designing the newer monsters in the newer games, but it seems to have been traded out for the exotic environments and monster designs; kind of like when you go to the zoo, you’ll see a wider variety of animals with very different characteristics than animals that are very similar.
        I’d feel like it would be easier to explain using a peanut butter metaphor so… Let’s say that the smoother the transitions are between the animals in the game, the smoother the peanut butter. The wider the variety of animals there are in the game, the chunkier the peanut butter is. Monster hunter kind of ate all the chunky peanut butter and has since started just mashing regular dry peanuts to satisfy its hunger.

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  1. “Ladies and Gentlemen. We are pleased to announce the arrival of a new and exotic herbivore from North Africa. Ouranosaurus stands out from the crowd with her colorful sail and fun loving attitude. Please enjoy this magnificent dinosaur.”
    -Operation Genesis Park Announcer.

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