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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.
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.