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Man, look at that old school looking fossil!
And I’m not just saying that cause it’s a dinosaur.
Do you get that…does that make sense?
Oh, I get it. You’re calling it fossil because it looks old, as in the illustration is out of date. But it’s funny because it’s also a dinosaur.
Thanks Ghost in a Jar, you always were good at pointing out potentially obscure comedy.
I’m a Rick and Morty reference.
Shunosaurus is one of those dinosaurs that seems to be a staple in children’s educational dinosaur books, but doesn’t really appear all that much outside of that. It’s pretty easy to see why Shunosaurus would be featured in a lot of kids books; for one it’s a sauropod, which everyone knows are the coolest kinds of dinosaurs. But after a while to a kid all those hundreds of sauropod genus’ tend to look alike, especially in poorly illustrated kids book art. So, what makes Shunosaurus so special?
It has a club tail!
Yep, I remember as a kid seeing this dinosaur in a book for the first time, my mind was blown. To me it was like someone mixed a sauropod and an ankylosaur and made the resulting creature a real thing. I thought the idea of a sauropod with a club tail to be insanely awesome, which may be one of the reasons this particular genus is seen a lot in children’s dinosaur books.
But, why hasn’t this creature really appeared all that much in pop culture? It seems like just the kind of dinosaur cartoons and movies would love to sensationalize. I can hear it now…
MEET SHUNOSAURUS!! IT’S LIKE A BRONTOSAURUS AND AN ANKYLOSAURUS HAD A BABY!!! WATCH IT BASH THE BRAINS OUT OF PREDATORS WITH IT’S LETHAL CLUB TAIL!!!!
ONLY AT JURASSIC WORLD!!!
So, why hasn’t the media latched onto this awesome animal? Well, I could come up with a few reasons.
I think this dinosaurs biggest problem is that the creature comes from a somewhat obscure time and place when it comes to dinosaur time periods….Middle Jurassic China.
You see, to dinosaur popular culture; all dinosaurs either lived at the same time or place, or came from one of two eras:
Late Jurassic America…
….or Late Cretaceous America.
If the dinosaur can’t fight Allosaurus or T. rex, than what’s the point? The creatures of Middle Jurassic Asia are mostly unknown to the general public, and the ones who do vaguely know about them from the dinosaur books they read as a kid just see them as less cool versions of their favorite dinosaurs from more famous time periods and regions.
Sinraptor? That’s just Allosaurus lite!
Yep, Shunosaurus just doesn’t appear a lot in media because most people just wouldn’t know how to use him. The most hope we have of seeing this guy is in educational/edutainment shows, like Dinosaur Revolution.
Shunosaurus does make a pretty substantial appearance in said show. The creature is featured in it’s own segment displaying how dinosaurs may have had the ability to distinguish plants that are edible and plants that are poisonous apart from each other. However, this thinly veiled attempt at an educational angle was merely an excuse to show a Shunosaurus tripping balls after eating a hallucinogenic mushroom.
Yes, this really happens.
One of these days I really need to talk about this show.
Shunosaurus also appears in the anime/card game Dinosaur King as well as the IOS game Jurassic Park Builder, but really, these particular properties show off so many species of dinosaurs that really it would be surprising of this particular genus didn’t make and appearance.
Yep sadly Shunosaurus doesn’t really have a lot of onscreen credits, which I think is a shame since I think this is a dinosaur that the general populace would eat up if given the chance. But strangely enough, Shunosaurus wasn’t the only sauropod with a tail club. A close relative of this dinosaur also sported this feature, is seen much more in popular culture, yet rarely depicted with the club.
It was Mamenchisaurus.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to find an image of this dinosaur with it’s coolest feature.
So is say this: Shunosaurus should be in more movies and TV shows, and Mamenchisaurus should be depicted with the tail club a lot more than it is! Dinosaur Revolution has my back!
Ugh, I can’t believe I said that.
My next post on When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind will be the return of another long lost series, Trope-osaurus. In it, we will answer the long pondered question: did dinosaurs roar?