Dinosaurs once ruled the land, air and sea with an iron fist. While that iron fist was often connected to ridiculous, tiny baby arms, it should be noted that those tiny arms were attached to giant motherfucking lizards that, were they alive today, would be lounging atop the food chain sipping giant tropical drinks with people garnishes.
But because God decided to take them down the only way He could (cheating), we live in a world where these magnificent bastards are named by snooty, stuffed shirts who, for some reason, give them the lamest names possible.
This tiny flesh-eating creature stood no more than a foot tall and barely weighed four and a half pounds. The first skeleton was discovered by a 14-year-old hunting for dinosaur bones with his parents in Glacier National Park in Montana. Scientists named it after Disney's most famous deer, probably both because it was about the same size as Bambi and because they wanted to shame it for being dead.
Scientists from Yale, the University of Kansas and the University of New Orleans are to blame for giving the cousin of the feared velociraptor such a wuss name. Pairing "Bambi" with a bad ass word like "raptor" doesn't help. The cute neurons that circle the name Bambi will always overpower any manly name it's paired up with: Bambi Stallone, Bambibear, Bambi Steak.
The name as a whole just makes you feel more pity than fear. If you encountered a lone Bambiraptor wandering in the wilderness, you'd probably think the poor little guy was alone and hungry after some bloodthirsty hunter shot his mother in the name of sportsmanship. Of course right after you cooed and tickled under it's jaw, it would jump up and rip out your jugular.
We're not sure whether or not we should have preserved Scrotum Humanum for the Most Awesome Dinosaur Names article. So how did it wind up with it? It's kind of a long story.
The first dinosaur bone ever discovered was found in 1676 in a quarry in England. Several other parts of the dinosaur were found and in 1815, when William Buckland, Professor of Geology at the University of Oxford, bestowed it the perfectly acceptable name of Megalosaurus, Greek for "great lizard."
One hundred years later, apparently not satisfied with this perfectly manly sounding name, Richard Brookes named it Scrotum Humanan, because he thought the original bone fragment (above) looked like a nutsack.
When naming a leg bone that's most remarkable feature is that it's too big to be from any known creature, and you decide to go with the fact that it vaguely resembles a pair of balls, we're guessing that has less to do with the bone and more to do with the time you walked in on your Dad masturbating in the shower.
Technically this isn't the dinosaur's official name anymore, as it fell into disuse for 50 years, apparently the scientific expiration date for stupid names. People for some reason have gone back to using Megalosaurus. We have no idea why.
Stephanosaurus in Greek means "crowned lizard" which refers to the group of nasal bones that surrounded its skull like a crown. Unfortunately, Stephan is neck and neck with with Chauncey for least manly name for a dude status. And it's made all the more tragic by the fact that it would have made even more sense to go with Steve (it was discovered near the town of Steveville, a ghost town in southern Alberta, Canada). Steve is that guy who works at the docks as a longshoreman where he dishes out loading assignments, a stream of curse words and the occasional beating when someone jokingly calls him Stephan.
The rare man who actually chooses to go by Stephan usually works behind the counter at Starbucks where he dishes out steaming hot soy venti lattes, a stream of opinions on the latest Erika Badu album and the occasional slap fight if any one ever accuses him of having enjoyed a Van Damme movie.
Geologist and paleontologist Lawrence Lambe first discovered the bones of this late Cretaceous creature in 1914. The species was renamed Lambeosaurus in 1923 in honor of its founder, so now it's got the word "lamb" in it which recalls an even wussier image than "Stephan." This thing just cannot fucking win.
Technosaurus is not, as many assume, some kind of awesome half-robot, half-dinosaur. If such a thing had ever existed, it would be studying our fossilized bones. No, this ornithischian genus, found in 1984 in Texas, was named after Texas Tech University.
Now, we have nothing against Texas Tech. Any college that hires Bobby Knight AFTER he strangles a kid has got a set of brass balls that deserve their own highly-paid shiners. But Technosaurus just sounds like the nickname of a third-rate Eastern European club DJ who plays loud, electronic music that has only four words and 2,000 different types of percussion playing at the same time.
Even an herbivore deserves better.
This bird-like dinosaur is a breed of raptor that lived in the Cretaceous period. It is a carnivore and is believed to have been feathered. Its name in Mongolian means "Lord."
It's also the name of the baddest dude in the Star Trek universe--hell, they even stuck the extra "a" in there so you'd have to say it like Shatner.
So what's the problem? Look at the thing. We're calling bullshit here; all they've got are the bones of this thing, and some artist took those dirty bone fragments and painted up a ridiculous beast that looks like a dinosaur Liberace. If you're going to name a dinosaur Khaan, it'd better be one that can bite a hole in a spaceship.
This raptor breed's name means "small thief," which also implies the only things they stole from their fellow dinosaurs were bits of pocket change and licorice sticks from the corner drugstore. Compare this prefix with "veloci," which translates approximately to "will fuck your world up in the time it takes you to blink."
It doesn't help that these things were less than three feet in length and are one of the smallest known dinosaurs. In fact, from the picture, they pretty much were just big birds. So somehow if you take the most vicious bastards from Jurassic Park (velociraptors) and change out half the word, you get this thing that stretches the dinosaur concept beyond credibility.
The two extra wings look like a good idea, though.
This duck-billed dinosaur of the late Cretaceous period was named after the Greek word for "wondrous one" referring to the size of the original remains discovered by paleontologist Joseph Leidy. Unfortunately, another word that gets its origin from that Greek word is thespian.
Sure, being an actor isn't an inherently wussified profession. Clint Eastwood, Christian Bale and God's monument to manly body hair, Sean Connery, are all actors of sorts. But they would never be described, or we'd suspect, describe themselves, as thespians. Thespian is the word you use if you're looking for three quick syllables that will communicate a lifetime of prancing around on a stage in a frilly white shirt mispronouncing Shakespearean English.
The only hearts "thespian" strikes fear into are those of parents, looking forward to a life of ambiguous sexuality and unpaid student loans. Thespesius makes us think of a dinosaur that wets himself at the very sight of a massive, meat-eating and awesomely named T-Rex. They were the drama students of the Cretaceous.
Its name means "upright foot" after the first parts of the dinosaur that were found including the femur, the proximal and distal halves of the tibia and the right metatarsals or toes. This distant relative of the Allosaurus is also a theropod discovered sometime in the late 19th century in Eastern France. Also, its name makes it sound like a Cretaceous period porn star.
Other modern palaentologists dispute this notion, and assert that the name makes it sound more like the title of Japanese tentacle porn, or perhaps a transsexual Bond villain.
Yes, we're picturing a man with eight boners.
You may remember the oviraptor from Jurassic Park as that dinosaur that spits poison at Seinfeld's neighbor, Newman. Well, the real Oviraptor didn't do that.
This one was discovered by paleontologist Ray Chapman Andrews in 1924. The name means "egg seizer" and doesn't describe the dinosaur's eating habits. He found the skeleton on top of a pile of what were believed to be dinosaur eggs.
That would be little comfort to the Oviraptors, or at least the male ones, who got stuck with a name that sounds like a female body part. Oh, the cruel nicknames the Oviraptors would endure. They'll be forced to sit at the lunch table with fallopiosaurus.
Yep. Dracorex hogwartsia. As in "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" from Harry Potter. The skull of this thing was found in South Dakota by three amateur paleontologists from Iowa. They're the ones to blame for the ridiculous name.
And no, this isn't an accidental one like Erectopus. They intentionally named it based on the Harry Potter series. They claim it's name means "dragon king of Hogwarts" but we both know that's bullshit. "Dracorex" clearly is derived from Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter's classmate and nemesis. Or at least that's what a Harry Potter fan told us as he was walking by just as we were writing this. Because we totally would not have known otherwise. Oh, also we beat the shit out of that guy.
These hilarious stories should have been taught in every school.
Here are a few historically important sites to which time has been more than unkind.