Top 10 Worst Paleontological Reconstructions

Paleontological reconstructions have come a long way since the 19th century. For example, we now know that Velociraptor was a turkey-sized, feathered dinosaur with supinated wrists, instead of the "Jurassic Park"-styled pronated wrists. However, there are sadly many reconstructions of prehistoric life that are inaccurate or, sometimes, way off from the real animal they are supposed to represent. Here is the list of the worst reconstructions of extinct animals of all time.
The Top Ten
1 Spinosaurus - Monsters Resurrected

Such an atrocious reconstruction of Spinosaurus that wants to be a movie monster like Godzilla. That's the reason why I no longer watch Monsters Resurrected, because the makers only want to make the dinosaurs monsters rather than real animals (resulting in awesomebros wanting Spinosaurus to be a JPIII-styled Spinosaurus wannabe monster instead of the humble fisherman with a paddle-shaped tail it really was in real life). This Spinosaurus reconstruction makes Jurassic Park III's Spinosaurus look like Walking With Dinosaurs. It is definitely the worst dinosaur in pop culture ever.

2 Velociraptor - Jurassic Park

Why is it called Velociraptor if it looks NOTHING like a Velociraptor in any way? It's way too big. It has pronated wrists. Its skull is too shortened. And it completely lacks feathers! That's why I don't watch Jurassic World since the makers of the Jurassic Park franchise don't even care about changing their views towards non-avian dinosaurs.

Seriously? Why were the Velociraptors given Deinonychus-like skulls and Achilobator-like large sizes, unlike the real ones, and made them reptilian in terms of being scaly instead of feathered, and having zombie-like pronated wrists instead of the bird-like supinated wrists we now know theropods, including real Velociraptors, had? They may as well have been dubbed a fictional genus of dromaeosaurs based on these inaccuracies and differences, possibly Nublarraptors or Ingenraptors. That reconstruction is very disappointing, as reality is often more fascinating and awesome than how movies portray it. And did you know what? The dromaeosaurs were planned to be mostly feathered based on the concept art for the first Jurassic Park film of 1993, but they chose not to, based on their bias.

The dromaeosaurs are also incorrectly shown with ape-like or dolphin-like intelligence, which is absurd since the real ones had brains no bigger than a turkey's or an opossum's, although they may have been slightly smarter due to being fully carnivorous. It sadly inspired many people to make inaccurate lizard-like dromaeosaurs we still see today on toy store shelves, in movies, TV shows (including cartoons), etc., and it still negatively inspires people due to Jurassic Park sequels (I'm looking at you, Jurassic World) and depicts them as monsters instead of real animals. I really wished that many more people had changed their views of what real dromaeosaurs (and don't forget troodonts and oviraptorids) were like.

3 Quetzalcoatlus - Walking With Dinosaurs

Ahh! It burns my eyes! That ain't no Quetzalcoatlus! That's an Ornithocheirus who was on a vacation and took its crest on its beak off.

4 Various Pterosaurs - David Peters

So many of the pterosaurs depicted by David Peters (an amateur paleontologist) are so wrong, and are inaccurately depicted as bipedal and being too lizard-like. In fact, Peters considers pterosaurs as either literal lizards or close relatives of lizards, which isn't the case, as real pterosaurs were actually relatives of dinosaurs (such as birds), not lizards.

5 Megalosaurus - Crystal Palace

Megalosaurus was a large non-avian theropod dinosaur and was the first-ever non-avian dinosaur discovered by humanity. Believe it or not, it was thought to literally be a giant lizard, hence the name Megalosaurus (which means big lizard). We now know that this is so far from the truth, yet this reconstruction still stands in Crystal Palace, London, to show how far we have come in paleontology.

6 Mammoth - Sir Hans Sloan

When mammoth fossils were discovered by modern people, people thought that it looked far more pig-like than it really was, despite being an elephant in real life, so Sir Hans Sloan made this super horrendous reconstruction of the mammoth.

7 Iguanodon - Crystal Palace

Iguanodon was the second non-avian dinosaur discovered by humanity, and, believe it or not, like Megalosaurus, it was thought to literally be a giant lizard, with its thumb spike mistaken for a horn like those of rhinoceroses and rhino iguanas, and it was incorrectly thought to be carnivorous like Megalosaurus. We now know that this is so far from the truth, yet, like the Megalosaurus reconstruction I have mentioned, this reconstruction still stands in Crystal Palace.

8 Bipedal Dinosaurs - Pre-1970s

Before the 1970s, all bipedal dinosaurs, even the famous Tyrannosaurus, were thought to walk upright like a human and drag their tails on the ground like a kangaroo, akin to Godzilla and other kaijus from movies. However, we now know that they actually held their tails off the ground and had bird-like postures instead of being humanoid.

9 Therizinosaurus - Evgeny Maleev

When the paleontologist Evgeny Maleev discovered the claws of Therizinosaurus, he thought the claws belonged to a massive and aquatic turtle or turtle-like reptile. However, we now know that Therizinosaurus was actually a dinosaur instead of a turtle, and it was herbivorous and partially feathered.

10 Pterodactyl - Johann Georg Wagler

After pterosaurs were discovered by paleontologists, Johann Georg Wagler thought that Pterodactylus and other pterosaurs were incapable of flight and instead swam the open ocean like a sea turtle by using their wings, which were thought to be flippers. Wagler went so far as to classify pterosaurs as marine reptiles like Plesiosaurs. However, we now know that this is far from the truth, and pterosaurs were flying reptiles that used their wings to fly.

The Newcomers

? Therizinosaurus - Jurassic World Dominion

its head is too big and boxy in shape, not to mention that there's shrinkwrapping on its head and not. its claws are all too straight, they should be more curved in shape. Its legs are also inaccurate due to being too thin for such a large creature, and its feet should not resemble those of most other non-bird theropods, they should have all four toes touching the ground instead of just three. its tail may be too long for an advanced therizinosaurid and its body is too horizontal and should be a little more vertical (not fully vertical obviously, but more like the one that Prehistoric Planet got right). Although the movie thankfully gave it feathers, its model itself is just awful.

The Contenders
11 Spinosaurus - Jurassic Park III

This Spinosaurus reconstruction is terrible, but I can forgive the makers of the movie, since Spinosaurus wasn't well known back then when the film was made and hit theaters, as its fossils were so fragmentary that its life appearance and lifestyle was unknown at that time. It is nowhere near as bad as Monsters Resurrected's Spinosaurus, and at least the people tried to make the Spinosaurus in this movie as an animal and not a 100% monster, even if it's somewhat like a monster in parts of its behavior (unlike in Monsters Resurrected, where it is depicted as a 100% monster).

12 Pteranodon - Jurassic Park III

Why does Pteranodon in this movie have teeth if its scientific name literally means "toothless wing"? It is also inaccurate due to lacking fur-like filaments (pycnofibers) like all pterosaurs and having sharp wing tips (which would mess up aerodynamics, so pterosaurs solved this problem by having rounded wingtips).

13 Oviraptor - Dinosaur

This Oviraptor reconstruction looks more like a monster lizard-featherless parrot hybrid more than anything (including the real Oviraptor). It is also incorrectly depicted as an egg-thief (which we now know is false), inspired by an outdated theory that Oviraptor stole eggs of Protoceratops. However, those supposed Protoceratops eggs were actually Oviraptor eggs, and the Oviraptor adults were not thieves at all, but caring parents.

14 Dilophosaurus - Jurassic Park
15 Dreadnoughtus - Jurassic World Dominion

This is a really awful depiction of a recently-discovered sauropod, as this depiction of Dreadnoughtus is shown as a boring, swamp-dwelling, retro sauropod (like outdated sauropod reconstructions) as if it was discovered in the early 20th century, which wasn't the case in real life.

By the way, if you want to see an accurate Dreadnoughtus, look at the amazing Prehistoric Planet Dreadnoughtus reconstruction.

16 Therizinosaurus - Speckles the Tarbosaurus

This Therizinosaurus reconstruction is atrocious, looking like a nightmare hybridized monstrosity that consists of an ostrich and an alligator more than a real Therizinosaurus, being extremely inaccurate (having pronated wrists, a fully-toothed mouth without a beak tip, being entirely featherless, having crocodilian-looking armor, etc.). This is the WORST Therizinosaurus in pop culture.

17 Carnotaurus - Dinosaur

Carnotaurus in this movie is WAY TOO BIG (possibly as large as or larger than a real T. rex) and is too muscular (it actually had slim legs and was a theropod equivalent to a cheetah). It is also incorrectly shown with pronated wrists, something no theropod was known to have.

18 Iguanodon - Dinosaur

We know that real Iguanodon did not have lips covering their beaks, so why did Disney give Iguanodon lips? There is no physical evidence to support the lipped Iguanodon theory. That's like giving modern birds lips.

19 Velociraptor - Dinosaur

Velociraptors in this Disney movie are inaccurately shown with pronated wrists and lacking feathers. At least they are more correctly-sized, have long slender skulls of real Velociraptors (unlike the Jurassic Park's "so-called Velociraptors"), and did not slash their claws into prey (which I'm glad they didn't do in the movie since real raptors were not capable of slashing into prey, unlike cassowaries, and instead hunted prey more like birds of prey, including eagles). They are nowhere near as bad as Jurassic Park raptors.

20 Brontosaurus - Charles Knight

Brontosaurus and other large sauropods were long thought to be largely aquatic (or even fully aquatic), since people thought they were too big to live entirely on land. However, we now know that they were fully terrestrial and were able to support their weight on land.

21 Giganotosaurus - Jurassic World Dominion

OMG, this is one of the worst Giganotosaurus designs I've ever seen. It looks NOTHING like a real Giganotosaurus and instead just looks like a generic hybrid dinosaur from fiction such as Indominus rex. In reality, Giganotosaurus had a pronounced chin and lacked crocodilian armor or a hump on its back. I know the makers of this movie wanted to make it look different from T. rex, but the real Giganotosaurus already looked different from T. rex even without these awesomebro features.

22 Atrociraptor - Jurassic World Dominion

If Jurassic World Dominion gave Pyroraptor an almost fully-feathered body, then there is no excuse in leaving Atrociraptor scaly and naked. This genus of dinosaur was discovered in 2010, for heck sake, so it should have had feathers in the movie (that's like reconstructing Yutyrannus with pure scaly skin despite being discovered in 2012 and with feathers)! Also, its size is overly exaggerated and its wrists sadly look like they're pronating, the same issue as with the InGen "Velociraptors". They should have used Deinonychus or Achillobator for the large size if they wanted a threatening dromaeosaur, not any dromaeosaur that's too small to pose much (if any) danger to people such as (IRL) Atrociraptor.

23 Carnotaurus - Jurassic World

Although its size and design looks better than the one from Disney's Dinosaur, it is still atrocious due to its arms being too developed for an abelisaur and, like all Jurassic World's theropods (aside from Dominion's so-called "Giganotosaurus" and the feathered dinosaurs), are sadly shown being pronated, as well as the fact that, like all of the film's large theropods, have shrink-wrapping issues and the lack of lips.

But the biggest offense to the real Carnotaurus is how it acts! It is shown attacking people and other small creatures... WHILE IT'S ISLAND HOME IS BEING DESTROYED BY A VOLCANIC ERUPTION!!! Plus, it attacks a Sinoceratops, which is far too large and too dangerous for a Carnotaurus to hunt, all while the volcano is killing off life on the island. This is incredibly dumb, since the real Carnotaurus was not a highly aggressive bloodthirsty monster, it's an animal. (Are wolves bloodthirsty? What about bears? Lions? Sharks?)

At least Disney's Dinosaur's depiction of Carnotaurus doesn't act all bloodthirsty and it's depiction in that Disney film is shown only hunting the weak, young, old, injured, or sick animals, and it had a good reason to be hunting other dinosaurs, since it's habitat was already destroyed by an asteroid impact and fresh water is almost nonexistent throughout the movie, so it is forced to hunt out of starvation. Jurassic World's depiction of Carnotaurus had no excuse to attack anything in sight.

24 Liopleurodon - Walking with Dinosaurs

This Liopleurodon is way TOO big compared to the real Liopleurodon (which was similar in size to the modern great white shark), as it is depicted in the series as being similar to baleen whales in size.

25 Baryonyx - Jurassic World

Just like what I said about the Jurassic World's Carnotaurus depiction, the Baryonyx in the film is shown attacking the humans while lava is raining down from above, injuring it in a process, almost as if it is completely oblivious to the volcanic eruption that is happening around it. This would not happen in real life (since Baryonyx, like the real world's Carnotaurus, was not highly aggressive nor bloodthirsty), and instead the Baryonyx would actually cower in fear and safety, trying to avoid lava and hoping to survive the lava.

Not only its behavior is completely wrong, but its anatomy is EVEN WORSE THAN THE FILM'S CARNOTAURUS! Why are its claws on the first fingers not as large or curved as they should be (Baryonyx was named after its iconic claws, for Pete's sake!), while its skin is incorrectly shown as crocodile-like (just because it had a crocodile-like skull doesn't mean that it ever had crocodile skin), and its skull looks NOTHING at all like a real Baryonyx. All of these makes this dinosaur in the movie look more like a fictional hybrid or a fictional modern dinosaur descendant (like the ones from Peter Jackson's King Kong movie) rather than the real Baryonyx.

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