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Dinosaur

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Dinosaur
Dinosaur.jpg
Creature type
(Subtype for creature/tribal cards)
Statistics 117 cards
{W} 17.1% {U} 2.6% {B} 2.6% {R} 26.5% {G} 33.3% {B/R} 0.9% {R/G} 4.3% {G/W} 2.6% {R/W} 3.4% {G/U} 0.9% {M} 6%
as of Commander Legends
Scryfall Search
type:"Dinosaur"

Dinosaur is a creature type used for cards depicting prehistoric reptile-like and related creatures.

Description[edit | edit source]

Dinosaurs can be bipedal or quadrupedal species. Elaborate display structures such as horns or crests are common to all dinosaur groups, and some have skeletal modifications such as bony armor and spines. According to modern science, dinosaurs are ancestors of birds and many non-avian dinosaurs were feathered themselves.

Definition[edit | edit source]

Current scientific consensus is that the definition of dinosaurs excludes the flying pterosaurs, synapsids like Dimetrodon, and all the various groups of marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and mosasaurs. This distinction is largely ignored in popular culture and similarly in Magic: The Gathering, where pterosaurs are typed as Dinosaur creatures.[1][2][3]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The real-world term 'dinosaur' is derived from the modern Latin dinosaurus via the Greek deinos, meaning 'terrible', 'horrible', 'fearful', 'astounding', 'marvelous', 'mighty' or 'powerful' and sauros, meaning 'lizard', which itself is an existing creature type and the creature type originally printed on numerous Dinosaurs prior to the Ixalan block.

History[edit | edit source]

Pygmy Allosaurus from Ice Age was the first card to be printed with the creature type Dinosaur. The type was dropped in the Grand Creature Type Update and subsequent Dinosaurs were printed as Lizard Beasts (Crag Saurian, Shivan Raptor, Gnathosaur, Imperiosaur and Deathmist Raptor). Old Fogey from Unhinged was the only exception; the card retained the subtype Dinosaur, because un-cards were eliminated from the Comprehensive Rules list.

According to Aaron Forsythe, a dinosaur world was "unlikely to happen, because they do nothing".[4] However, on Announcement Day in June 2017 it was revealed that the Ixalan block would feature feathered dinosaurs. Kelly Digges confirmed on Twitter that the creature type would be restored and existing dinos would get Oracle updates.[5] In September 2017, 13 older cards were indeed updated to have the subtype.[6] With this, Fungusaur from Alpha retroactively became the earliest card with the subtype. In January 2018, four more cards were updated.[7]

In Ixalan block, Dinosaurs is actually one of the four main supported tribes.[8][9]

Storyline[edit | edit source]

Dominaria[edit | edit source]

Scaly allosaurs and raptors[10] once roamed areas such as Shiv. The Territorial Allosaurus is still a living remnant of the Ice Age. The Windgrace Acolytes fly on pterodactyl-like creatures.

Fiora[edit | edit source]

Like on Ixalan, Fiora's wilderness is home to feathered raptorial dinosaurs. Selvala of Alberon is known to be able to call them as she can do with many other wild beasts and birds.

Ikoria[edit | edit source]

Dinosaurs are one of the dominant clades of Ikoria and associated with both Raugrin and red mana, though some are mono-green as well. They are more reptilian than dinosaurs in other planes, having scales instead of feathers and generally looking like generic lizards. They are extremely violent and constantly seek to fight and to kill.[11]

Ixalan[edit | edit source]

Dinosaurs are the dominant wildlife in the world of Ixalan, inhabiting its jungles and especially the lands of the Sun Empire, where some are controlled by the Sun Empire (without being domesticated).[12][13] Unlike dinosaurs from other planes, these bear brilliant plumage in multiple colors.[14][15][16] They are associated with the sun, and local dinosaur avatars embody different solar stages. The humans of the Sun Empire believe them to be creations of Kinjalli, who made them out of stone.

Types of Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

The Rumbling Herbs

The largest of dinosaurs are huge, long-necked herbivores that feed on the leaves of tall trees. The enormous size of these dinosaurs means that a single beast, often a young, old, or injured one that gets separated from the herd, can feed a whole pack of smaller predators. The magnificent altisaurs wander across the plains and through the sparse forests of the Sun Coast, grazing on the tops of trees. Brontodons travel in herds, and when they build up any speed the earth thunders beneath their tremendous weight.[17]

Horned Herbivores

Many smaller herbivores are found on the plains of Ixalan. Rather than depending on size for protection, these dinosaurs are protected by plated scales, sharps horns, or spiked tails. They tend to be aggressively proactive in chasing off predators before they are attacked, and the people of the Sun Empire find them among the hardest dinosaurs to control. Ceratopses sport enormous horns on and around the large feathered frills that protect their necks. The related snubhorns lack the sharp, pointed horns of their cousins. Despite their surly temper, ceratopses make excellent mounts.[17]

Scales, Spikes, and Hammers

For dinosaurs without the prominent horns of the ceratopses, armored plating, and deadly tails are their best defense against predators. Aegisaurs' backs are covered with thick, armored scales that resemble turtle shells. Their tails are tripped with massive, bony clubs that can smash an aggressor's skull. Armasaurs also have plates on their backs, but these rise up like spikes along their spines. Their whiplike tails also bear sharp spikes for protection. Even lacking horns or spikes, hammerskulls can protect themselves with their thickly plated heads. Other herbivores rely on speed, stealth, or numbers to aid their chances of survival.[17]

Soaring Flocks

Aerosaurs include several varieties of large reptiles with leathery wings, including pterodons and sunwings. Though they are generally clumsy fliers, better at gliding from high perches or riding coastal updrafts than at lifting themselves from the ground, they are sometimes used as mounts by knights of the Sun Empire.[17]

The Flesh Eaters

The most feared dinosaurs are the aggressive bipedal predators that hunt other dinosaurs, and aren't averse to feeding on human flesh. Despite (or more likely because of) their ferocity, they make excellent mounts, since they do not balk or shy away from combat. These dinosaurs include a huge variety of raptors, ranging from dog-sized creatures that hunt in terrifying packs to monstrous raptors large enough to carry an armored knight into battle.[17]

Teeth and Frills

Ferocidons are particularly vicious relatives of raptors, specialized to take down much larger prey. Sailbacks are predators that lurk in lakes and rivers to ambush unwary prey. The dinosaurs aptly known as deathspitters can spit venom to blind their prey before closing in for the kill.[17]

Dinosaurs Tyrants

Ixalan's largest predators are a family of dinosaurs with large heads, bladelike teeth, and short, almost vestigial front legs. These terrifying creatures bear names like monstrosaurs, dreadmaws, swordtooths, regisaurs, and tyrants, and the mere sound of their roars inspires terror. Most of them are solitary hunters, but regisaurs, in particular, are known for hunting in small packs.[17]

Elder Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

The Elder Dinosaurs were apparently preserved for ages in the Golden City of Orazca.[18] Compared to their smaller cousins they have less colorful plumage and more grayish scales, but their feathers are a bright gold that matches the city itself. They are strong-willed and ferocious, but the power of the Immortal Sun gives the Sun Empire warriors who wield it the ability to bring these elder dinosaurs under their command. The tale of the Elder Dinosaurs had taken Huatli the longest to memorize, an agonizing two years to lock in her mind in its entirety.[19] They were ancient and wild, utterly untamable, the greatest of the dinosaurs.

Mirrodin[edit | edit source]

Pterons, pterodactyl-like flying creatures, soar the skies above the Razor Fields of Mirrodin.[20] They are associated with White, though they aren't represented in cards other than Pteron Ghost. Though not from Mirrodin, Wingfold Pteron from Ikoria is another representation of this kind of creature.

Tyrranax are giant predatory reptiles that roam the Tangle, feeding on any lesser creature.

Muraganda[edit | edit source]

Imperiosaurs and other giant saurians inhabit this primeval and wild plane and are sometimes victims to the dreaded Mimeoplasm.

Ravnica[edit | edit source]

Dinosaurs have been known to exist on Ravnica, often intruding on the urban territory, such as Ripscale Predator

Tarkir[edit | edit source]

The mist valleys are home to some fearsome raptorian saurians with camouflage abilities.

Notable Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

Ixalan
Ikoria

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Tokens[edit | edit source]

Token Name Color Type Line P/T Text Box Source Printings
Dinosaur Green Creature — Dinosaur 3/3 Trample
Red Creature — Dinosaur 1/1 Haste
Dinosaur Beast Green Creature — Dinosaur Beast X/X Trample
Dinosaur Cat Red/​White Creature — Dinosaur Cat 2/2

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mark Rosewater (September 07, 2017). "Some Ixalan science concerns". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  2. Mark Rosewater (August 28, 2017). "How many comments have you gotten mentioning that Pterosaurs and their ilk are not actually dinosaurs?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  3. Mark Rosewater (October 2, 2017). "Dinosaurs and Vampires and Pirates (and Merfolk), Oh My, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Wizards of the Coast (November 7, 2014). "PAX Australia Magic Panel". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Kelly Digges on Twitter
  6. Nicholas Wolfram (September 6, 2017). "A Royal Recipe for Dinosaur Tribal". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Eli Shiffrin (January 11, 2018). "Rivals of Ixalan Oracle Changes". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (September 18, 2017). "Just for Ix(alan), Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Sam Stoddard (September 12, 2017). "Developing a Tribal Set". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Fog Bank (Urza's Saga)
  11. Chris Mooney (April 2, 2020). "Planeswalker's Guide to Ikoria". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Blake Rasmussen and Alison Luhrs (August 30, 2017). "Magic Story Podcast: Ixalan". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  13. R&D Narrative Team (November 1, 2017). "Planeswalker's Guide to Ixalan, Part 1". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Nicholas Wolfram (September 6, 2017). "Exploring Ixalan – Regisaur Alpha". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Nicholas Wolfram (September 7, 2017). "Exploring Ixalan – Raptor Hatchling". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Nicholas Wolfram (September 8, 2017). "Exploring Ixalan – Rampaging Ferocidon". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  17. a b c d e f g James Wyatt (2018). "The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan". VIZ Media.
  18. The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Ixalan
  19. R&D Narrative Team (January 24, 2018). "The Arbiter of Law Left Chaos in His Wake". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  20. Magic Arcana (June 22, 2004). "All about pterons". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.