With New dinosaurs being discovered described and named on a weekly basis there is plenty of opportunity for fossil hunters and palaeontologists to slip up when naming a dinosaur, or give it a funny dinosaur name to get attention or to add a bit of humor to matters. There have been some excellent funny dinosaur names in the 2 to 300 years we have been naming these animals. Below we have some of the funniest dinosaurs names.
With over 1200 dinosaurs currently named and classified there are some excellent funny dinosaur names that have been given in the last 200 years. The funniest so far included, Pantydraco, Elvisaurus, Erectopus, Irritator and Bambiraptor and there are sure to be more in the coming years.
We have included a table with some of the funny dinosaur names below, with their meaning and how to say them. While most are easy to see why they are funny some need a little explaining so we have that in the funny dinosaur names table as well. We also have highlighted some of the dinosaurs below where we explain a little more about how the dinosaurs got their funny names.
Table 1: Funny Dinosaur Names
|Funny Dinosaur Names and meaning.||Reason named||How to Pronounce.|
|The original fossils were lost to the black market and the scientist who discovered them were very irritated with the condition when they were returned! Though the name was not funny for them, it is a funny dinosaur names for us!||Ih – Ruh – Tate – Or|
|Named after the National airline of Australia! Though it could not fly.||Kwan – Tas – Sore – Rus|
|Yes it was named after the cute baby deer! However, it was actually a very smart raptor like carnivore.||Bam – Bee Rap – Tore|
|A dinosaur named after a gas company! Why not!||Gas – Oh – Sore – us.|
|Actually named after a village in Wales, not a set of underwear…. so they say. Where intentional or not, it is one of the funny dinosaur names.||Pant – ee – Dray – Coh|
|Actually named for the upright posture of its feet, and that is all, just its feet!||Eh – Rect -Oh – Pus|
“cold crest Lizard”
|Elvisaurus Is not actually the real name of this dinosaur, but its nickname. Its real name is cryolophosaurus and it had a crest that reminded scientists of Elvis!||El – Vi – Sore – Rus|
“Wendy’s horn Face”
|Sometimes Dinosaurs are named after who discovered them, and sometimes this works, and sometimes, well, it doesn’t work so well…||When – Dee – Sair – Rah – Tops|
|This funny dinosaur name is not a reference to the drinking problems of a dinosaur. It is actually named for Edward Drinker Cope the paleontologist.||Drink – Er|
“Small hard headed Lizard”
|While not the funniest dinosaur name it was the longest and for a small dinosaur that makes it a little amusing.||Mike -Row – Patch – ee – Seph – Ah – Low – Saw – Rus|
|Named after the writer of Jurassic Ark and Jurassic Park the Lost world. A case of Life imitating art, or Art imitating life!||Cry – Ton – Sore -Us|
“Harbinger of Doom”
|Funny as it was a tiny terror, and a early ancestor of Tyrannosaurus Rex. Its name means Harbinger of Doom||More – Ros – In -Trep – Id – Us|
|Its name, even though it was a herbivore means “fears nothing” and although it was huge, surely it feared something! and is one of the funny dinsaour names.||Dread – Nawt – Us|
Irritator Lived 110 million years ago in what is now Brazil, in South America, it got its very unique name from the scientists who reclaimed the fossil after it had been sold to fossil collectors only to discover that it had been damaged and changed.
Irritator was a smaller Spinosaur than its more famous and much MUCH larger cousin. it was about 7.5 meters long and about 2000 lbs. There Have been a few species identified of this dinosaur.
So while the named was the scientists try to say how they felt about the state of the dinosaur, without the story behind it it makes you think it was probably just an irritating and annoying dinosaur, which is quite a funny concept and puts it on the list of funny dinosaur names.
Irritator Name Meaning: “Irritating”.
Qantassaurus is being named after Australia’s flagship air carrier but is was not able to fly. It was a two legged herbivore dinosaur that lived about 115 million years ago in what is now Australia. it was a small dinosaur only about 3 metres long (9 feet) and a mere tall ( 3 feet) and was likely to be able to run quite fast.
It was similar to a scaled down iguanodon, and lived in Australia when it would have been quite cold, for this reason it was thought that it would have been warm blooded to be able to maintain its body temperature. It was discovered in 1996.
Naming a dinosaur after a company seems a funny thing to do ( and was made fun of in Jurassic World) but namking a dinosaur after an airline, when the dinosaur can’t fly. We are not sure how good an idea that is! So we have put it on our list of funny dinosaur names.
Qantassaurus Name meaning: “Qantas Lizard”
Bambiraptor – yes it was named after the cute disney cartoon – was a member of the raptor family ( dromaeosaur) it was found as a juvenile and the adult has been estimated to be 2- 3 metres long. it had long legs and was thought to be be a fast runner.
Although its brain was smaller compared to modern birds, it was larger ( in proportion) to other raptors and it is thought it might have been smarter than other members of its family. In fact it had the largest brain for its size for any dinosaur so far, maybe a contender for the smartest dinosaur title, and with being named after arguably the cutest of all disney characters despite it being a toothy predator makes it a contender for one of the funniest dinosaur names as well.
Gasosaurus was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur that lived during the middle jurassic about 164 million year ago. it is named as its location was discovered by a gas company in China. it was discovered in 1985.
it is being studied more closely at the moment as we are unsure what classification it should fall under. it was a small carnivore, at about 11 to 13 feet long ( 3-4 metres) an would have weighed about 150 kg or 330 lbs.
Like Qantassaurus it is another dinosaur named after a company, how long till we have coca cola saurus or a Pepsisaurus to put on our list of funny dinosaur names.
Pantydraco, despite its unusual name!, is actually named after the Welsh village of Pant-y-ffnnon where is was discovered. Though we are fairly sure those who named it would be aware of the confusion! and deliberate made is one of the best funny dinosaur names
It was an early member of the sauropod family. it was relatively small at 50 kg ( estimated) when an adult and about 3 metres long – 9 to 10 feet and as far as we are aware despite having one of the funniest dinosaur names did not, in fact, wear panties!
It could have been worse it would have been called Pantyraptor ( we will let you work this one out)
Pantydraco Name Meaning: “Panty Dragon”
Erectopus was a carnivore from around 100 million years ago in France. it was first discovered in 1872.its name was given to describe its upright foot fossils, however it also raises a few smiles in classrooms and study halls for reasons if you don’t know we won’t tell you! When you do work it out you ca see why we put it on our list of funny dinosaur names.
Erectopus Name Meaning: “upright Foot“
The dinosaur name is not actually Elvisaurus, it was given this nickname as its crest looked like the tall hairstyle the rock and roll singer. it was actually called a Cryolophosaurus and lived in a place not often visited.
Cryolophosaurus is a meat eating Dinosaur that has been discovered in Antarctica! It was about 20-22 feet long ( 6-7 metres) and lived 186 -182 million years ago. As its name suggest s it has a crest on its head, and as its nickname suggested paelongtologiest have decided to make this one of the funny dinosaur names, well nicknames anyway.
There was another dinosaur called Elvis, but that was the Parasaurolophus from Jurassic Park- The lost world, which also had a rather extravagant crest.
Cryolophosaurus Name Meaning: “cold crested lizard”
Wendiceratops is another species of horned dinosaur that lived in North America about 79 million years ago. It was the second horned dinosaur fossils to be found in 2015. It is named after Wendy Sloboda who was a very famous fossil hunter. However, the similarity to Wendy’s burger Joint makes a lot of people think it may have been named for that rather than for the famous fossil hunter.
this puts it on our list of funny dinosaur names however the idea behind it was to pay homage to a true great in fossil hunting, and there are plenty more dinosaurs that are named after people much less deserving!
Also with the full name meaning Wendy’s Horned face it is not that flattering either!
it was a medium sized ceratopsian, at about 20 feet long (6 meters) long. and would have lived with troodon, parasaurolophus, and albertaceratops.
Wendiceratops Name Meaning: “Wendy Horn Face“
Drinker is named for the famous paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope It was a 2 meter long Jurassic herbivore that lived about 200 million year ago.
Cope was a very famous paleontologist and it is only fitting that a dinosaur would be named after him, however most people think this dinosaur may have actually had a drinking problem when they hear its name and we certainly don’t think there was an alcoholic dinosaur!
Even with the idea behind the dinosaur name being to honor one of the first and most prolific paleontologists, being confused for an alcoholic dinosaur certainly makes it one of the funniest dinosaur names.
Drinker Name Meaning: “For Drinker”
Micropachycephalosaurus is more famous for its name than anything else. Its name is currently the longest of all the dinosaur names. We have an article on the site here and linked below. Although not as weird and perhaps not one of the funny dinosaur names, its length, and listening to people try to pronounce it certainly is funny.
It lived in china about 69 million years ago and although its name is long, it was a small dinosaur. its name may mean thick headed but it was actually assigned to the ceratopsian family (horned face) of dinosaurs
it was about one metre long and its name is the longest of the Dinosaur names beginning with M and as we mentioned above the longest ever dinosaur name.
Micropachycephalosaurus Name Meaning: “Small Thick Headed Lizard”
Stygimoloch, like dracorex hogwartsia, is now considered to be a juvenile pachycephalosaurus, however its name is so cool we are not quite ready to let it go yet! While its name is not really one of the funniest dinosaur names, the meaning is eye opening after you get over the shock of it.
this small dinosaur had a very scary meaning name!
Stygimoloch Name Meaning: “demon from the river of death.”
Crichtonsaurus is a member of the Ankylosaurus family named after the author of Jurassic Park. it was discovered in 1999 in China and lived about 80 million years ago. This dinosaur blurs the lines between fact and fiction and had they taken the suggestion below it would have been a great homage to the writer who put dinosaurs back on the map in a big way.
Also was also almost a dinosaur named after steven Spielberg but was instead named the Utahraptor.
We really think the movie makers of the last three Jurassic World movies missed a trick by not including it in the movies, even just for a little fun!
Crichtonsaurus Name Meaning: “Crichton’s lizard”
Dreadnoughtus was one of the biggest ever dinosaurs, and even a contender for the largest from full or almost complete remains. Being one of the largest you can work out it was a sauropod. While its name actually sounds quite cool, it is one of those dinosaurs that is named to give an idea of its size and power.
Dreadnoughtus means “fears nothing” and it was named to show how very large it was and that when it lived it really did fear nothing! A great named though we don’t know how true that is.
it lived about 76 to 70 million years ago in Argentina, and was discovered in 2005. Estimates for Dreadnoughtus size vary. however it was thought to be over 100,000 lbs in weight ( 49,000 Kg) and over 85 feet long.
Dreadnoughtus .Name Meaning: “Fears Nothing”
Why Do Some Dinosaurs have funny names?
The reason some dinosaurs can have funny names really depends on who was naming it and when it was named. Sometimes it is an oversight or a mistake and other times it is entirely on purpose. Here are some reasons why there might be funny dinosaur names.
- Mistake or not realising other meanings of the name
- To give a story or clue about the dinosaur
- because an expedition sponsor wanted their name remembered and the naming of the dinosaur was one way.
- The Friday afternoon naming, when paleontologist want to be funny, fast or there was something bothering them!!
- The Feelings of the discoverer or what they want people who read about the dinosaur to feel!
it is not just dinosaurs that have have been given unusual or funny names, there are plenty of places on the world that have been named due to the feelings of their discoverer. Captain James Cook named a place in Australia Cape Tribulation because of all the troubles he was having when he was sailing there for example.
How do Dinosaurs get their names?
The word dinosaur literally means “terrible lizard” and derives from the Greek words deinos and saurus. Although dinosaurs look like lizards today, they are far from the same.
Some factors in Dinosaur naming include:
- Another way to give a dinosaur a good name is to honor its local environment. Many paleontologists rely on local support for their research, so paying tribute to local places is an excellent way to engage the local culture. Utahraptor, Pantydraco are two examples.
- The names of dinosaurs are often descriptive of their characteristics, such as their color and size, horns or teeth, or bone structure. Scientists use latin and greek root words to name these creatures. Examples of this are the names of Triceratops, iguanodon, diplodocus
- Dinosaurs are also named after the person who found it, or from a famous scientist, or even from the people sponsoring the fossil expedition. Names like Attenborosaurus, Drinker, or Herrerasaurus for example.
- Some dinosaur names are given to give a sense of size (large or small) or awe on how impressive these creatures could be. Titanosaurus, giganotosaurus and microraptor for example.
So while there are some commonalities when naming dinosaurs as mentioned above it is possible to name it anything you want as long as it is original. So we can expect some funnier dinosaur names to appear as we discover more and more in the years to come.
Classification is a set procedure, and relies on bones strictures and similarities to dinosaurs already discovered but naming can be as creative as you like, or not in some cases ( check out Allosaurus name meaning as an example. A terrible name for a great dinosaur!!!)
We also have articles on the longest and shortest dinosaur names here on the site which you can find linked below.
So while humor can be as subjective as beauty, there are some dinosaur names that are always funny and we hope we have highlighted some of the funny dinosaur names for you in the list above.
If you disagree or if you think we missed some feel free to leave a comment and we can add to this at any time, however no one can argue about panty draco being funny surely!
Hi, I am a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs