Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Dinothropy - When a Man Is a Dinosaur

Rex: Anthropomorphic if not dinothropomorphic
(photo by Bram)


Noun. Also dinopomorphism. Late 19th century.
[from dino- abbreviation of dinosaur + Greek anthropos man.]

1(a) The pathological delusion that one is a dinosaur. L19

2 The pathological display of dinosaur-like characteristics. E20

If you have a constant craving for raw meat, are exceptionally heavy-footed, and have an irrational fear of tar pits and asteroid strikes, it's possible that you're one of the surprisingly many dinothropes in the world.

Descriptions of dinothropy first started to appear in medical literature in the late 19th century, a period that corresponds to the time that dinosaurs began to explode into the public consciousness. Prominent London anatomist and surgeon Henry Gray was one of the first to describe the condition, writing that dinothropy is "a singular conviction that one is a great reptilian beast, somehow transplanted into the human frame but otherwise wholly reptoid." 

Today, dinothropy is still relatively unknown outside professional circles. Increased activism and awareness campaigns, however, are beginning to throw light on this bizarre and often all-consuming delusion:

"I don't like the word delusion," said Terry d'Arctile, chairman of the International Society of Dinothropes. "Delusion implies that I'm mad. I'm not mad. I just think I'm a stegosaurus."

Interviews such as these are doing much to increase awareness and dispel misconceptions, which in turn has lead to many more speaking out against the harsh, at times heartbreaking, difficulties they face as a subculture.

"It's crazy," continued d'Arctile. "You have ailurophiles, canophilists, even lycanthropes, and they get all the help and support they need. As soon as you tell a girl you're a stegosaurus, however, she won't talk to you anymore. What's that about? I'm not even a carnivore."

"The bullying is perhaps the worst part," said another dinothrope. "You constantly have to deal with jibes, like people pointing at the sky and shouting 'Comet!' Or asking 'Cup of tea, Rex?' I've learnt to deal with it though. Now, I just turn around and say 'Hey, we ruled the planet for 250 million years, and we're going to rule again, so I think you should show a bit more respect.' That usually makes people stay away from me."

There have been even been some high-profile brushes with the law, as a spate of dinosaur egg thefts in North Carolina, USA, and Mandu, India, have been attributed to dinothropic hardliners seeking to reclaim what they believe is rightfully theirs.

As for the future of dinothropes, it's looking a little brighter. Says d'Arctile: "It's getting better. We're seeing local chapters popping up all over the US now, which is a chance for fellow dinothropes to meet and chat and watch a film together, usually Jurassic Park. And in April 2014 we had our first national convention in Las Vegas. It didn't go completely without hitch - next time we'll probably have to separate the carnivores and herbivores, but it's a learning experience and relatively few people were hurt. All in all, though, things are improving. While we might never attain the previous level of planetary domination that our forefathers enjoyed, we can still dream, and until the time we're ready to rise again and take what is rightfully ours, we will continue to promote awareness, understanding and tolerance of dinopothromorphia."

Community outreach programmes seek to increase awareness and understanding of dinothropomorphia
(photo by WFIU Public Radio)

Are you a dinothrope?

Do you have dinothropic tendencies?

Do please leave your comets in the box below.


  1. No.
    And I'm appalled to see Dinos didn't take the time of extinction to evolve from the tantrum and oh so human dreaming of rightly dominate the planet... small wonder some humans are planning on moving to Mars and never return.
    Earth might be too small for the competition I foresee between expanding Egos and Dinosaurs... ""There can be only one"" (Sean Connery voice ;))
    Welcome back, Eddie. I missed the crazy and scary things and people that have their own noun :D.

  2. I simply can't believe this... it's all a joke, right?

    "Delusion implies that I'm mad. I'm not mad. I just think I'm a stegosaurus." ... I just don't get it. I can only laugh (hope that doesn't make me a bully)!

    Also, I am so happy to see another post - hope you and your family are doing great!

  3. Finally a name for my condition! Rawr, bibisaurus!!

    Welcome back, mister! :)