What about the Dinosaurs? Dinosaurs for Dummies

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Part of the Here Lies the Truth Project

There are vast numbers of historical accounts of Man seeing and interacting with Dinosaurs and just a few are presented here from all different periods of time.

It is worth bearing in mind here that the word Dinosaur was only introduced in 1842 by Richard Owen founder of the natural history museum so prior to that time encounters with Dinosaurs would have been referred to as Dragons, Serpents, Sea Monsters etc.

The Evidence Accounts of Dinosaurs are laid out in four sections as shown below:-


Table of Evidence of Dinosaur Encounters with Man

Time Period


Accounts of Dinosaurs

2000 BC

The Bible - Job 40

Behemoth - Large Sauropod Dinosaur

2000 BC

The Bible - Job 41

Leviathan - Huge Sea Serpent / Dinosaur

484 - 425 BC

Greek Historian - Herodotus
“Father of History”

Accounts of winged Dinosaurs

AD 37-100

Josephus - Jewish Historian

Further Accounts of Ramphorhynchus
Accounts of  

AD 77-79

Roman Historian - Pliny the Elder
He Published “Natural History”
Vast Encyclopaedia which claimed to cover entire field of Ancient Knowledge.

Many Dragons in Ethiopia and India 35 feet long.
Serpents in India which can swallow Bulls whole

Serpent 120 feet long killed and preserved in Rome
Serpent killed in the Vatican with a child in its belly

AD 200

Roman Historian - Dio

Roman army killed, skinned a huge Dragon and sent the hide to the Roman Senate. Hide was measured by order of the Senate and was 120 feet long

AD 220

Greek Traveller Apollonius

Quoted in 220 AD by Philostratus

Dragon Hunts in India of 45 feet long Dragons

AD 1290

Venetian Explorer - Marco Polo

Huge Serpents in Province of Karazan in China
Jaws wide enough to swallow a Man.
Graphic descriptions of Dragon Hunts and how the parts of the Dragon are used.

AD 1572

Italian Naturalist

Ulysses Aldrovandus
“Father of Modern Natural History”

Created 13 volume Natural History includes - Vol 10

“The Natural History of Serpents and Dragons” 1640

Mentions Dragons with Two Legs.
These are also described by Marco Polo.

AD 1649

Anglo Saxon Chronicle

Winged Serpents around Penllyn Castle Glamorgan

AD 1734

Patron Saint of Greenland
Hans Egede

Encounter with a a monster similar to a Plesiosaur.

AD 1830

Royal Navy Sea Captain
James Stockdale

Captains Log of encounter with Sea Serpent near to Island of St Helena

AD 1842

Founder of the Natural History Museum - Richard Owen

Introduced the Word Dinosaur

AD 1857

Sea Captain - George Harrington

Another Sea Monster sighting near St Helena

The book of Job was written between 3500 and 4000 years ago. You could argue that biblical commentaries have got it right in describing Behemoth as either an elephant or a hippo, as both are very large and also herbivores. The book of Job demonstrates that its writer understands the animal world very well. And yet if behemoth was an elephant or a hippo then what explanation is there for this colossal beast's tail being described as moving like a cedar. In the bible the cedar tree is a byword for grandeur. The movements of their branches would be a natural likeness to that of creatures such as a Diplodocus or Argentinosaurus.

Behemoth -  Huge Dinosaur described in the Bible

“Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.

What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly. Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.

Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron. It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.

The hills bring it their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby. Under the lotus plants it lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh.

The lotuses conceal it in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround it.

A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.

Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?"

Job Ch. 40 v 15 - 24

The picture above shows the sort of creature that God speaks to Job about and Job must have seen. He speaks of a massively impressive animal. Greater than every other, a standout animal. How else would the argument made by God have made its impact?

Greek Historian - Herodotus - “Father of History”

Accounts of Winged Dinosaurs in Arabia

Herodotus writes -

“I went once to a certain place in Arabia, almost exactly opposite the city of Buto, to make inquiries concerning the winged serpents.

On my arrival I saw the back-bones and ribs of serpents in such numbers as it is impossible to describe: of the ribs there were a multitude of heaps, some great, some small, some middle-sized. The place where the bones lie is at the entrance of a narrow gorge between steep mountains, which there open upon a spacious plain communicating with the great plain of Egypt.”

The “Winged Serpents” maybe looked something like the pterodactyl like creature illustrated here.

Herodotus was a Greek Historian who lived between 484 BC-425 BC.

He has been called the "Father of History" since he was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a well-constructed and vivid narrative.

Roman Historian - Pliny the Elder

Accounts of Dragons and Serpents

The Natural History is an encyclopaedia published circa AD 77-79 by Pliny the Elder.

It is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire to the modern day and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available to Pliny.

Pliny writes of many Dragons which were bred mainly in Ethiopia and also in India about 35 feet long.
He mentions Serpents in India which can swallow Bulls whole.

He also recounts how a 120 feet long Serpent was killed by the Roman Army and then the skin and jaws were taken back to and preserved in Rome.

The Serpents that we see in Italy that are called Boae, which increase to such Size, that in the Days of the Prince Dlvus Claudius there was one of them killed in the Vatican, within the Belly of which there was found an Infant Child.

Greek Traveller and Philospher -  Apollonius of Tyana

Accounts of Dragon Hunts in India

The following is quoted from the Life of Apollonius: by Philostratus in 220 AD:-

'Now as they descended the mountain, they say they came in for a dragon hunt, which I must needs describe. For it is utterly absurd for those who are amateurs of hare-hunting to spin yarns about the hare as to how it is caught or ought to be caught, and yet that we should omit to describe a chase as bold as it is wonderful, and in which the sage (Apollonius) was careful to assist; so I have written the following account of it: The whole of India is girt with dragons of enormous size; for not only the marshes are full of them, but the mountains as well, and there is not a single ridge without one. Now the marsh kind are sluggish in their habits and are thirty cubits long, (45 feet) and they have no crest standing up on their heads, but in this respect resemble the she-dragons.

Their backs however are very black, with fewer scales on them than the other kinds; and Homer has described them with deeper insight than have most poets, for he says that the dragon that lived hard by the spring in Aulis had a tawny back; but other poets declare that the congener of this one in the grove of Nemea also had a crest, a feature which we could not verify in regard to the marsh dragons.

And the dragons along the foothills and the mountain crests make their way into the plains after their quarry, and prey upon all the creatures in the marshes; for indeed they reach an extreme length, and move faster than the swiftest rivers, so that nothing escapes them. These actually have a crest, of moderate extent and height when they are young; but as they reach their full size, it grows with them and extends to a considerable height, at which time also they turn red and get serrated backs. This kind also have beards, and lift their necks on high, while their scales glitter like silver; and the pupils of their eyes consist of a fiery stone, and they say that this has an uncanny power for many secret purposes. The plain specimen falls the prize of the hunters whenever it draws upon itself an elephant; for the destruction of both creatures is the result, and those who capture the dragons are rewarded by getting the eyes and skin and teeth. In most respects they resemble the largest swine, but they are slighter in build and 'flexible, and they have teeth as sharp and indestructible as those of the largest fishes.'

Venetian Explorer -  Marco Polo

Graphic Accounts of Dragon Hunts in China

Marco Polo tells of Dragon Hunts in his travels in China in the Province of Karazan

Leaving the city of Yachi and travelling ten days into a westerly direction, you reach the Province of Karazan which is also the name of its chief city… Here are seen huge serpents, ten paces in length and ten spans in the girt of the body. At the fore-part, near the head, they have two short legs, having three claws like those of a tiger, with eyes larger than a four penny loaf and very glaring. The jaws are wide enough to swallow a man, the teeth are large and sharp and their whole appearance is so formidable, that neither man, nor any kind of animal, can approach them without terror. Others are met with a smaller size, being eight, six or five paces long; and the following method is used for taking them: In the day-time, by reason of the great heat, they lurk in caverns, from whence, at night, they issue to seek their food and whatever beast they meet with and can lay hold of, whether tiger, wolf, or any other, they devour; after which they drag themselves towards some lake, spring of water, or river, in order to drink. By their motion in this way along the shore, and their vast weight, they make a deep impression, as if a heavy beam had been drawn along the sands.

Those whose employment it is to hunt them observe the track by which they are most frequently accustomed to go, and fix into the ground several pieces of wood, armed with sharp iron spikes, which they cover with the sand in such a manner as not to be perceptible. When therefore the animals make their way towards the places they usually haunt, they are wounded by these instruments and speedily killed. The crows, as soon as they perceive them to be dead, set up their scream; and this serves as a signal to the hunters, who advance to the spot and proceed to separate the skin from the flesh, taking care immediately to secure the gall, which is most highly esteemed in medicine. In cases of the bite of a mad dog, a pennyweight of it, dissolved in wine, is administered. It is also useful in accelerating parturition, when the labour pains of women have come on. A small quantity of it being applied to carbuncles, pustules or other eruptions on the body, they are presently dispersed; and it is efficacious in many other complaints. The flesh of the animal is also sold at a dear rate, being thought to have a higher flavour than other kinds of meat and by all persons it is esteemed a delicacy."

Royal Navy Sea Captain - James Stockdale

Captains Log of an encounter with a huge Sea Serpent

To falsify a ship's log would cause a captain to face court-martial, the loss of his career, reputation and pension, and cause great trouble to the crew members judged complicit in the deceit.

Declassified files recently released from the National Archives indicate that huge sea serpents were a fact of life for mariners. This account is taken from a captain of the Royal Navy. It.is in no sense legendary and comes from the 19th century. This sea-serpent was seen close to the island of St Helena on May 9, 1830 by the crew of the Rob Roy. Its captain, James Stockdale recorded the encounter in his official log.

“About five p.m. all at once while I was walking on the poop my attention was drawn to the water on the port bow by a scuffling noise. Likewise all the watch on deck were drawn to it. Judge my amazement when what should stare us all in the face as if not knowing whether to come over the deck or to go around the stern, but the great big sea snake! Now I have heard of the fellow before, and I have killed snakes twenty-four feet long in the straits of Malacca, but they would go in his mouth. I think he must have been asleep for we were going along very softly two knots an hour, and he seemed as much alarmed as we were and all taken aback for about fifteen seconds. But he soon was underway and, when fairly off, his head was square with our topsail and his tail was square with the foremast....My ship is 171 feet long overall and the foremast is 42 feet from the stern which would make the monster about 129 feet long. If I had not seen it I could not have believed it but there was no mistake or doubt of its length, for the brute was so close I could even smell his nasty fishy smell....When underway he carried his head about six feet out of water – with a fin between the shoulders about two feet long. I think he was swimming about five miles an hour – for I watched him from the topsail yard till I lost sight of him in about fifty minutes. I hope never to see him more. It is enough to frighten the strong at heart.”

Table of Evidence

A simple table showing evidence of accounts of Dinosaurs set out by time period.

Shown just below.

Evidence Table

Introductory Articles

Some short articles showing some of Man’s encounters with Dinosaurs.

Shown on this page just below the Table.

Introductory Articles

More Detailed Articles

The Evidence Index page introduces some more detailed articles. These can also be accessed using the buttons at the top of the website.

Detailed Articles

Dinosaur Links

There are many excellent websites providing vast amounts of further information. Links to some of these can be found on our Dinosaur Links page.

Dinosaur Links

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Introductory Articles