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So there's some creature long extinct, but there are fossils of it. Time to use some Applied Phlebotinum to revive the creature and reintroduce back in the present.

Examples of Fossil Revival include:

Comic Books

  • Spider-Man foe Stegron invented a ray that allowed him to transform fossil dinosaurs in museums into living dinosaurs that he used to rampage through New York.

Film - Live Action

  • The premise of Jurassic Park.
  • In the movie Mammoth, an alien crash lands in a small town that has a mammoth in their museum. The alien gets inside of the mammoth, and brings it to life and goes on a soul-sucking rampage.


  • In John Varley's Steel Beach, brontosaurs have been revived to serve as food animals on the Moon.
  • In The Dresden Files novel, Dead Beat, Harry reanimates Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex as a zombie dinosaur.
    • This becomes a defining point for both Harry and the series. It's also a really badass loophole in the "no reanimating people" rule. Which happens to be enforced by decapitation. By combat wizards. With Anti-Magic swords.
  • In the beginning of A Song of Ice and Fire, dragons are dead and all that remains are some fossilized eggs. By the end of the first book, that's no longer true.
  • In Emperor Mage, Daine flies into an Unstoppable Rage when she believes Numair to be dead. Said Unstoppable Rage involves not only amassing an army of living animals but also reanimating the myriad dinosaur skeletons hanging around the Carthaki palace.
  • Six years before Michael Crichton ran with the idea, a short scifi/horror novel called Carnosaur used this trope to recreate dinosaurs from mummified fossil remains.
  • In "Founding Fathers" by Stephen Dedman, set on a newly-colonized planet, it's mentioned in passing that the animals the colonists brought with them as frozen embryos include not only the obvious things like cattle and deer but also mammoths and passenger pigeons.
  • The Venber (actually Venber infused with human DNA) in Animorphs "The Extreme"

Newspaper Comics

  • The Modesty Blaise arc "The Return of the Mammoth" involves a plan by Soviet scientists to fertilise eggs taken from a frozen mammoth and and carry them to term inside an African elephant.
    • This is actually Ripped from the Headlines, although it's being done by American scientists and it's being held back by their inability to find a suitable frozen mammoth.

Real Life

  • There is a lot of talk about doing this for some extinct animals such as Mammoths but only a few extinct species have ever actually been brought back for example the extinct Pyrenean Ibex was resurrected by cloning; It died from lung problems 7 minutes after birth though.

Tabletop Games

  • Call of Cthulhu adventure Spawn of Azathoth, Book 2 "The Spawn Approaches", section "The Andaman Islands". The spell "Call Children of Atlach-Nacha" can be used to return spider fossils to life.
  • A supplement for 3rd Edition D&D included a template for animated skeletons created from fossils rather than recently-dead bones.

Video Games

  • Pokémon: Nearly every generation of the main series has a place where players could take their fossils to to be revived as Pokémon. The resulting Pokémon are also always part-Rock type (with the exception of Cranidos/Rampardos, which is purely Rock type).
    • The only exception is Genesect, which was revived by Team Plasma, and is part Steel, instead of part Rock, due to being given a better, stronger body.
  • The Las Plagas of Resident Evil 4 are revealed to be prehistoric, and were recovered from fossils in an excavation underneath the castle. God knows how old they really were.
  • Parasite Eve: Some sort of semi-sentient organic goo-thing, resulting from an accidental case of Instrumentality, disappears into the New York Museum of History. Apparently deciding that dinosaurs are awesome, it then flows across the exhibited skeletons and revives them as entirely fleshy - and quite aggressive - dinosaurs.
  • Spectrobes has the titular creatures being revived in this fashion. However, their "fossils" are less traditional fossils and more stone statues in their shapes, making them more of a kind of Sealed Good in a Can.
  • Fossil Fighters does this more directly, with dinosaurs being revived from fossils. However, the technology that does so is a little... funky, and gives the critters it revives elemental powers.
  • The newest expansion pack of Zoo Tycoon 2 lets the player find fossils and clone a baby dino/extinct animal from it. If the player gets a 100% on the minigame required to clone the critter, the baby becomes a Super Clone, which is bigger, lives longer, and won't get sick.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, there is a boss fight against a giant skeleton dragon, which is reanimated by Zant and his dark sword.
  • World of Warcraft, thanks to the archaeology profession released in the Cataclysm expansion, allows players to find raptor fossils and rebuild them into a moving mount and pet.
  • Mass Effect 3 has you search for fossils to resurrect a once dead dinosaur species called the Kakliosaur. Shepard even says he found the fossil encased in amber.

Web Comics

  • Xombie: one of the main characters has a pet zombie velociraptor (as whatever brought about the Zombie Apocalypse reanimated dinosaurs in the museum).

Western Animation

  • Carmen Sandiego once tried to resurrect some large dinosaur from a skeleton. It didn't work.
  • An episode of The Super Globetrotters featured Museum Man, who has a device that turns dinosaur skeletons back into live dinosaurs.
  • In the Futurama episode "Jurassic Bark", Professor Farnsworth attempts to revive the fossilized remains of Fry's dog. In a related matter, one of the Anthology of Interest episodes had Farnsworth turning Bender human by means of "reverse fossilization".
  • On The Penguins of Madagascar, Kowalski creates a cloning machine he plans to use to revive an extinct penguin with a feather sample from a specimen in the Museum of Natural History. Unfortunately, the mission goes wrong and they clone a dodo instead, who turns out to be recklessly suicidal, so they have to clone him again... and again, and again, and again.
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