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A species believed to have been dead (if it existed at all), reappears in modern-day society (or equivalent time period). Reasons for this are numerous, and can include:

  1. Human interference: Humans, often showing hubris, bring a species back to life with magic or science.
  2. Lost World: A sheltered world, in which the species has survived despite what is going on in the world
  3. Preserved / Sealed: Frozen in a glacier, sealed in a bubble dimension, etc.
  4. Not dead yet

Often, but not always, the said species will come and play in our world.

Related Tropes

Examples dealing with Dinosaurs:


  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: Same idea as X-men.
  • The monster Baragon from the Godzilla franchise is some sort of ancient dinosaur-thing that has somehow managed to escape extinction by living underground. Another one, or possibly the same one, was later relocated to Monster Island in the film Destroy All Monsters.
    • Likewise, there's Godzilla himself. Before mutating, Godzilla was simply a Godzillasaurus who was living on a remote island somewhere near Japan. As the original film heavily implies and the sequels prove true, there's more than one Godzillasaurus in existence...of course, most of them have probably mutated by now.
    • Anguirus is a giant ankylosaur that somehow managed to escape extinction...uh...somehow.
    • The film King Kong Escapes features Gorosaurus, a giant T-Rex type of dinosaur that was living on a remote island. It, or possibly another one of its species, was later moved to Monster Island in the film Destroy All Monsters.
    • Titanosaurus was a giant sea-dwelling dinosaur who lived peacefully away from humans until a Mad Scientist discovered him.


  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, Professor Challenger brings a pterodactyl back to civilization. It escapes while it's being shown off.

Multiple Media

  • Jurassic Park: Revived Dinosaurs by Technology. They are now left alone...mostly.
  • King Kong: Dinosaurs inhabit Kong's Island. It is a "lost" island, after all.
  • X-Men: Sheltered world preserved, despite the immediate outside world being much much cooler.
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story: Time Travel brought dinosaurs into modern day New York.

Newspaper Comics

Western Animation

Video Games

  • In the videogame Fur Fighters there is a whole hidden world (which you might actually miss) found by digging down with a seriously large drill. Once down there you find a futuristic Dinosaur society where the titular characters are stars in a children's comic book.
  • The first three Tomb Raider games has Lara Croft encounter a T-Rex at one point in areas where humans have not inhabited the area for ages. Lara technically doesn't have to kill the dinosaur in order to advance (she can just dodge its attacks while gathering up key items and then leave), but in the Anniversary remake, the T-Rex is a full fledged boss fight that can't be avoided.

Examples that don't deal with Dinosaurs:


  • Wolves in Wolf's Rain. Thought to have been extinct for 200 years, actually hanging on in disguise. Not for much longer, though - just until the end of the world.


  • Star Trek IV the Voyage Home: Whales became this via Time Travel. Not necessarily a revival (as the actual whales were alive the entire trip), but still an example nonetheless.
  • In Rodan, people discover ancient giant Pteranodon eggs that hatch into the titular monsters and begin terrorizing Japan.


  • Another one for human interference: in the Thursday Next book series, dodos and Neanderthals have been brought back to life thanks to new technologies.
  • Reg Chronotis from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency went back in time in order to save the Coelacanth from extinction, at the price of having the dodo die out.
  • In The Company Novels, one of the Company's sidelines is buying up apparently worthless plots of land that coincidentally turn out to be the home of a breeding colony of some valuable species previously thought to be extinct. (Time travel is involved.)
  • In Malazan Book of the Fallen species thought to have become extinct during the thousands and millions of years of backstory have a habit of popping up again. Some are prehistoric creatures patterned on real-life paleontology while others are fantasy species. A good rule of thumb is that anything said to be extinct isn't.

Live Action Television

  • On the new series of Doctor Who, the Master uses creatures called the Toclafane as his servants, creatures that the Doctor insists are no more than a Gallifreyan fairy tale. Subverted in that they are not actually Toclafane but cyborg-ified humans.
  • Star Trek Deep Space Nine revealed that some time after the original series the Klingon Empire embarked upon 'The Great Tribble Hunt,' rendering the species extinct. Unfortunately for them the special episode commemorating the franchise's 40th anniversary resulted in the crew going back in time and bringing a couple of tribbles back with them when they returned. Given their prodigious reproductive capabilities their numbers once again rapidly exapnded.

Newspaper Comics

Tabletop RPG

Video Game

  • Valkyria Chronicles: the central twist is that the Valkyria, a race believed to be extinct, still live on in the blood of two female characters in the game, and proves the possibility there could be more out there.
  • In Syberia, it turns out that woolly mammoths are Not Dead Yet and living on the eponymous island of Syberia, up in the north.

Real Life

  • The Coelacanth was believed to have gone extinct in the Cretaceous period. Until they were found alive and well in 1938. They're still doing fine.
    • Unfortunately, the Coelacanth is now an Endangered Species again, due to pollution or overfishing or something.
  • Reports of possible surviving ivory-billed woodpeckers in 2005 have led conservationists to purchase some isolated areas of Arkansas woodland, in the hope that this officially-extinct species might still be hanging on there.
  • The Other Wiki has a whole list of them, both plants and animals. They are officially known as Lazarus Taxon
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