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Paleotherians are therians who identify as a creature that is extinct. While the prefix 'paleo-' usually refers to time periods before the Holocene, the term is used to describe any therian whose species has died out. Therefore, paleotherians can be creatures as ancient as dinosaurs, but also species such as dire wolves and tasmanian tigers.[1]

Experiences[edit | edit source]

Some paleotherians experience frustration in discovering their theriotype.[2] Because there are no living animals to compare their experiences to, it may take a longer time for them to identify what they are. Some have stated that they continue to doubt even after confirming their theriotype for the same reason.[3] Mokele, a reptile cladotherian who expressed skepticism towards many claims of prehistoric phenotypes, observes that a constantly-updating understanding of fossil records has the potential to invalidate information a paleotherian may have based their identification on.[4]

Some paleotherians have expressed great sadness at the fact that their theriotype no longer exists.[5] Paleo, a dire wolf therian, writes that most of the paleotherians they know feel a sense of being out of place, out of time, "...or feel like the Earth as it is now is not the Earth they came from".[2]

History and etymology[edit | edit source]

The term "paleo-therianthrope" was proposed on alt.horror.werewolves on January 25, 1997. Windigo the Feral created a thread wondering if such a thing were possible:
"Had a fairly odd musing re the "if all the humans shifted" thing... that being, the possibility some humans might have phenotypes of *extinct* animals... For example, we hear of werewolves and werecats and such, but we never hear of, say, were-smilodonts... which makes not a hell of a lot of sense... I mean, were-sabertooths should exist, though not to the same levels... The only "paleo-therianthrope" (for lack of a better term regarding therianthropes whose phenotypes are of extinct animals) are were-deinonychs (which is kind of neat, esp. since Deinonychus is basically a very wolfy-acting protobird... imagine a flock of ground-birds with claws and teeth :)... why don't you ever hear of someone being, say, a were-tyrannosaur?"[1]
Mokele responds to an uptick in people identifying as "were-raptors" in an essay, possibly in the early 2000s.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Windigo The Feral. (January 25, 1997) "Odd musing: weres of extinct animals?"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Paleo. (January 2007) "Extinct Theriotypes"
  3. Liesk. (September 17th, 2007) "Digging up the Past"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mokele. "Critical Examination of Dromeosaur Therians" (Archived version)
  5. Paleo. (December 2005) "On Being Extinct"