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Rhedosaurus in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
Alternate names The Beast, Herman[1]
Subtitle(s) Atomic Monster
(原子怪獣,   Genshi Kaijū)[2]
Species Dinosaur
Length ~200 feet[3]
Weight 500 tons[3]
Enemies Humans
Created by Eugène Lourié
Modeled by Ray Harryhausen
First appearance Latest appearance
The Beast from
20,000 Fathoms
Planet of Dinosaurs

The Rhedosaurus is a giant fictional dinosaur that first appeared in the 1953 American giant monster film, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

History[edit | edit source]

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms[edit | edit source]

The Rhedosaurus in the film was one of the last surviving members of its species, awakened by a nuclear test in the Arctic. It made its way down the North American coast, destroying everything in its path and ending up in New York, its original home. The Rhedosaurus wandered the streets, eating anyone who got too close to it. Attempts to kill it were complicated by an ancient disease it carried; spilling its blood freed the plague, which was almost as deadly as the reptile itself. The Rhedosaurus was eventually killed at Coney Island when a radioactive isotope was shot into a wound on its neck, both fatally wounding it and also neutralizing the disease. As the Rhedosaurus succumbed to the isotope, a fire it started by destroying the machinery of a roller coaster spread across the island. The Rhedosaurus burst free of the burning coaster and roared out defiantly, before finally collapsing to the ground, dead.

Planet of Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

The Rhedosaurus in Planet of Dinosaurs

As a Tyrannosaurus rex began menacing Captain Lee's crew, Lee and Jim broke into an argument over who should be in charge of crafting a plan to kill it. To prove his resolve, Lee baited the Tyrannosaurus into chasing him away from the camp where the trap preparations were not yet ready. As he continued to run, he took shelter under a ledge, above which a car-sized Rhedosaurus appeared. It hissed at Lee but did not chase him as he continued running. The pursuing Tyrannosaurus came upon the Rhedosaurus and roared at it. The Rhedosaurus roared back, prompting the Tyrannosaurus to lunge at it and bite it on the shoulder, carrying it in the air for several seconds as the Rhedosaurus struggled and tried to fight back. The conflict was ended when the Tyrannosaurus set the Rhedosaurus on the ground and quickly bit its head, crushing its skull and killing it before carrying the body back to its lair, allowing Lee to return to his crew and plan the counterattack.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Contaminated blood[edit | edit source]

The Rhedosaurus' blood contains a disease that can rapidly cause severe sickness and death in humans.

Physical abilities[edit | edit source]

Since it lacks any ranged weaponry, the Rhedosaurus primarily relied on its sheer bulk and powerful limbs during combat, shown when it topples over a lighthouse and crushes a car like it was an insect underneath its metaphorical boot. Its jaws as well were able to kill a human in one bite.

Durability[edit | edit source]

Its scales were thick enough to be unharmed by small arms fire, though heavier munitions were able to wound it sufficiently enough to be able to kill it.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms[edit | edit source]

Planet of Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

Godzilla: Singular Point[edit | edit source]

Roar[edit | edit source]

The Rhedosaurus 's roars

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Rhedosaurus, along with King Kong, was one of the main inspirations for Godzilla. During the production of the 1954 film Godzilla, its pre-published storyline was very similar to that of The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and was actually titled The Giant Monster from 20,000 Miles Under the Sea (海底二万哩から来た大怪獣,   Kaiteinimanmairu kara Kita Daikaijū).[4]
  • Stephen Czerkas constructed a stop-motion Rhedosaurus model for the 1977 film Planet of Dinosaurs, where it battles, and is killed by, a Tyrannosaurus rex. According to animator Jim Aupperle, "Stephen and I both place the Rhedosaurus among our top favourite of Ray's myriad monsters. We felt that by giving the great Beast a cameo in our film we were acknowledging the immense debt we both feel to Ray. We had to make the Rhedosaurus more of a baby size because one as large as the original would have made a meal of our Tyrannosaurus instead of the other way around."[5]
  • A creature resembling the Rhedosaurus briefly appeared in the 1970 film When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, though whether it is meant to be an homage to the Rhedosaurus is unclear.
  • The Rhedosaurus appeared in the sixth episode of the second season of ABC's Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
  • A dinosaur modeled on the Rhedosaurus appears in issues #2 and 4 of the 5-issue IDW comic miniseries Dinosaurs Attack! In issue #4, it leads a charge against U.S. forces alongside creatures resembling Godzilla, Rodan, Reptilicus, Gorgo, and Gertie.[6]

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Rhedosaurus. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks Vol. 2: The American Films by Mike Hankin
  2. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms Poster 1.jpg
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Dinosaur Films of Ray Harryhausen: Features, Early 16mm Experiments and Unrealized Projects by Roy P. Webber
  4. Godzilla Days. Shueisha. pp. 34–38. ISBN 978-4087488159.
  5. Harryhausen, Ray, and Tony Dalton (2008). A Century of Stop Motion Animation: From Melies to Aardman. Watson-Guptill Publications. ISBN 978-0823099801.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. Dinosaurs Attack Homages.jpg


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