A new dinosaur species has been named after the Avengers: Infinity War villain Thanos. Thanos was created by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich back in 1973, when the character appeared in The Invincible Iron Man #55. Since then, the character has been the main focus of several comic books, including the Infinity War and Infinity Gauntlet series, where Thanos collects the Infinity Stones in order to destroy half the universe.
The introduction of Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had been teased since the early phase of Marvel's Phase 1, like in Thor when the Infinity Gauntlet was seen in the background of Odin's vault. The following year, fans got their first glimpse of the Mad Titan during the mid-credits scene for The Avengers, and it wasn't until Avengers: Infinity War that Thanos got the chance to personally face off against Earth's Mightiest Heroes. By the end of the film, Thor may have slammed Stormbreaker into Thanos' chest, but Thanos still succeeded in wiping out half of the universe's population with a snap of his fingers. Now, Thanos' legacy lives on - not only as a fictional antagonist, but as the name of a new species of dinosaur.
Comic Book recently reported that a newly found dinosaur species has been named after Thanos. The species is called Thanos simonattoi, a carnivorous dinosaur that could be found in Brazil during the later years of Cretaceous Period. When reported in a journal called Historical Biology, it was explained that the species "differs from other theropods by having a well-developed keel becoming wider and deeper posteriorly on the ventral surface; two lateral small foramina separated by a relative wide wall on each lateral surface of the centrum, and well-developed and deep prezygapophyseal spinodiapophyseal fossae". Here is artist Deverson da Silva's depiction of the dinosaur (via: Flip Science):
Even though Thanos was "totally satisfied" at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, actor Josh Brolin will be returning to the role of Thanos for Avengers 4. Leaks surrounding the film have already revealed the purple Titan suiting up in new battle armor and even wielding a new sword, possibly to prevent the Avengers from undoing all of his hard work. Even though the actor has only been confirmed to appear in one more Marvel movie, Brolin is game to play the role again for future superhero movies.
Prior to his appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there were not a lot of people who were familiar with the villain Thanos. Most die-hard comic book fans knew his story, but that mid-credits scene in The Avengers likely puzzled a number of casual viewers. Now that the villain has been developed for the better part of ten years and was the main villain in Avengers: Infinity War, it's now uncommon to find someone who isn't familiar with Thanos. Naming a dinosaur after a fictional character just goes to show how much of an impact Thanos has had on pop culture.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019