Dinosaurs and Mammals

Dinosaurs and Mammals
Release Date: 
Saturday, January 15, 2000
PDF icon Rules for Dinosaurs and Mammals383.52 KB
Setup Time: 
Play Duration (new players): 
Play Duration (experienced): 
Minimum number of players: 
Maximum number of players: 
Minimum Age: 


The Dinosaurs try to tag the Mammals, and the Mammals try to tag the Dinosaurs. (Geez, it’s a game of tag with a silly title, so the only real object is to run around, act silly, and have fun.)

You Need

  • At least one group of three people to make a Dinosaur.
  • Two or three people to play Mammals.
  • Space to run around safely.

Setting Up

For every five or six people playing, pick three people to group together to be a Dinosaur. Dinosaur players have to keep touching at least one other player of their Dinosaur at all times (by linking elbows, or holding hands, or whatever—ideally, all players in a given Dinosaur will have at least one hand free).

All other players are Mammals. They get to scamper about on their own. (Mammals are much smaller and faster than Dinosaurs.)


The game begins when the Dinosaur bellows out its blood-curdling hunter’s roar—let those tiny little Mammals know you mean business!

The only legal tags are: one or two hands on any part of the body other than hands or head.

It takes ten tags to tag out a Dinosaur, but tagging any player on a Dinosaur counts as a tag for the whole Dinosaur. When a Dinosaur player is tagged, they should call it out; one player in the Dino should keep track of the number of times the entire Dino has been tagged.

It takes only one tag to tag out a Mammal. (Mammals are more fragile than Dinosaurs.)

A tagged-out Mammal must sit down where he or she was tagged out and wait for about 2.5 minutes before coming back into play. (Mammals breed much more quickly than reptiles do!)

A Dinosaur may gain back a tag that they’ve lost by “eating” the corpse of a Mammal. To do this, the Dinosaur must rest a hand on a tagged-out Mammal and count out loud to ten-thousand by thousands. (This doesn’t stop that Mammal from being “reborn” later, though.)


The game ends when all Dinosaurs or all Mammals are tagged out. (See the parenthetical comment next to Object, above.)

Origin and Credits

This is a game that I played in the Summer of ‘99 with a bunch of friends one afternoon on the grass behind The Wall in front of Old Main, at Penn State University.