Hmm. Someone has compiled a rather long list of prehistoric fiction novels (1,378 titles!).
For you trivia buffs, before Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs came along, there was James De Mille. His 1888 story, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, is supposedly the oldest published dinosaur novel*.
Anyway, I’m wondering if the interest in prehistoric fiction, together with the boon in post-apocalyptic fiction, might perhaps reflect a deep seated, even unconscious desire to return to a simpler, more pristine and a more invigorating world?
*Update: Ah, a history of prehistoric fiction: Fire in the Stone Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M. Auel by Nicholas Ruddick.
A similar collection from movies: Prehistoric Humans in Film and Television: 581 Dramas, Comedies and Documentaries, 1905–2004 by Michael Klossner.
A couple of blogs devoted to the genre: