The "Element Stones" (unofficial, descriptive name; in dialogue, they are variably called the Stone Tablets or just Stones [season 1], and Stone Plates [season 2]) are a set of seven stones from the anime that when placed together form a circle (six on the border, one in the center). The six border stones represent the six main Dinosaur Elements, with the Center Stone not representing an obvious Element (instead featuring the Signs of the arcade game). They contain the minds and emotions of all the dinosaurs that collected in them after the meteor impact 65 million years ago, as well as enormous amounts of energy, and can be used to activate Dinosaur Cards of their corresponding Element (all 6 border stones can be used to summon Secret Dinosaurs). It is possible that they have some connection to the Pterosaur, as they both have similar glows, and the Cosmos Stones fusing summons the Dark Pterosaur.
The DS Game contains the substitution of the Stones and Stone Fragments, and partially-related Stone Circle; see the DS section below. Of note, the DS's rectangular form around the anime's circular Stone arrangement is also seen in the English arcade game in the background of the Dinosaur and Move selection screen, though only the circular anime arrangement is seen in the original Japanese version, suggesting it to be the original design that was altered to reflect the DS game, likely for recognition.
It was hypothesized by Dr. Ancient that the Stones formed 65 million years ago after the dinosaurs' "spirits" had all merged and solidified, but Seth later claimed that the Element Stones had first formed in the same massive explosion that also created the Cosmos Stones (these Stones with a positive energy, the Cosmos Stones with negative energy), and both sets were brought to Earth in the meteor that had wiped out the dinosaurs, which Spectre had been chasing. It is possible that the Stones formed first and simply absorbed the dinosaurs' spirits after the impact, as Dr. Ancient didn't know about the Cosmos Stones when he came up with his theory.
In the year A.D. 2126, the Ancients' excavation crew found them buried at a dig site. They realized the Stones' dinosaur connection and built the Backlander (powered by the Stones) to go back in time and turn one of every dinosaur type into cards to preserve the species.
When Dr. Z tried to sabotage the expedition while in the timestream, the Backlander malfunctioned, and the Stones separated and were scattered across the planet, along with the Dinosaur Cards, in the present day. The D-Team found the Lightning, Wind, and Grass Stones. The Alpha Gang somehow kept the Fire Stone, and later acquired the Water and Earth Stones, and it was later revealed that they'd had the Center Stone all along.
Acquiring all 7 Stones was Seth's intention during the Series 1 4-part finale.
In the Series 2 finale, the 7 Element Stones (or at least the 6 outer ones) seemed to have dematerialized to counteract the 7 Cosmos Stones, presumably destroying both sets, but neither this nor anything else specific was confirmed in the anime to have been the case.
The Stones are primarily used to summon dinosaurs of their corresponding Element, normally in a Dino Holder/Dino Bracer or Alpha Scanner, with the exception of the Center Stone. In addition, they also seem to allow a mild telepathic connection with dinosaurs, allowing Drs. Ancient and Cretacia and the D-Team to hear their calls for help. They each feature a small chip shaped like a dinosaur foot, likely added by the Ancients to allow for an easier technological interface with the Stones.
Reese quickly found that the Stones react to the activation of Dinosaur Cards and can be used not only to pinpoint the new dinosaur's location, but also to access the "lines" pointing between the Stone and dinosaur to allow teleportation to their location and then back again, a tool the D-Team used to respond to most all dinosaur appearances that weren't right in their home town. Only the person possessing the Stone and their dinosaur partner can teleport, and many times (but not always) stray objects they are holding are left behind. The Alpha Gang, however, never used this ability; it's unclear why, given their possession of future technology, though it being in poor repair and without sufficient power are likely the reasons. However, Rod once used the teleportation feature with the Fire Stone to travel with the D-Team.
When all 7 Stones are used together, they allow the ability of time travel, which is what the Backlander was built to make use of. Attempting to use fake, duplicated Stones in conjunction with real ones to enable time travel, however, seems to be an unstable process that doesn't work properly, as Seth found out (see below).
The Seven Stones
The Lightning Stone features the Lightning symbol, and can be used to activate Lightning Dinosaur cards.
It was found by Max in Prehistory in the Making after a meteor hit in a forest near his house. Placed in a Dino Holder, it was only ever used by Max to summon Chomp, but also once summoned Pawpawsaurus from Tag Team, though not in a battle. Seth stole and copied it in One Final Move!, but Max reclaimed it. Max summoned Chomp using only the Stone in Prehistory in the Making (before the Dino Holder) and Rhino or Dino? (when the Holder had been crushed). It repelling the Black Cosmos Stone led Max to realize how to counteract the Cosmos Stones' power.
The Wind Stone features the Wind symbol, and can be used to activate Wind Dinosaur cards.
It was found by Rex in Prehistory in the Making after a meteor hit in a forest near Max's house. Placed in a Dino Holder, it was typically used by Rex to summon Ace, but Rex twice summoned Ceratosaurus, and then did so again alongside Megaraptor, Allosaurus, and Therizinosaurus in Dinosaur War!. Seth stole and copied it in One Final Move!, but Rex reclaimed it. Rex summoned Ace using only the Stone in All Fired Up! when his Dino Holder had been damaged.
The Grass Stone features the Grass symbol, and can be used to activate Grass Dinosaur cards.
It was found by Zoe in Prehistory in the Making after a meteor hit in a forest near Max's house. Placed in a Dino Holder, it was typically used by Zoe to summon Paris, but Zoe also summoned Maiasaura, Fukuisaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus in Dinosaur War!. She also used it numerous times to summon Pteranodon from Metal Wing, Seismosaurus from Big Foot Assault, and Tupuxuara from Green Impulse to aid in battles. Seth stole and copied it in One Final Move!, but Zoe reclaimed it. In Don't Mess With Maiasaura, Zoe used it to return Maiasaura and her baby to their card, despite not having summoned them (as the Stones react to dinosaur emotions, it could do this because Maiasaura wanted to return to her card).
The Fire Stone features the Fire symbol, and can be used to activate Fire Dinosaur cards.
It was shown to already be in the Alpha Gang's possession in Prehistory in the Making, likely never having been lost, but the stone wasn't shown until Full Scheme Ahead. Placed in an Alpha Scanner, it was typically used by any Alpha Gang member to summon Terry, but Zander used it to summon Alpha Acrocanthosaurus in All Fired Up!, and Dr. Z also used it to summon Daspletosaurus and Saurophaganax in Dinosaur War!. It was probably used by Ursula to summon Styracosaurus in Alpha's Zeta Point and Escape From Zeta Point after the Alpha Controller was used on its card, as the same Alpha Scanner was seen recalling him and Terry. It was also used several times to summon Pawpawsaurus from Tag Team and the Velociraptor trio from Critical Block and Final Fury to aid in battles. Rod used it to teleport with the D-Team in Full Scheme Ahead, the only time an Alpha Gang Stone was used in this manner.
The Water Stone features the Water symbol, and can be used to activate Water Dinosaur cards.
Stored in Spinosaurus' Card Capsule, it was found by Ursula in Egypt in Battle at the Pyramids. Placed in an Alpha Scanner, it was typically used by any Alpha Gang member to summon Spiny, but Rod also used it to summon Ampelosaurus in Tricks of the Traitor and Dinosaur War!, the second time also summoning the Deinonychus trio. It was probably used by Ursula to summon Altirhinus (after the Alpha Controller was used on its card) and Supersaurus from Super Impact in Tee'd Off, as they summoned Spiny that episode and seemed to have no other Alpha Scanner. Ursula also used it to summon Futabasaurus from Futaba Super Cannon several times to aid in battle and an Anhanguera pair from Anhanguera Dive once to save the D-Team.
The Earth Stone features the Earth symbol, and can be used to activate Earth Dinosaur cards.
Excavated near unidentified dinosaur fossils, it was found by Ursula in a London museum in Tanks a Lot!. Placed in an Alpha Scanner, it was typically used by any Alpha Gang member to summon Tank, but Laura also used it to summon Euoplocephalus, Stegosaurus, and Megalosaurus in Dinosaur War!. It was probably used by Ursula to summon Utahraptor in A Game Show Showdown after the Alpha Controller was used on its card, as they only otherwise summoned Tank that episode. Zander also used it once to summon Tupuxuara from Tupuxuara Dive to save the D-Team.
The Center Stone features the arcade game's triangular Rock-Paper-Scissors arrangement instead of an Element symbol, and doesn't correspond to any Element. The only dinosaur to have this symbol is the triangular Velociraptor Multiple Move card, which is treated like a Normal Move. In the hand-animated scenes, this symbol is notably arranged wrong, with the arrowheads indicating that Paper (blue) is beating Scissors (yellow), etc., an error corrected by swapping the red and yellow gems' positions in its CGI renderings, also changing whether they are next to the Lightning or Fire Stones.
It was never actually seen until Tricks of the Traitor, when it was already in the Alpha Gang's possession, likely never having been lost. It was never shown being used to summon any dinosaurs, or in fact doing anything but being part of the 7-Stone arrangement, so it isn't clear what if any special purpose it may have had or if it can even activate dinosaur cards.
During the finales of both Series 1 and 2, Seth created a set of fake Stones for various reasons. They were identical to the regular Stones except that they were light blue, and at least the first set were stated as having 20 times the power output as the regular Stones. The Center Stone was only copied for the second set.
Likely using the copied Fire Stone in his personal Dino Holder, Seth summoned Saurophaganax and the Black T-Rex during the Series 1 finale. He likely used an unidentified other copied Stone to summon Cryolophosaurus during Series 2.
Having finished creating them by One Final Move!, Seth tried using the first set of copied outer Stones placed around the real Center Stone to operate the Backlander starting in Dinosaur War!, but they caused the time circuits to malfunction, and instead of transporting the ship back in time, they caused a prehistoric world to begin merging with the modern world! The instability, and the defeat of the Black T-Rex, eventually caused a burnout and time returned to normal, but not before a time portal briefly opened to suck Seth in and the fakes were destroyed by a power surge. The original outer Stones were then placed with the Center Stone to stop the entire system from exploding.
The second copied full set was used by the D-Team and Alpha Gang in Fate of the Cosmos to summon their dinosaurs and battle the Space Pirates while the regular Stones were powering the Backlander. It isn't known what happened to this set of fakes after the battle, nor what the duplicate Center Stone was used for, if anything, but they were probably taken back to the future with the Ancients and Alpha Gang to summoned dinosaur cards with after the original Stones vanished. One notable feature, however, was that any dinosaur summoned by this set would forever be locked to using their full-sized form when summoned, never again being able to be summoned into their pet-sized form, a sacrifice that the D-Team and Alpha Gang's main dinosaurs made to fight the Dark Pterosaur and Space Pirates. It is possible but unspecified if this was a feature of the original copied set, too, as Seth had no intentions of summoning pet-form dinosaurs.
In the DS story, there are 3 complete rectangular Stones, which contain the anime's circular Stone Tablet arrangement in the center. Two of them are discovered intact at a D-Lab-sponsored dig site, and Zoe discovered a Stone Fragment, one of the seven broken pieces of the third Stone that are scattered across the world. The Stone Fragments are not equivalent to the anime's Stone Tablets, as they unevenly break apart the entire DS Stone's shape with no regard to the element circle, and each can seemingly summon any dinosaur.
After Reese creates the DinoShots to utilize Stone Fragments to revive and summon dinosaurs from fossils, Dr. Z steals the DinoShot with Zoe's Fragment, the two complete Stones entering Max and Rex's DinoShots on their own, as (like the anime) they contain the spirits of the dinosaurs and wish to help. Of note, the D-Lab scientists are surprised that the complete Stones can power DinoShots, as they aren't the power source the devices were designed for, the connection between the Stones and Stone Fragment not yet being understood by the characters.
The remaining six Stone Fragments are located across the world, two in each of Europe, Asia, and North America, each being claimed by an Alpha Gang member provided with a copied Alpha DinoShot. Upon being defeated, the Fragments are handed over to or otherwise taken by the player, signifying their relative story progress (like Pokémon gym badges). After a scripted loss to Seth, the player briefly surges with the power of their Stone to summon forth their Awakened starter dinosaur.
After claiming the final (original) Stone Fragment from Dr. Z after the final boss battle, the seven Fragments combine into the third Stone, the dinosaur spirits revealing their nature to the D-Team and helping to destroy the incoming Reaper's Wrath meteor by surging them with their aura again. Their work done, the Stones separate from the DinoShots, and though the D-Team wishes for them to stay, Zoe laying claim to the third Stone, the spirits depart. As the post-game begins, however, the Fragments separate again and are quickly re-stolen by the Alpha Gang, the first two Stones returning to again power Max and Rex's DinoShots (there is no point when the player can view the menu to see the complete Stone Fragment collection between gaining the last Fragment and them being stolen again). The Fragments can then be retrieved again in any order by rematching the Alpha Gang members in their original locations; each member holds the same Fragment as before, so instead of always acquiring them in the same order, one can reassemble the whole in any number of combinations.
Tangentially related to the lore and functions of the above, the Stone Circle is an area in South Euro Plain that remains fenced off until the post-game. Inside (where random Alpha Droids cannot be encountered), players will find a stone monolith surrounded by six element-based stone buttons. Stepping on them in specific combinations of eight will unlock various rare, special, or exclusive dinosaurs, such as the anime chibi main dinosaurs, who have their own set of stats, and certain dinosaurs otherwise exclusive to only one player character choice.
These dinosaurs are retrieved from the Ancient Shrine shortly south of it, which only unlocks when a code has been entered properly. Inputting multiple codes overwrites older ones, meaning only the latest dinosaur can be retrieved at a time. Upon being retrieved from the item case inside, they automatically appear in the D-Site's Dino Room at level 1.
The known codes are:
- Chomp/Ace (if Max/Rex, exclusive per save file): Lightning, Grass, Fire, Earth, Water, Water, Lightning, Fire
- Paris: Grass, Water, Water, Earth, Wind, Grass, Lightning, Lightning
- Terry: Fire, Lightning, Wind, Wind, Water, Fire, Fire, Earth
- Spiny: Water, Earth, Fire, Water, Fire, Grass, Wind, Earth
- Tank: Earth, Grass, Earth, Water, Wind, Water, Grass, Fire
- Mini-King: Lightning, Wind, Earth, Lightning, Grass, Wind, Fire, Water
- Triceratops (otherwise exclusive to Max): Lightning, Fire, Lightning, Fire, Water, Lightning, Grass, Earth
- Carnotaurus (otherwise exclusive to Rex): Earth, Wind, Water, Lightning, Fire, Wind, Wind, Water
- Altirhinus (otherwise exclusive to Max): Wind, Fire, Fire, Fire, Lightning, Earth, Water, Grass
- Daspletosaurus (otherwise exclusive to Rex): Grass, Water, Lightning, Lightning, Earth, Earth, Water, Wind
- Euoplocephalus: Earth, Earth, Grass, Water, Wind, Earth, Wind, Fire
- Siamotyrannus: Fire, Wind, Fire, Water, Wind, Grass, Fire, Water
- Monoclonius: Lightning, Earth, Water, Water, Grass, Fire, Earth, Wind
- Jobaria: Water, Lightning, Lightning, Earth, Fire, Earth, Fire, Wind
- Saurophaganax: Fire, Water, Earth, Grass, Wind, Lightning, Fire, Water
- There is no Stone Tablet nor Cosmos Stone for Secret Dinosaurs, owing to Dr. Z inventing that element by experimenting on dinosaurs after the fact. Still, Secret Dinosaurs can be summoned by any of the six Stones.
- The Wind Stone is the only Stone that has never been used to summon a Move Card Dinosaur because Ace never used an Assist Move.
- The Lightning Stone and the Fire Stone are the only Stones that have never been used to summon a Secret Dinosaur, although both were used to summon Pawpawsaurus via Move Card, who has a Secret Dinosaur form in the arcade, even though it did not appear as such in the anime.
- The Stones Tablets are not the only way to summon dinosaurs, as the Space Pirates summon their dinosaurs without Stones. Although it is never stated what energy source they use, being allied with Seth likely meant he created the devices using stored data from the Stones like he used for his copied sets.
- The Alpha Controller enables the Alpha Gang to summon dinosaurs without the matching Stone, but it is not known whether a dinosaur can also be summoned as a chibi without the matching Stone, as they never attempt it (though why would it not?).
- Since the summoning of a dinosaur by means of a copied Stone means it can no longer be summoned as a chibi, it can be assumed that Cryolophosaurus, Black T-Rex, and Saurophaganax can no longer be summoned as chibis.
- Possibly by typographical error, the DS game's dialogue from the Stones claims the extinction of the dinosaurs to have taken place only 6.5 million years ago instead of the real world's correct 65 million years.