The song features a tight, funky sound, punctuated by horns and cowbell, along with what sounds like cavepeople chanting in the background, while the lyrics relate to nuclear Armageddon.
According to an interview with co-writer Randy Jacobs: it "was an infectious sing-along with a Flintstonesque video that probably got played on MTV way too much. But even that seemingly good-time anthem had a dark side.
The song’s about nuclear Armageddon, Jacobs says. "It became a dance because of the video. They connected it with the girls in the little Pebbles and Bam-Bam outfits. All the sudden it became, like, 'do the mashed potato' or 'the twist.'"
When released in the UK in 1987, the song reached no. 10 on the charts, becoming the group's first Top 10 hit there. After the music video---which featured four scantily clad cavewomen dancing to the song, a Flintstones-style TV playing clips from Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur, and then modern people dancing to the song in the "Everybody kill the dinosaur" part---received heavy rotation on MTV, the song reached no. 7 on the U.S. chart in 1989, two years after its UK success. The song is the biggest hit single for the band in their home country.
Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song at No. 61 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, warning the listeners to look out for a meteor, followed up with a "Boom! Boom! Aka-lacka-lacka-boom!" and the exaltation that the song "is knocked into extinction. Our ears are saved!"
This song appeared on the trailer of the 1996 film Theodore Rex.
This song appeared on the TV spot of the 2000 film Dinosaur.
In 2011, a cover of Walk the Dinosaur was included in the animatronic show at Chuck E. Cheese's[clarification needed]. The band members poked fun at the ambiguity of the name Was (Not Was).
Queen Latifah recorded a version of the song for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009). The lyric "slave" was replaced in her version with "friend" to make the song more family-friendly. However, It was not included on the official soundtrack. It was produced by Cool & Dre.