Recently we finally got our best idea of how the new hybrid dinosaur soon to be terrorizing patrons at [Jurassic World](movie:32752) will look like by an unveiling of Indominus Rex in Hasbro's line of new toys to accompany the movie. In case you missed it, here's what the toy version of the new beast looks like...
What's Cooking, Masrani?
But better than the spiky new toy, with roaring capabilities, chomping action and color changing skin (!), was the addition of Indominus Rex to the official Jurassic World theme park themed website. Not only does the site hint at all the terrifying capabilities of the creature but it helpfully breaks down the dino DNA that the good folks at Masrani used to create Indominus.
There's been a fair amount of rumor and speculation about what is actually going to make up Indominus Rex's genetically modified DNA and the official word from Masrani is that the lady is part Abelisaur and made up of Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops and Giganotosaurus. Ok, sounds good, but what does that mean? Did they only go for the most obscure dinosaurs?
Well let's start with Abelisaurs. It's mentioned that this is where Indominus gets it's "ultra-tough bony osteoderms" from. Which could mean that this rampaging monster is bullet-proof! This is a super-group of a dinosaur family that includes Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus and Rugops - so pretty much a big chunk of what makes Indominus Rex so indominus.
Carnotaurus is one of the stranger dinosaurs as is probably the specific dinosaur that gives Indominus Rex those horns above its forward facing eyes. While the Carnotaurus had nubby arms even smaller than that of a T-Rex, but its neck is unusually long and it is believed to have some of the best eyesight and depth perception around, making is a good hunter. Its name translates to Carnivorous Bull. Nice. It gets this name from its super thick, bony skull that is believed to be used to head-butt its competition for females as well as a way to incapacitate its prey.
Majungasaurus also has its share of spiky features, with some hood ornaments much like its brother Carnotaurus. But Majungasaurus is also notable for its chompers. The dinosaur has the most teeth of any of its fellow Abelisaurs and was likely chosen to be included in the Indominus Rex DNA bouillabaisse for this reason as well as that extra armored plating on its skull. Despite also having some fairly useless arms, the Majungasaurus was considered an "apex predator" in its neighbourhood. Indeed, according to dino tales, the thing was not opposed to dinosaur cannibalism if the opportunity presented itself.
Rugops are the third and last Abelisaur to be featured in Indominus Rex's biological makeup. Like the Majungasaurus and Carnotaurus the Rugop is a carnivorous theropod but this dinosaur may have been more of a scavenger than a fighter like the others. This is due to the bone structure being a bit more delicate than the usual Abelisaur but more delicate bones can mean tougher skin. Rugops, aside from have the easiest name to spell of perhaps any dinosaur, is also thought to have some armoring in its skin and is perhaps the dino to look at for this "ultra-tough bony osteoderms" that Indominus Rex is said to have.
Giganotosaurus is the badass mofo that would probably be one of the nastiest dinosaurs to run into at a theme park without all the DNA concocting to turn it into Indominus. It's a huge theropod at around 40+ feet and has one of the most massive heads and jaws around. It has longer arms than those Abelisaurs and features dangerous claws on both its fingers and toes.
But what about that business about the "color morphing skin"? Is Masrani hiding something from us on that website? Are these rumors about Indominus Rex getting some cuttlefish DNA thrown in the mix, true? It could be. As far as I know, and no, I'm not a palaeontologist in case you didn't assume that by now, there are no chameleon-like dinosaurs, or are there?
In Michael Crichton's "The Lost World" book, the author gave Carnotaurus the chameleon-like ability to change the color of its skin and use camouflage as a predatory advantage. This could very well be what [Jurassic World](movie:32752) has in store to offer up the reason behind Indominus Rex's chameleon characteristics. It makes a bit more sense than the idea of adding cuttlefish DNA to your dinosaur - but I have to admit, something about the idea of factoring in cuttlefish DNA is so bonkers that I kind of admired it.