On Jurassic World’s Diabolus/Indominus Rex

Remember that “hybrid dinosaur” Indominus rex (formerly Diabolus rex) that’s going to play the main antagonist in Jurassic World? Those of you following the hype, or dinosaur news in general, might have already known this, but just in case you don’t, apparently it’s been revealed almost in whole on some future Jurassic World merchandise.

Of course it’s still possible that this is either a hoax or something that will get revised before June 12, but I’ll assume for the sake of argument that it’s official. The thing is, eager as I am to take another walk in the Park, I’m not all that thrilled about the Indominus’s design.

I remember that it was supposed to represent a hybrid between the JP raptors, the T. Rex, a snake, and a cuttlefish, but almost none of those elements are apparent in this design. Especially not the first two components, since neither of them were ever portrayed with rows of spikes on the back, longer spines on the neck, prominent brow horns, or an alligator-like mouth without lips. It does have very primitive protofeathers along the arms, but since we’ve already established that Jurassic World‘s raptors are staying featherless, it’s doubtful the Indominus’s arm-plumage was carried over from them. More than anything else, it looks just like an albino Allosaurus, with maybe a dash of the King Kong V. Rexes’ oral anatomy.

To be fair, I expect the cuttlefish element will be represented by a color-changing ability, and possibly the snake element comes into play with a venomous bite (or spit, if drawn from a spitting cobra). However, if your hybrid’s appearance is derivative of two species already on display in the park, you would think it would actually incorporate characteristics of both species instead of resembling yet another dinosaur. I get the director’s comment that he didn’t want the Indominus to look like a freakish mishmash of raptor and T. Rex parts, but if that was the case, why make it a hybrid at all?

Also, I don’t care for the “rex” species name as applied to the Indominus. T. Rex is the only dinosaur most people casually address with both the species and genus name, and when you have both the T. Rex and Indominus juxtaposed together in the same park, it’ll only make the characters’ dialogue harder to follow. The only real difference between “T. Rex” and “I. Rex” is their first syllables, and they don’t even look all that different in written form either (“T” and “I” are both kinda tall and skinny). Just call it plain ol’ Indominus, or maybe Indom for the merchandising.

To end with a less negative note, I’d love to see the T. Rex take on this guy regardless of its design. Most of all if it doesn’t channel JPIII all over again.

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