Warning: Minor SPOILERS ahead for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Move aside, Indominus rex, because Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a brand new genetically-engineered dinosaur for our heroes to deal with: the Indoraptor. An unholy hybrid of Jurassic World's I-rex and an extra dose of velociraptor DNA, the Indoraptor was designed by Dr. Henry Wu to be a weaponized dinosaur soldier that can follow orders and kill on command. There's just one problem: the first draft of the Indoraptor is too wild and refuses to follow human commands, so Wu plans to use Owen's hand-reared velociraptor, Blue, as the mother for a new version of the Indoraptor.
Because Blue was trained to follow commands by Owen, Wu believes that an Indoraptor mothered by Blue would share her genetic code, and therefore willingly follow her lead. This, in turn, could be used to make the Indoraptor follow orders and prevent it from attacking its owner. Wu's new boss, the slimy and opportunistic Eli Mills, sends Claire and Owen to Isla Nublar on a supposed "rescue mission" when a volcano threatens to wipe out all life on the island, but it's actually just a ruse to capture Blue and other high-value dinosaurs and sell them to the highest bidder. But what makes the Indoraptor such a lethal killer, and how does it compare to the Indominus rex?
The Secret Recipe For Indoraptor DNA
Based on the name, the Indoraptor seems to be a "new and improved" version of the Indominus rex from Jurassic World. According to the official site, the Indominus rex utilized DNA from Abelisaurus, Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops and Giganotosaurus. It also had Velociraptor DNA, which became a key plot point in the movie. An official infographic notes that it also had Therizinosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, cuttlefish, pit adder and tree frog DNA, as well as DNA from an unknown animal that gave it opposable thumbs.
Basically, the Indominus rex was a hodgepodge of beneficial attributes from different sources, like the cuttlefish's ability to camouflage itself and the carnotaurus' dense bones. The Indoraptor is generally understood to be an Indominus rex cross-bred with more raptor DNA, creating a dinosaur that's better suited to combat applications. From what we see in Fallen Kingdom, the Indoraptor doesn't appear to be able to camouflage itself, and the fact that the character turn out the lights in order to hide from it indicates that it doesn't have night vision either - the abilities linked to cuttlefish DNA and pit adder DNA, respectively.
It's unclear whether the Indoraptor is a simple cross between an Indominus rex and a Velociraptor, or whether it is a new design that lacks some of the I-rex's contributing DNA sources, and adds in a few more of its own. If we assume that Indoraptor = Indominus rex + velociraptor, then the Indoraptor has the same genetic elements as the Indominus rex - but with a much bigger dose of raptor DNA (we're dealing with Hollywood science, after all).
Design Features and Special Abilities
If you're in the market for a dinosaur that could be used as a soldier (which quite a few people are in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), then the Indoraptor has a number of advantages over the Indominus rex. For starters, it's smaller: the Indominus rex was about 50ft tall, whereas the Indoraptor is about 10ft tall. It's still tall enough to tower over even the tallest human, but it can also fit through most doorways. It has dark coloring with a yellow stripe down its side - similar to the blue stripe down Blue's side. Like the I-rex, it has spines along the back of its head - though the Indoraptor's are longer and thinner.
The Indoraptor is also shown to be highly intelligent - on the same level as Blue, but without her capacity for obedience. This is best demonstrated when Wheatley hits it with a tranquilizer and then attempts to pull out one of its teeth for his souvenir necklace. The Indoraptor plays dead until he gets too close to pull away, and then executes him in a grisly fashion. We also see the Indoraptor demonstrate its intelligence when it's on a glass roof - being careful not to rush ahead and fall through, and managing to pull itself back to safety when the glass shatters underneath it.
The big selling point for the black market buyers that attend the dinosaur auction, however, is the fact that the Indoraptor is programmed to "assassinate" any target marked by the loser on a special gun, with the attack then triggered by an audio cue. Of course, this raises the question of why you wouldn't just shoot someone if you already have a gun with a laser point trained on them, but a dinosaur attack is certainly a more theatrical way to kill one's enemies.
Jurassic World 3 director Colin Trevorrow has said that there won't be any more hybrid dinosaurs in the next sequel, so the Indoraptor might be the last custom design we see for a while. Still, as long as Henry Wu is alive, he's probably cooking up more plans for the latest in dinosaur fashion.
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) release date: Jun 22, 2018