What Animal DNA Was Used for Indominus rex and What Are the Hybrid Dinosaur's Abilities?
Unfortunately for the casualties of Jurassic World's collapse, the InGen board prevented Dr. Wu from disclosing DNA sources used to build Indominus rex - even to Masrani himself (more on that in the next section). Had Wu and the InGen board been straightforward, Jurassic World staff might have been able to successfully contain, care for, and socialize the Indominus Rex (as evidenced by success with a trained Velociraptor pack); instead, the hybrid dinosaur was raised in isolation, denied the ability to hunt, with no positive human (or dinosaur) relationship to keep the creature in check. Without insight into the dinosaur's genetic makeup, park staff was unable to accurately predict and account for the creature's dangerous blend of evolutionary traits - resulting in the animal's eventual escape.
Jurassic World's creators have been reluctant to outline the full breakdown of Indominus rex's genetic source but Wu teases a few throughout the film. As a result, we've put together a breakdown of the most important ingredients - accompanied by an explanation of how each DNA source is expressed/utilized by the hybrid dinosaur:
- Tyrannosaurus rex: The base framework for Indominus rex's genome. Provided a powerful musculature - including heavy tail and jaws (capable of crushing bone) - paired with agile and swift movement (relative to the creature's size).
- Abelisaurs - In general, the inclusion of Abelisaur DNA exaggerated T-rex traits - making Indominus bigger and tougher than a standard Tyrannosaur. Specifically: enormous 40ft+ size (Giganotosaurus), more teeth (Majungasaurus) ultra-tough bony osteoderms (Rugops) with "hornlike" growths (Carnotaurus) over the eyes and along the back for defensive protection.
- Cuttlefish: Camouflage. Alteration of skin pigmentation, through the combined efforts of chromatophores and reflective iridophores and leucophores, Indominus could blend into the surrounding environment - reducing visibility while hunting (or hiding).
- Tree Frog: Thermoregulation through color alteration and lowered metabolic functions - allowed the Indominus rex to avoid infrared detection (an added layer of stealth on top of environmental camouflage).
- Pit Adder: Infrared (heat sensing) vision. Conversely, Indominus rex "sees" in infrared - allowing the apex predator to sense hidden or obscured prey (as well as target especially vulnerable areas on an attacker's body).
- Velociraptor: While Indominus rex received its enormous size from T-rex and Abelisaur DNA, its brain was engineered from problem-solving intelligent Velocripators. Above-average intellect allowed Indominus rex to sense patterns in paddock security - as well as set traps by utilizing inherited traits to exploit vulnerabilities in Jurassic World's containment systems. Including Velociraptor DNA also enabled Indominus rex to communicate with "normal" raptors and, given the hybrid's size and durability, secure a place as the new pack alpha.
Yet To Be Revealed DNA Sources:
- (?): Large forelimbs with opposable thumbs: Other DNA sources were used in the creation of Indominus rex but not all of them can be identified (at this time). While dinosaur expert, and Jurassic World consultant, Jack Horner has indicated that Therizinosaurus DNA was used to give Indominus rex larger forelimbs, very few dinosaurs came close to developing opposable thumbs. For that reason InGen likely turned to a, comparatively, modern DNA source (possibly Phyllomedusa tree frogs) to provide the hybrid with improved hand functionality and dexterity.
- (?): Electromagnetic distortion: Though unconfirmed to be an Indominus rex trait, several moments in Jurassic World feature distortion of shortwave radio and cell phone signals - whenever the hybrid creature is near. The ability to scramble radio waves is never mentioned by Dr. Wu but, unless viewers simply chalk the distortions up to subpar tech at the world's most advanced theme park, it's safe to assume that somewhere in the Indominus rex DNA cocktail is an animal (past or present) that can interfere with electronic signals.
On paper, given the amount of havoc that Indominus rex is able to (single-handedly) wreak in only twenty-four hours, the hybrid would read more like a genetically-engineered weapon - not a theme park attraction. Which, unbeknownst to Masrani, was the plan all along.