Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, then you’ve likely heard that there will be a fourth Jurassic Park movie released this year called Jurassic World. There have been rumors of a fourth movie ever since the third one came out when I was a freshman in high school fourteen years ago. However, this movie was stuck in what’s known as “development hell” ever since that time.
Among the new features of this movie is a mosasaur, which I am totally geeking out about since I LOVE mosasaurs! They are some of my favorite prehistoric animals. However, the creature that is getting the most press is a large tyrannosaur-esque creature which goes by the name of either Diabolus rex or Indominus rex, depending on which website you look at. This creature is a genetic hybrid of a T. rex, a Velociraptor, a venemos pit viper, and a cuttlefish. I wasn’t really sure how something like that would look, and there were a few speculative concept drawings and photoshopped images circulating on the internet. However, I’ve recently seen a picture of what the beast in question actually looks like, and all I can say is…wow, and not “wow” in a good way, either.
Actually, the exact words that came out of my mouth when I first saw a clear picture of it was, “Wow, that’s ugly enough to be an abelisaur!” I’m sure fans of the abelisaurs are going to either laugh at that statement or hate me for it. The abelisaurs were a group of primitive carnivorous dinosaurs that lived in South America, Africa, and Europe during the middle to late Cretaceous Period. They are closely related to the ceratosaurs, another primitive theropod family. Both abelisaurs and ceratosaurs have osteoderms – bony bumps embedded in the skin. They all adhered to a more or less uniform body form: large boxy head, short puny arms that would make tyrannosaur arms look “pumped”, and thin slashing teeth. The most famous and most easily recognized member of the abelisaur family is Carnotaurus, “the meat-eating bull”, which was featured as the main villain in the computer animated Disney movie Dinosaur back in 2000. However, based upon the hybrid dinosaur’s skull structure, it actually bears more of a resemblance to another famed abelisaur, Majungasaurus (also called Majungatholus, but that name has since fallen out of usage, since it has been proven that the two are actually the same species).
The second thing that I said when I saw it was Danny Glover’s famous quote from the movie Predator 2: “You are one ugly mother-“.
In truth, I was disappointed with the animal’s appearance. To my sense of aesthetics, it appeared ugly, crude, more dragon-like than dinosaur-like. To see a picture of the beast, click here.
- “Abelisauridae”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abelisauridae
- “Ceratosaurus”. https://dinosaursandbarbarians.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/ceratosaurus/
- “The presence and usage of osteoderms in dinosaur paleo-art”. https://dinosaursandbarbarians.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/the-presence-and-usage-of-osteoderms-in-dinosaur-paleo-art/