Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: What Are the Differences?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: May 9, 2022
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Dinosaurs are interesting creatures because they were such large, deadly reptiles. Ankylosaurus was a walking biological tank with bony plates that protected it from harm. The dinosaur even had a tail with a bony club on the end that could crack other dinosaurs’ bones. As cool as real dinosaurs were, humans love to use their imaginations to come up with larger, deadlier, and smarter dinosaurs. The result of such imaginings was the Indominus Rex. Although it’s not real, it’s interesting to see what evolution produced versus what humans came up with. Today, we’re comparing Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus to show how real and imagined dinosaurs are similar and different.

Comparing an Indominus Rex and an Ankylosaurus

Indominus Rex and Ankylosaurus had different feeding preferences.
Indominus RexAnkylosaurus
SizeWeight 16,000lbs
Height: 21ft
Length: 50ft when fully grown
Weight: 11,000lbs-18,000lbs
Height: 4.5ft-5.6ft at the hip, closer to 7ft tall overall
Length: 20ft-33ft
Morphology– Tall bipedal dinosaur
– Thick legs, somewhat long arms
– Large head with a powerful jaw – Horns above its eyes
– Grayish-white skin
– A relatively short creature with bony plates covering its body
– Bony plates that protruded from the sides and flank
– Had a long tail with a bony club at the end  
Era– 2012-Present– 70 to 66 million years ago
Food Preferences– Carnivore, dines extensively on humans– Herbivore that probably ate soft plants and fruits
Defenses– Enhanced skin strength and very strong osteoderms that survive gunfire and bites from T-rex
– High running speed
– Large size
– Vast intelligence and ability to plan
Bony plates called osteoderms  acted as armor for the dinosaur – Spiky protrusions coming from the animal’s flanks
– Thick, armored skull
– Club on its tail could be used as a decoy head or to counterattack    
Attacking Methods– Either rivals or exceeds T-Rex’s 17,000lbf bite due to a larger head
– 74 teeth
Crocodile-like teeth instead of D-shaped are meant to hold onto prey.  
– May have used its tail club to hit others
– Could have rammed prey with its head

The Key Differences Between an Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus

Ankylosaurus was a heavily armored dinosaur.

©Warpaint/Shutterstock.com

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The main differences between an Indominus Rex and Ankylosaurus include their morphology and food preferences. The Indominus Rex was a bipedal carnivorous dinosaur that was 20ft tall with thick legs, long arms, a massive head, and grayish-white skin, and the Ankylosaurus was a quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur that stood about 7ft with bony plates covering the top of its body, protruding from its flanks, and fused into a club at the end of its long tail.

These two dinosaurs looked very different, and they preferred to feed on different things compared to one another. However, they do have a few differences that are worth exploring.

Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: Size

Indominus Rex was taller and longer than Ankylosaurus, but the latter may have weighed more. The Ankylosaurus weighed between 11,000lbs and 18,000lbs, stood 5.6ft at the hip and about 7ft tall overall, and measured up to 33ft long, including its tail.

However, Indominus Rex weighed 16,000lbs, stood 21ft tall, and was poised to grow 50ft long before it met its unfortunate end.

Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: Morphology

The Indominus Rex is known for its similarities to the T-Rex, including its general body shape, large head, massive teeth, and long tail. However, the Indominus rex was an improved version of its genetic model, featuring an even larger head than the T-Rex as well as long arms capable of grasping objects.

Moreover, this dinosaur had grayish-white skin that could be used to camouflage the dinosaur, as well as horns above its eyes.

The Ankylosaurus was a large, thick, and somewhat short dinosaur known for having osteoderms and bony plates covering its back, head, and flanks. Moreover, the dinosaur had a long tail that ended in a bony club.

Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: Era

The Ankylosaurus was one of the last large dinosaurs to roam the earth. It’s believed that it lived between 70 million years ago and 66 million years ago, the Cretaceous Age that saw the asteroid impact, which killed off the dinosaurs. This dinosaur lived alongside T-Rex, triceratops, and others until it was wiped out.

The Indominus Rex was fictionally conceived in 2012, and the only one died in 2015.

Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: Food Preferences

The Indominus Rex was a powerful carnivore, but the Ankylosaurus was probably exclusively herbivorous. The Ankylosaurus most likely ate soft plants and fruits, using its tongue and beak to select foods to eat.

Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: Defenses

Ankylosaurus in Forest

The Ankylosaurus used its tail for defense.

©Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock.com

The Ankylosaurus had tremendous defenses that would have kept it safe from most dinosaur attacks. They have bony plates called osteoderms that essentially formed armor on their backs, heads, and flanks. The plates on the flanks were sharp and pointed outward, preventing creatures from attacking from the side without taking damage.

The Ankylosaurus also had a large bony club on its tail that may have been a decoy head or a weapon with which to attack its predators.

The Indominus Rex relies on its massive size, speed, and intelligence to ward off threats. The dinosaur also has osteoderms in its flesh, but not to the extent of the Ankylosaurus and certainly not fused together as plates. Yet, the Indominus Rex could also camouflage itself due to its unique skin and the DNA it shares with other reptiles, like frogs and cuttlefish.  

This dinosaur took on small arms fire like it was nothing, but it could not stand up to the Mosasaurus.

Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: Attacking Methods

The Indominus Rex was a more powerful, deadlier variant of the T-Rex. Its most significant offensive power was found in its bite. The creature possessed crocodile-like teeth to grab and hold prey rather than the teeth that T-Rex had to remove prey’s flesh. The Indominus Rex probably had a stronger bite, too. The dinosaur could also grasp creatures with its arms or simply stomp on them.

The Ankylosaurus could have charged and rammed enemies to death. However, the more likely attacking method available to this animal could be found in its large tail club. It probably swung and hit enemies with this bony ball, causing severe damage.

Indominus Rex vs Ankylosaurus: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Indominus rex - Head

Indominus Rex’s intelligence and bite would be more than enough to kill an Ankylosaurus.

©Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.com

The Indominus Rex would win a fight against Ankylosaurus if they fought. The Ankylosaurus had incredible armor, but the Indominus Rex had incredible levels of intelligence that would help it identify the other dinosaur’s weakness and exploit it. Using its arms, feet, or bite, the Indominus Rex would flip the Ankylosaurus and kill it.

The Indominus Rex is a fictional dinosaur that integrated some of the protective qualities of the real Ankylosaurus. They are still very different creatures, especially in terms of their attacks, food preferences, and body type.  Even though the first Indominus Rex died off, the dinosaur could make a return in the future installments of the Jurassic World series.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © andrea crisante/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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