Foetodon

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Foetodon
A Foetodon in Godzilla vs. Kong. This image has been brightened.
A Foetodon in King Kong (2005)
Alternate names Cruel stinking-tooth, crocodile,
giant monitor lizard, Wetasaur,
lizard-like monsterGvK novel,
Scaly QuadrupedGvK art book
Doug (fan name)GvK[1]
Species Foetodon ferreusKK05
Length 15-20 feetKK05[2]
Allies Other Foetodon
Enemies Vastatosaurus rexKK05
Arachno-clawsGvK
First appearance Latest appearance
King Kong (2005) Godzilla vs. Kong

Foetodon is a fictional species of large predatory reptile that appears in the 2005 film King Kong and the 2021 MonsterVerse film Godzilla vs. Kong. They are crocodilian denizens of Skull Island in the former and unclassified reptiles from Hollow Earth in the latter.

Name

Foetoedon means "sinking tooth", while its full species name in King Kong, Foetodon ferrus, means "cruel sinking tooth."[2] In production of the 2005 King Kong, the Foetodon was referred to by Weta Workshop as the "wetasaur" in reference to the digital effects company.[3] The Foetodon was given this temporary name because Weta felt there was no-real world analog to the creature for most of its design phase.[4]

In Godzilla vs. Kong, the Foetodon is only named in the film's English audio description.[5] [6] The film's novelization simply calls them "lizard-like monsters," while Godzilla vs. Kong: One Will Fall - The Art of the Ultimate Battle Royale calls them "Scaly Quadrupeds." Doug (or Titanus Doug) has become a popular nickname among fans, even enjoying the support of director Adam Wingard and the Legendary Pictures Twitter and Instagram accounts.[7][8]

Development

In an early draft of the script for King Kong, the Foetodon's role was filled by a carnivorous dinosaur.[9] Late in the design process, Peter Jackson requested a new dinosaur be made by Weta Workshop.[10][11] Though Weta Workshop would learn that Jackson wanted this new creature to be quadrupedal, the crew at Weta initially did not know the nature of the scene the creature would appear in.[10] During this period, concept artist Greg Broadmore created a concept in 2004 of a theropod-like creature with large claws and a slightly upright pose like older dinosaur restorations.[10][12] With the knowledge that Jackson wanted the creature to be quadrupedal, Weta explored different reptilian lineages and what Christian Pearce described as "funky designs," as there was no carnivorous dinosaur that matched Jackson's description.[13] Daniel Falconer created a design that was rauisuchian in appearance with dark green skin that towered over human beings.[14] Christian Pearce created a design titled "Tartarusaurus" which he described as being "dragon-like" in appearance with a "questionable anatomical reality." Though the design was rejected, Pearce said it helped "steer [Weta Workshop] in the right direction, if only by showing one path [they] didn't want to take."[13] The name of this design, "Tartarusaurus", would later be reused for another carnivorous reptilian quadruped in The World of Kong.

Jackson ultimately led the team at Weta Workshop to pursue a design that was closer to a lizard than a dragon.[13] Further along the design process of the Foetodon, Weta used a cast of a Komodo dragon as a reference for the creature. Jackson then suggested that the lizard have growths on its face, so in response Weta added diseased boils to the creature and made its mouth filthier.[11]

Design

In King Kong, Foetodon superficially resembles a large lizard with a short blunt head. It has crocodilian osteoderms running down its neck and back and crocodilian webbed feet. In the film, they are shown to have what appears to be a mouth disease. It is explained in The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island that this is a mouth infection contracted from leaf litter. This infection would disfigure the animal so much so that Foetodon's skull would frequently bear cruel scars because of it.[2] In the MonsterVerse they have much shorter faces and the osteoderms on their back resemble dorsal plates to an extent.

In Godzilla vs. Kong, Foetodons are more rotund in physique with large, amber-coloured eyes and shorter legs. Their osteoderms are also more jagged in shape, and somewhat resemble those found on the Hellhawks, another species inhabiting the Hollow Earth.

Origins

The book The World of Kong states that Foetodon descended from crocodilian ancestors.[2] Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard asked that the MonsterVerse Foetodon resemble Godzilla, although Godzilla vs. Kong: One Will Fall - The Art of the Ultimate Battle Royale does not confirm an evolutionary link.[15]

Ecology

Despite being land-based predators, the Foetodons in King Kong sported a large and powerful tail that was necessary for their largely aquatic young. On land their powerful back legs launched them forward out of dug out, covered pits along jungle game trails to crush whatever prey came near with their horrible jaws. Their place as ambush predators was necessitated by their poor eyesight. Because of this, Foetodon were not particular in their prey and would attack whatever came their way, depending on their powerful bite to take it down.

They were not built for sustained speed, but they could surge forth and disable prey with immense speed and power. Their bite could shatter bones, meaning that even in the off chance that their first bite did not kill, their prey would still be unable to escape. Their strong sense of smell allowed them to easily track wounded prey. They also fed on invertebrates in the leaf litter, which juvenile Foetodon fed on exclusively. The layers of rotting vegetable matter also provided young Foetodon security from other predators and adults of their species.

History

King Kong (2005)

A Foetodon ate the carcass of a Ligocristus in the jungle, and when Ann Darrow saw it, she backed away to hide behind a tree, where another Foetodon spotted her and snapped at her. It missed, but started to chase her, while the other Foetodon followed. As the two reptiles continued to chase her, Darrow fled into a log. One of the Foetodon barged into the log, splitting the bark as it struggled. However, it was bitten and lifted off the ground by a juvenile Vastatosaurus rex as the other Foetodon watched before running away into the jungle. The carcass hung limply in the jaws of the Vastatosaurus as it chased after Darrow. The Vastatosaurus thrashed its head around, causing the Foetodon's head to fall off of its body. The larger dinosaur then re-positioned the carcass to swallow it relatively whole. After turning its attention to Darrow, it soon found itself in battle against King Kong. Another Vastatosaurus seemingly caught and ate the second Foetodon before joining the fight.

MonsterVerse

Godzilla vs. Kong

As Arachno-claws scattered in Kong's wake, a Foetodon seized the opportunity, snatching up one crab in its jaws. Eight more Foetodons steered clear of Kong as he continued running.

Gallery

Main article: Foetodon/Gallery.

References

This is a list of references for Foetodon. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. The real MVP of @GodzillaVsKong and the #monsterverse as a whole is Doug (Dug to his friends), Godzilla's Hallow Earth Country Bumpkin Cousin. If the Monsterverse continues, I want a whole spin off TV show about Doug and his simple life in the Hallow Earth. #GodzillaVsKong #doug. Twitter (1 April 2021).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Falconer, Daniel, Weta Workshop. The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island. Pocket Star. p. 140-141. 22 November 2005. ISBN: 978-1-4165-0519-8.
  3. Fordham, Joe. (Januray 2006) Return of the King. Cinefex, 104, p. 68
  4. Head, Steve. (December 16, 2005) IGN Interviews the Weta Workshop Design Team - Page 2. IGN
  5. [1]
  6. [2]
  7. Adam Wingard AMA on r/Godzilla. 22 April 2021.
  8. @Legendary (29 May 2021). Titanus Doug appreciation post.. Twitter.
  9. Undated King Kong script
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 (May 21, 2007) Dino is Angry at World. Weta Workshop. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fordham, Joe. (Januray 2006) Return of the King. Cinefex, 104, p. 71
  12. Angry at the world. gregbroadmore.com
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 (May 16, 2007) New Kongcept Falconer Artwork. Weta Workshop. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008.
  14. (August 10, 2007) Skull Island's Creatures. Weta Workshop. Archived from the original on October 17, 2008.
  15. Wallace, Daniel. Godzilla vs. Kong: One Will Fall - The Art of the Ultimate Battle Royale. Insight Editions. p. 110, 113. 21 May 2021. ISBN: 1-64-722140-4.

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