The Weta-rex's scientific name is Deinacrida rex. The name "Weta-rex" comes from the wētā, a group of about 70 insect species of two families native to New Zealand, of which the Weta-rex resembles a gigantic version. The genus which makes up the first half of Weta-rex's binomial name is a real genus, referring specifically to the Giant wētās of the genus Deinacrida, which is derived from the Greek words deinos (δεινός), meaning "terrible, "fearfully great" or "potent" and "akrida" (ακρίδα), meaning "grasshopper". When fully translated, Weta-rex's name can be read as "terrible grasshopper king".
Living primarily in Skull Island's caverns and caves, the Weta-rexes were pack-hunting carnivores that swarmed in huge numbers to overwhelm prey. They were even known to take down huge dinosaurs and shred them to bits with their shear-like pincers.
Countless Weta-rexes swarmed the crew of the Venture after King Kong threw the log bridge they were crossing into the chasm below. Several of the creatures began to swarm Jack Driscoll, crawling all over his body, forcing Jimmy to try and shoot them off with a machine gun. As more waves of Weta-rexes and other giant insects converged on the surviving crew members, Bruce Baxter swung into the chasm on a vine, mowing down the creatures with his machine gun and forcing the rest to retreat.
Weta-rexes are vicious predators that hunt in packs. They use their overwhelming numbers to bring down prey much larger than themselves. Their mouths are equipped with shearing mandibles capable of shredding the skin of various dinosaurs living on Skull Island.
When the crew of the Venture was pushed by Kong into the Skull Island chasm, the Weta-rex and the Carnictis came to prey on them. The Weta-rex began to swarm Carl Denham, but were scared off when gunfire began.
- The Weta-rex is based on the real-life weta insects native to New Zealand, the native country of King Kong director Peter Jackson. The New Zealand-based special effects company Weta Workshop, who provided the creature effects for Jackson's King Kong and collaborated on Legendary Pictures' Godzilla, is also named after the weta.
- In an undated script of the film, the arthropods that swarm Jack were giant crab spiders.
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