From the Super Mario Wiki
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According to Kenta Motokura, the director of Super Mario Odyssey, the T-Rex's realistic design was influenced by Super Mario World, another game where Mario is alongside dinosaurs. The development team wanted to include a dinosaur never seen in a Mario game before in hopes of surprising the player, causing the developers to steer away from the more cartoonish and caricatured dinosaur designs used in Super Mario World.