Guess what? Tyrannosaurus rex probably could not run fast. King of the Cretaceous, Tyrannosaurus rex stood on two powerful hind limbs and terrorized potential prey with its elephantine size and lethal jaws. The dinosaur was big and bad. But was it fast?
- That’s long been a topic of scientific debate, with some paleontologists arguing T. rex ran at a zippy top speed of 45 miles per hour and others suggesting a more moderate 25 miles per hour.
- Both estimates seemed fast to John Hutchinson of Stanford, who as a graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley set out with help from postdoctoral researcher Mariano Garcia, now of Borg-Warner Automotive, to test them using principles of biomechanics. The researchers created a computer model to calculate how much leg muscle a land animal would need to support running fast.
- In the journal Nature, they report that T. rex probably could not run quickly. In fact, hindered by its size, it may not have been able to run at all. Though not enough is known to give an exact speed limit for T. rex, a range of 10 to 25 miles per hour is possible, according to the authors.
Paleontology is a fascinating field of study which brings the past back to life. The purpose of Dino Russ is to enliven interest in dinosaurs like TRex (if that’s needed) and to maintain a scientific emphasis in our understanding of these mighty creatures.