Science Confirms, Tyrannosaurus Rexes Kind of Sucked
A new study shows that despite what you see in movies, Tyrannosaurus Rexes kind of sucked, and could barely run without breaking their legs.
Brace yourselves, people: It turns out that Jurassic Park may not be scientifically accurate after all. Mind=blown.
The shocking revelation comes from a study conducted by a team at the University of Manchester in the UK. They created a computer model of a T-rex, factoring in what they believe would be the mass of a dinosaur, then they added what they believe its joints would function like.
They discovered that – unlike the movies – a T-Rex couldn’t chase down a car driving away. In fact, it could only get up to around 17 mph, tops, before its legs would have broken. In other words, that scene in Jurassic Park where the T-Rex chases the jeep could never have happened. And if you can’t trust a movie about scientists in the 90s genetically modifying and recreating dinosaurs from tiny specks of blood found in mosquitos that were then preserved in amber, what can you trust?
The T-Rex used in the simulation was modeled on a 1987 fossil known as “Stan.” It, and CT scans from a variety of fossils, created a set of boundaries that allowed the team to determine a general idea of how much force dinosaur bones could take before being damaged, taking into account any hypothetical soft tissues.
The team also decided on a conservative weight for a T-Rex. Paleontologists have argued over this for years, but the research team in the UK landed on roughly 15,900 pounds for a full grown, active adult T-Rex.
With this data programmed into the model, the team determined the beast’s top speed. By comparison, the 17 mph of the T-Rex would put it at roughly the same speed as someone sprinting for a short period of time, but the T-Rex probably wouldn’t be able to sustain that speed for more than a few seconds. An average human walking speed is around 3 mph, while a light jog speed is around 6 mph. The upper extremes of a human’s speed can be seen through Usain Bolt, who has been clocked at 23.7 mph while running the 100m.
“Here we present a new approach that combines two separate biomechanical techniques to demonstrate that true running gaits would probably lead to unacceptably high skeletal loads in [a T-Rex],” said lead researcher William Sellers.
Given its weight, it also wouldn’t be able to jump from foot to foot like the movies show. Instead, it would need to shuffle its feet. Rather than chasing down its prey, T-Rex would likely have focused on larger animals that didn’t have the same predatory capabilities.
Oh, and that whole “If you don’t move it can’t see us” thing was crap too. T-Rex actually had vision similar to a hawk, and it was 13 times sharper than that of a human. And they had feathers too. But at least you could outrun it! Assuming you were in good shape and you didn’t trip or anything.