What if you were told that you could out-run one of the largest and most terrifying bipedal animals to have ever evolved and walked the Earth…the T-Rex? Well, today new research written by Dr William Sellers (University of Manchester’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and published by PeerJ states just that! With the paper suggesting that maybe the T-Rex couldn’t even move faster than a gentle jog, let alone run.
This discovery coming from the University of Manchester, suggests that the size and sheer mass of the T-Rex would render it physically impossible to move at any speed higher than 7.7mph, which is slower than the average man’s running speed, which is around 8.4mph. Any speed higher than that would cause the T-Rex’s legs to simply break during chase due to its immense weight.
Their research utilised the Tier 2 HPC facility N8HPC, which underpins world-class research, to generate intense and detailed simulations to test Dr Sellers’ findings. A team led by Dr Sellers himself combined two popular bio mechanical techniques – multi-body dynamic analysis (MBDA) and skeletal stress analysis (SSA) to create a more refined model which he and his team (Stuart B. Pond, Charlotte A. Brassey, Philip L. Manning, and Karl T. Bates) used to prove their theory.
Dr William Sellers’ results disrupt the idea that the T-Rex was primarily a high-speed pursuit predator. A topic which has been an intensely debated subject matter amongst the palaeontology community for decades. The research suggests a less athletic lifestyle for the T-Rex and even throws into question their hunting methods.
Furthermore, their results bring into question the maximum running speeds of other large two-legged dinosaurs such as: Giganotosaurus, Mapusaurus, and Acrocanthosaurus.
Dr Sellers has stated that the ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the largest bipedal animals to have ever evolved and walked the earth. So it represents a useful model for understanding the biomechanics of other similar animals.’
Dr William Seller’s research can be found in PeerJ.