T. Rex Just Got a Lot Less Scary

New research shows beast could only travel up to 12mph
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 8:34 PM CDT
T. Rex Just Got a Lot Less Scary
A cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex greets visitors as they enter the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Jurassic Park had us all fooled: Outstripping a Tyrannosaurus rex in a Jeep would've been easy-peasy because, well, T. rex couldn't run. After much debate about how fast T. rex moved—previous estimates suggested up to 45 miles per hour—scientists at the University of Manchester used advanced computer simulations to come up with the most accurate assessment yet. Taking into account the beast's muscles and skeleton, they discovered running would've been "impossible" without a T. rex's legs buckling under its 7-ton weight, per the BBC. Study author William Sellers says T. rex instead walked at a pace of up to 12 miles per hour—a fast jog for humans and less than half of Usain Bolt's top speed of 27.8mph, report Reuters and Buzzfeed.

As a researcher not involved in the study tells National Geographic, there's "no way T. rex could have chased down that Jeep in Jurassic Park if it was going at highway speeds. Maybe if it was in first gear, but even that's a big if." While it's a welcome discovery for anyone who might find themselves transported back in time, it also provides insight into how T. rex hunted. Juveniles may have been faster moving, but an adult T. rex "certainly would not have been able to chase down faster-moving prey animals," Sellers says. That means T. rex might have hid in forested areas and launched ambush attacks, or it might have dined mostly on slow-moving dinosaurs like Triceratops, reports Gizmodo. (T. rex sure had a nasty bite.)

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