No Olympian: Analysis hints T. rex ran slowly, if at all | Science News


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No Olympian: Analysis hints T. rex ran slowly, if at all

10:00am, February 27, 2002

Tyrannosaurus rex, a bipedal meat eater considered by many to be the most fearsome dinosaur of its day, may not have been the swift Jeep-chaser portrayed in Jurassic Park. Scientists figure that for a 6,000-kilogram adult T. rex to dash along in high gear, as much as 86 percent of its body mass would need to be leg muscles–an unlikely pair of drumsticks, indeed.

The leg muscles of a running, bipedal animal typically must support at least 2.5 times the animal's body weight at the highest-stress point of its stride, says John R. Hutchinson, an evolutionary biologist now at Stanford University. That applies across the range of modern animals from chickens to ostriches to people.

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