How T-Rex could catch a sportsman (but not a car)
T. rex may have struggled to chase down speeding vehicles as the movie Jurassic Park would have us believe but the world’s most fearsome carnivore was certainly no slouch, research out today suggests.
The University of Manchester study used a powerful supercomputer to calculate the running speeds of five meat-eating dinosaurs that varied in size from a 3kg Compsognathus to a six-tonne Tyrannosaurus.
The study – believed to be the most accurate ever produced – puts the T. rex at speeds of up to 18mph (29km/h), fractionally quicker than a sportsman such as a professional footballer.
The bipedal Compsognathus, by comparison, could reach speeds of almost 40mph (64km/h) – that’s 5mph (8km/h) faster than the computer’s estimate for the fastest living animal on two legs, the ostrich.
“Since the movie Jurassic Park, scientists have questioned the speed of these dinosaurs and some have wondered whether Tyrannosaurus could have run at all.
“Our research, which used the minimum leg-muscle mass T. rex required for movement, suggests that while not incredibly fast, this carnivore was certainly capable of running and would have little difficulty in chasing down footballer David Beckham for instance.”
Tags: T-Rex | Dinosaur | Run | Speed