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'On Your Mark...': Humans Can Probably Outwalk a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Reveals Study

Screengrab showing T-Rex from Jurrasic Park movie on YouTube.

Screengrab showing T-Rex from Jurrasic Park movie on YouTube.

The study by Dutch scientists shows that Tyrannosaurus Rex would have covered just 4.6 km in an hour, which they said was about half the previously estimated speed of the giant animal.

Tyrannosaurus Rex, the fearsome predator from the dinosaur family, walked surprisingly slowly that even humans could match it easily, a new study has revealed. The study by Dutch scientists shows that it would have covered just 4.6 km in an hour, which they said was about half the previously estimated speed of the giant animal. The study’s findings again debunk popular movie interpretations – like in Jurassic Park – that show a T-Rex loping on terrified people escaping the beast in a car. Scientists previously have said that these animals don’t run at speeds shown in movies but this new study has slowed down the big dinosaur further.

Previous studies estimated the walking speeds of T.Rex, the biggest of all carnivorous dinosaurs, to be around 4.5 to 6.7 miles per hour (7.24 to 10.78 kmph), but scientists now say the new speed estimate for T.Rex is similar to the natural walking speed of elephants, horses, and humans (about 4.6 kmph), the DailyMail reported.

The new study, led by Pasha van Bijlert, an MSc student at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, was based on an analysis of Trix – the 13-metre-long female T-Rex that lived 66 million years ago and whose skeleton was excavated in 2013 in Montana. It has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

The scientists took into account the long and powerful tail of the dinosaur, which is about half its length. “It looks like T. Rex wasn’t a very fast walker,” said van Bijlert.

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Knowing how T. Rex moved can help scientists better understand dinosaur behavior and ancient ecosystems. For instance, they would be able to answer questions like how long would a T.Rex want to walk when looking for food or water.

Tyrannosaurus Rex lived about 66 million to 68 million years ago towards the end of the Cretaceous period in what is now the United States. They likely numbered billions and lived for 165 million years before their sudden extinction.

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first published:April 21, 2021, 18:42 IST