T. Rex walked slower than previously thought: study

The preferred speed of the dinosaurs was 4.61 km per hour, close to the walking steps of humans and horses

(Subscribe to Science For All, our weekly newsletter, in which we want to get the jargon out of science and add fun. Click here.)

Unlike popular film incarnations, Tyrannosaurus rex – a giant dinosaur that eats meat from the Cretaceous period – walked slower than previously thought, most likely spinning around at the speed of a human walk, a new Dutch study has shown.

Working with a three-dimensional computer model of the “Trix”, the female skeleton of T. rex at the Dutch Naturalis Museum, researcher Pasha van Bijlert added computer reconstruction of muscles and ligaments to determine that the preferred dinosaur speed was likely to be 4.61 km (4.86 km). per hour, close to the walking steps of men and horses.

In an article on the movement of dinosaurs in Royal Open Society Science the journal Van Bijlert and its co-authors T. rexthe huge tail played an important role in its movement.

They looked at how the animals would achieve a natural frequency of movement, taking into account not only the leg muscles as in previous studies, but also the movement of the tail, which would reduce the amount of energy expended.

“The tail would swing up and down with each step (like a giraffe’s neck). If the rhythm of the steps and the natural frequency of the tail were matched, the tail would resonate, maximizing energy storage,” Van Bijlert said on Twitter.

By calculation T. RexStep rhythm researchers estimated his walking speed.

However, it is too early to assume that man could have surpassed T. rex: The researchers said they were looking at the pace of the terrifying predator and were still exploring its possible maximum speeds. There is also no possibility of it being put to the test because the species became extinct more than 60 million years before humans appeared on Earth.