MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sorry, dino fans, but Hollywood’s depictions of the charging Tyrannosaurus rex couldn’t be further from the truth.
New research by scientists at the University of Manchester in England has revealed the prehistoric predator was a slowpoke.
Professor William Sellers, who led the study, said the creature’s legs would have buckled under the high speeds of 45 mph it was once believed to run.
“The problem with that is that running that fast it would actually break all the bones in his legs,” Sellers said. “If you take into consideration the strength of the skeleton, then this thing couldn’t manage something faster than a walk.”
Sellers’ research analyzed the Tyrannosaurus rex’s bone size, density and movement to determine the beast was “limited to walking speeds.”
An unflattering simulation shows the T. rex is less stealth predator and more awkward park jogger.
At its fastest, an adult T. rex can only reach about 12 mph, which would leave it in the dust Olympian Usain Bolt who can run 28 miles per hour. Even the average human is faster, running at around 15 mph.
“I was a little bit disappointed, I have to say,” Sellers said. “Not necessarily surprised, but I was hoping for it to be a bit quicker.”
Just like humans, Sellers said young T. rexes were likely faster and more agile than their parents. But the new research has rocked the science community, and the way we understand the monsters of our past.
“We have to rethink exactly where T. rex fitted in to the ecology of our time. If it couldn’t move very quickly, was it an ambush predator for example or was it going around looking at already dead animals and just being sort of a scavenger?” Sellers said.