Hopa­long T Rex was 11mph slower than Bolt

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Sarah Knap­ton SCIENCE EDITOR

IT MAY have struck fear into a generation of cinema fans in Juras­sic Park, but Tyran­nosaurus Rex would not have been such a ter­ri­fy­ing prospect in real life – as it could not have out­run a speedy hu­man.

Al­though it was thought the di­nosaur could sprint at around 45mph, Ger­man sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered that the lum­ber­ing beast was so mas­sive it would have strug­gled to ac­cel­er­ate be­yond a medium trot.

In fact, re­searchers cal­cu­lated that T Rex could only have clocked a run­ning speed of 16.5mph, just 1mph faster than the av­er­age hu­man, and 11mph slower than Usain Bolt, the fastest man on Earth. The di­nosaur cer­tainly would not have been ca­pa­ble of keep­ing up with a Jeep, as shown in the Steven Spiel­berg film.

How­ever, even Bolt could not have out-run a ve­loci­rap­tor, which would have had the abil­ity to run at 34mph.

Re­searchers at the Ger­man Cen­tre for In­te­gra­tive Bio­di­ver­sity Re­search, Leipzig, looked at al­most 500 species to find out how size was re­lated to speed.

Dr Myr­iam Hirt said: “Small to in­ter­me­di­ately sized an­i­mals ac­cel­er­ate quickly and have enough time to reach their the­o­ret­i­cal max­i­mum speed, whereas large an­i­mals are lim­ited in ac­cel­er­a­tion time and run out of read­ily mo­bil­is­able en­ergy be­fore be­ing able to reach their the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble max­i­mum.”

The team found max­i­mum speed falls rapidly as an­i­mals grow be­yond av­er­age size.

For the T Rex, which weighed up to nine tons, the time re­quired to ac­cel­er­ate to faster speeds out­strips the time avail­able for ac­cel­er­a­tion.

The re­search was pub­lished in the jour­nal Na­ture Ecol­ogy & Evo­lu­tion.

Hu­mans could have out­run a T Rex and es­caped in a car

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