Hopalong T Rex was 11mph slower than Bolt
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