Look kids, I know that you really, really want your Jurassic Park T. Rex to be “real” in your bone-headed, made-up war on “Fluffy Dinosaurs.” Nostalgia has blinded every generation from accepting new information on dinosaurs, from dragging tails to scaly skin. Paleontology isn’t as cut-and-dry as the movie monsters that we’ve made dinosaurs into (and yes, I love movie monster dinos. But that’s all they are: movie monsters) and people need to stop sharing error-riddled articles and all those stupid fucking blog posts claiming “victory” over something they don’t understand because an arbitrarily designated “King of the dinosaurs” (disclaimer: still my favorite dino) didn’t look like their Playskool toys from when they were 5.
Scientists just discovered that T. rex probably wasn’t as speedy as Jurassic Park would have you believe. Previously, paleontologists estimated the reptiles could run between 11 and 33 miles per hour, while the world’s fastest human can reach 27 miles per hour. Now, University of Manchester paleontologist William Sellers and his team make the case that T. rex could only reach about 12 miles per hour– and that its bones would have shattered at higher speeds. T. rex weighed around seven tons, which limited its running ability—that’s a lot of pressure to put on a pair of feet!
This new theory derives from an alternate research methodology. While previous studies focused on the lengths of dinosaur limbs, new models account for full skeleton structures and muscles. The sophisticated new computer simulations demonstrate the T. rex gait and biomechanics, highlighting the way the animals’ individual muscles might have moved and how its weight load would impact its legs as it took its wide strides. For those T. rex fans reluctant to accept the news, there is one variable that could alter the recent predictions–the scientists acknowledge that they didn’t take elastic tendons into account, which could have boosted running speeds. They also assumed that T. rex muscles were optimized to be as strong as possible, which may yet prove to be inaccurate.
You can get a closer look at a T. rex’s load-bearing feet in the Museum’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs: https://goo.gl/MRVcY2
You want dinosaurs? Here you go, here’s their T-Rex collection. Some of these are casts prepared off of original skeletons, but these are some of the best T-Rexes in the world. When you look at the closely zoomed skulls, the yellow or lighter material is plaster to hold the skull in place, the dark brown on those is real bone. The full sized one isn’t quite as big as sue, but still is monstrous. Again, found in Montana - currently nicknamed Montana’s T-Rex.
See the series of skulls in a row in 2 shots? A lot of the work at this museum is currently aimed at understanding how these organisms grew. Some of the techniques include putting skeletons in order, as seen here. In the T-rex section, using both real fossils and casts, they have a mockup of the T-Rex growth sequence in the skulls. It’s really better than it looks - a half dozen T-Rex skulls in line.