Tyrannosaurus Rex Would Break Its Own Legs if It Chased Jeff Goldblum IRL

Image: MaxPixel/CC0
Two independent studies show that the king of the dinosaurs was much slower than we thought.

BY Becky Ferreira | MOTHERBOARD

„We clocked the T. rex at 32 miles an hour,“ John Hammond, played by Richard Attenborough, casually informs his guests in Jurassic Park. Later, when the T. rex inevitably breaks out of her paddock, this speed limit is put to the test as the intimidating predator bears down on a Jeep in one of the most iconic chase scenes in film history.

This popular image of light-footed tyrannosaurs running after targets—which was recently rehashed in Jurassic World—has defined our view of how this extinct carnivore looked and lived.

But according to two unrelated studies published this week, in the journalsNature Ecology & Evolution and PeerJT. rex could not have come close to running 32 miles per hour. In contrast to its sporty depiction in movies, this animal appears to have been a bonafide slowpoke, sidling along at estimated top speeds of 12 to 17 miles per hour (20 to 29 kilometers per hour). By contrast, Usain Bolt can run nearly 28 miles per hour, cheetahs can top 60 miles per hour, and 1992 Jeep Wranglers, like those used in Jurassic Park, can accelerate to over 90 miles per hour.

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