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T. rex Was Built For Speed

  • 20-11-2010 3:32pm
    Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean

    If there was any niggling doubt about the T. rex scavenger theory (Horner et. all) being a crock of old hat then this latest study should surely plant the final nail in the coffin.
    The tails of both T.rex and modern animals are given their shape and strength by rib bones attached to the vertebrae. Persons found that the ribs in the tail of T. rex are located much higher on the tail. That leaves much more room along the lower end of the tail for the caudofemoralis muscles to bulk-up and expand.

    Without rib bones to limit the size of the caudofemoralis muscles, they became a robust power plant enabling T.rex to run.

    He now believes that previous estimates of the muscle mass in this dinosaur's tail were underestimated by up to 45 percent. This explains why earlier researchers thought T. rex was more of a plodding animal that couldn't run very fast.

    Illustration by Scott Hartman

    Discovery Channel release here.
    More in depth article by the Smithsonian Institute here.