News of the WeekPaleontology

T. rex Was No Runner, Muscle Study Shows

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Science  01 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5560, pp. 1620-1621
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5560.1620

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According to a new biomechanical model, a 6000-kilogram Tyrannosaurus could not have packed enough muscle into its legs to reach 72 kilometers per hour, as had previously been argued; its top running speed was about 40 km/h. Although the finding, published in the 28 February issue of Nature, doesn't change ideas about Tyrannosaurus's hunting ability, paleontologists say the study sets a new standard for biomechanical analysis of an extinct organism.