By Cass Marrett
A study found the T. rex’ preferred walking speed is estimated at 4.6 km per hour - similar to the natural walking speed of humans, horses, elephants and emus.
Dutch researchers created a 3D reconstruction of the T. rex tail using a real-life specimen to estimate the rhythm the tail swung as it walked. It is a new way of estimating walking speed for dinosaurs, and found the T. rex’ natural walking speed was half what was previously thought.
To use as little energy as possible, bipedal dinosaurs relied on their tail muscles. For the T. rex, its tail was attached to its body by springy ligaments which acted as storage for elastic energy.
Mr Pasha van Bijlert, the study’s lead author and a student at the University of Amsterdam, said tests found the T. rex - which aren’t known as the speediest of dinosaurs - moved even slower than previously thought.
“Our results for preferred walking speed of T. rex are lower than previous estimations for large theropods, but more closely match the preferred walking speeds of a variety of extant animals, regardless of gait pattern and body size,” he said.