T-Rex May Have Been Built for Long Walks
Food – and in particular how animals feed and used to feed – is important when trying to understand just about anything else about an ecosystem. And when that ecosystem no longer exists (as in of the pre-historic variety), figuring out what it is that creatures relied on for food, and even how much energy went into acquiring food, is of critical importance. And this is precisely why the latest discovery leading scientists to believe that Tyrannosaurus rex was in fact built for endurance and not necessarily raw speed, is major-league significant if we’re to ever really understand one of the most feared dinosaurs ever to have roamed the earth.
Conclusions proposed by a recent paper published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE relies on research regarding how mammals move being applied to how dinosaurs used to move. Significant is the fact that the conclusions reached by the paper support previous theories that the dangerous giants of the pre-world used to hunt not alone, but in packs. And what this does, aside from shining even more light on one of the most fascinating creatures that ever lived, is that it opens a unique window into what the specific ecology of the ancient forests of the time of T-Rex used to look like.
Energy Tells The Story
The main aim, according to one of the paper’s authors, namely Hans Larsson of McGill University in Montreal, is to get to the point of having reasonably figured out just how much energy would have gone into as well as flow through, these ancient paleo ecosystems. Not being able to determine exactly what it took to feed ancient predators like the Tyrannosaurs rex severely limits the chance of determining and estimating just about anything and everything else about ancient ecosystems.
And since food is consumed mainly for energy (for the purpose of gathering even more food of course!), there exists a direct link between what T-Rex ate and how it moved – including, of course, the maximum speed at which it was capable of running.
What’s The Formula?
Combining the height of a creature’s hip with its estimated body mass is the magic formula for wagering a reasonably accurate guess about how fast that creature is able to run, says Larsson. But at the same time, it must be mentioned that various factors come into play when trying to work out speed capacity.
Larsson uses the elephant as an example Its hip height is lengthier than most, and certainly lengthier than that of a gazelle, but that does not mean that a gazelle won’t run circles around any elephant. And by having applied theories such as this one to speed estimations proposed in various earlier papers, it seems to be the case that instead of having been perfectly capable of achieving speeds of up to 70km/h, the real truth may be a great deal closer to only 20km/h.
Which of course means you’d pretty much have to have been a Usain Bolt in order to make a successful getaway.