Beware. After many millions of years, the T. rex is back. And this giant, scary predator is setting its hungry eyes on you. What would running into this dinosaur be like? How could you possibly escape? And what would happen if it sunk its teeth into you?
During the late Cretaceous period about 66 million years ago, the T. rex was one of the largest known meat-eating dinosaurs. Its full name, Tyrannosaurus rex, means king of the tyrant lizards. And it certainly fits the profile. These dinosaurs towered at up to 6 m (20 ft) tall. With the strongest bite of any land animal that ever lived, the T. rex was a ferocious predator.
Back in its day, it was roaming the once lush and warm western parts of the U.S. Somehow, it’s back and it’s on the hunt. For you. Run! Your peaceful walk in the park would take a turn for the worse. You’d suddenly look up to the frightening sight of a T. rex rising above you. Frozen with fear, you’d quickly take in its terrifying features. Its powerful tail counterbalancing a massive skull.
It’s thick neck muscles. And its muscular thighs that would be a good reminder that you shouldn’t have skipped your leg day at the gym. Though I wouldn’t advise it, you might involuntary chuckle at the sight of the dinosaur’s puny, two-fingered forearms. But your amusement wouldn’t last long. The T. rex would flash its gigantic teeth at you. And some of those could be 30 cm (12 in) long.
As a fan of the Jurassic Park film franchise, you might think that the best thing to do is remain standing as still as possible. But research suggests that the T. rex had a sense of vision as good or better than modern-day eagles’. Now would be a good time to run. Another thing Jurassic Park led you to believe is that in order to get away from this predator, you’d need to be able to move as fast as a car.
That would mean running at a speed of 50 km/h (30 mph). And that’s impossible for humans. Even the world’s fastest person, Usain Bolt, with his top speed of 44 km/h (27 mph), wouldn’t make it. But you’d still have a chance. Today, scientists debate whether or not the T. rex could run at all. Research supporting the theory that the dino could run estimates that this predator would be able to move at a moderate pace of about 25 – 40 km/h (15-25 mph).
Any faster, and it would break its legs. On the other hand, the T. rex might not be able to run at all. Instead, it would walk at a slower-than-human pace of 5 km/h (3 mph). That’s about as fast as a softshell turtle. Knowing this, you could jog a comfortable distance from the attacking T. rex. And if you’re not a runner, soon enough you’d stop to catch a breath.
But that would be a mistake. Your moment of relaxation would suddenly be interrupted by extremely sharp pain. Another T. rex has found you with its amazing sense of smell. And it would sink its teeth into you. With that sharp pain, you’d feel your bones being crushed. The T. rex would be using its so-called puncture and pull strategy on you.
The dinosaur would drag its teeth right through your flesh and bones. This would be a gruesome way to die. Its front teeth would grip and pull you to shreds, while its side teeth tear your flesh from your body. Its back teeth would be moving your body closer and closer to the T. rex’s throat. Struggling to break free wouldn’t help you now.
Your attacker’s wide teeth wouldn’t break from your wiggling. After all, this dino used to hunt triceratops. And to make things worse, the dinosaur’s powerful neck muscles would thrash you around. These muscles would be strong enough to throw a 50 kg (110 lb) chunk of meat about 5 m (15 ft) into the air.
Sorry to be so gruesome. But what did you think running into a prehistoric creature like this would be like? Maybe you’d stand a better chance against a more modern predator. Like an anaconda.
- “Dinosaur T Rex – Facts Of Tyrannosaurus Rex Dinosaurs”. 2022. kids-dinosaurs.com.
- “Tyrannosaurus Rex: Facts About T. Rex, King Of The Dinosaurs”. Joseph Castro. 2017. livescience.com.
- “New Study Finds T. Rex Walked At A Slow Pace Of Three Miles Per Hour”. Elizabeth Gamillo. 2021. smithsonianmag.com.
- “Tyrannosaurus Rex – Fact Sheet”. 2014. si.edu.
- “Tyrannosaurus Rex Was Not A Fast Runner, More A Slow Walker, Simulation Shows”. David Bressan. 2022. forbes.com.