By Mindy Weisberger
Tyrannosaurus rex may have been the world’s first power-walker, using its lengthy legs to relentlessly pursue fleeing prey, new research has found.
Walking, the scientists discovered, would have been an energy-efficient hunting strategy for big dinosaurs like tyrannosaurs.
To better understand walking and running in T. rex and other theropods, or meat-eating dinosaurs, scientists measured metrics such as relative limb size, posture and body mass in 93 individual dinosaurs from 71 theropod species, in order to calculate how those factors may have affected the animals’ maximum speeds.
They found that while long-leggedness made some theropods fast runners, that wasn’t always the case. In very large dinosaurs, such as T. rex, long limbs came with a different advantage, allowing the predator to keep up a slower but steady pace long after a speedier animal would have grown tired and given up the chase.
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