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An explanation for the gigantic scale of prehistoric life
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Tyrannosaurus rex, the king of the dinosaurs, is commonly shortened to T. rex. One of the best known of the dinosaurs, T. rex was a meat eater approaching the mass of an elephant but the killing instinct of a tiger.

Perhaps the best description of what this dinosaur might have been like comes from one of the world’s leading palaeontologists Professor Robert Bakker who is widely credited with the dinosaur renaissance of fast active dinosaurs. In his book ‘The Dinosaur Heresies’ he describes why he believes that T. rex was a fast and agile hunter. The legs were built for speed with massive muscles capable of propelling T rex forward at great speed. The lung and heart cavities were large to enable him to pump the blood and oxygen required by his massive leg muscles.

In complete contrast to this renaissance of a fast T. rex the resent analysis of the leg muscles of T. rex show it would struggle to run at all.

The problem is resolved if T. rex evolved to run in a reduced gravity. This elephant sized animal was a fast hunter.

Further Reading

The Dinosaur Renaissance on Wikipedia here
Running Tyrannosaurs - A T. rex running at 10.7 m/s at ASL here
T. rex  a Slowpoke here
Being Big here

Updated 03Mar12