The fearsome tyrannosaurus rex probably walked at a slightly slower speed than humans, according to a new study by Vrije Universiteit’s Human Movement Science student Pasha van Bijlert. The reason for this slow walking speed had to do mainly with the equally large tail of the giant dinosaur, which would have swung back and forth as the creature roamed prehistoric Earth.
According to the new study, animals and humans naturally follow certain walking speeds based on their resonance, which is essentially the pace a person reaches based on their body that allows them to save energy while walking. That is why one may find it tiring to walk at a slower than normal speed, in addition to walking faster than normal.
Humans, of course, walk on two legs and many animals walk on four legs. The T-rex, however, had a unique composition that did not fit into any of the categories: it walked on two legs, but it also had a huge tail that wiggled, contributing to its resonance. This, in turn, would influence the natural and comfortable walking speed of these dinosaurs.
Using a 3D model of a T-rex located at the National Museum of Natural History in the Netherlands, the researchers behind this study found that the giant dinosaur may have had a normal and comfortable walking speed of only about 2.9 MPH, which is a little bit less than the speed at which you probably walk regularly.
The tail would have slowed the T-rex compared to its comfortable walking speed it would probably have been had it not had the tail. The researchers released a 3D animation showing a T-rex moving at what may have been its normal slow walking speed – and, well, somehow the casual pace makes the dinosaur look even more frightening.