T-Rex could turn like a ‘figure skater from hell’

T-Rex could turn like a ‘figure skater from hell’ and was far more agile than thought, new reconstruction finds

  • The T. rex’ unusual body likely gave it greater turning force to pivot their body
  • Researchers found they could turn twice as fast as similarly-sized dinosaurs
  • Younger T. rexes were able to turn even faster than their adult counterparts 
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The fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex may have been more nimble than we thought.

A new analysis of their motion suggests the predators could quickly pivot like a ‘figure skater from hell,’ using powerful leg muscles to turn their bodies twice as fast as other dinosaurs of the same size, according to Live Science.

The researchers suspect the motion may have been a key part of their hunting technique.

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The team analyzed everything from body mass and centers of mass to rotational inertia, comparing the T. rex’ resulting agility score to that of other theropods – the group of carnivorous, bipedal dinosaurs

Researchers presented the new findings at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

While the T. rex was an enormous creature, weighing in at around 880lbs, the design of its body may have allowed for more efficient turning than other large dinosaurs of the time.

The team analyzed everything from body mass and centers of mass to rotational inertia, comparing the T. rex’ resulting agility score to that of other theropods – the group of carnivorous, bipedal dinosaurs.

And, they found the huge predator often wins out when it comes to turning ability.

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According to the researchers, the large predators would even have given smaller theropods a run for their money. The research suggests their turning speed was on par with theorpods that were half their size

‘Tyrannosaurids consistently have agility index magnitudes twice those of allosauroids and some other theropods of equivalent mass, turning the body with both legs planted or pivoting over a stance leg,’ the researchers write in the new study, published pre-print online.

With a short body length and large ilia, the bone in the upper part of the hip, these dinosaurs harnessed the forces that allow figure skaters to make such tight turns.

‘An adult T. rex could turn like a slow-motion 10-tonne [9 tons] figure skater from hell,’ Eric Snively, an associate professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, told Live Science.

‘Juvenile tyrannosaurs were much scarier. Their turning ability suggests that tyrannosaurs could successfully attack smaller, younger and/or more dangerous prey than other carnivorous dinosaurs would bother to tackle.’


A new analysis of their motion suggests the predators could quickly pivot like a ‘figure skater from hell,’ using powerful leg muscles to turn their bodies twice as fast as other dinosaurs of the same size

WHAT KILLED THE DINOSAURS?

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world’s species were obliterated.

This mass extinction paved the way for the rise of mammals and the appearance of humans.

The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

The asteroid slammed into a shallow sea in what is now the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released a huge dust and soot cloud that triggered global climate change, wiping out 75 per cent of all animal and plan species.

Researchers claim that the soot necessary for such a global catastrophe could only have come from a direct impact on rocks in shallow water around Mexico, which are especially rich in hydrocarbons.

Within 10 hours of the impact, a massive tsunami waved ripped through the Gulf coast, experts believe.


Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world’s species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

This caused earthquakes and landslides in areas as far as Argentina.

But while the waves and eruptions were  The creatures living at the time were not just suffering from the waves – the heat was much worse.

While investigating the event researchers found small particles of rock and other debris that was shot into the air when the asteroid crashed.

Called spherules, these small particles covered the planet with a thick layer of soot.

Experts explain that losing the light from the sun caused a complete collapse in the aquatic system.

This is because the phytoplankton base of almost all aquatic food chains would have been eliminated.

It’s believed that the more than 180 million years of evolution that brought the world to the Cretaceous point was destroyed in less than the lifetime of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which is about 20 to 30 years.

In the study, the team created reconstructions of the dinosaurs’ bodies using information on their muscles and soft tissues to get the most accurate estimate of their mass.

According to the researchers, the large predators would even have given smaller theropods a run for their money.

The research suggests their turning speed was on par with theorpods that were half their size, according to Live Science.

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