Torque, Speed and Tyrannosaurus rex

The Great One, a tyrannosaur is shown at a run. Gregory Paul estimates that the animal could run about as fast as a racehorse, which would be about 14 to 17 meters per second. His argument for a speedy carnosaur of the 6 to 12 ton persuasion is that its hind limb is similar to that of a horse and an ostrich, both of which are fast. Cyberpaleonology uses animation and models to inspect the way these animals moved.

The animal I animated is based on an articulated skeleton of a 6 ton animal and is accurately proportioned. Its stride is 26 feet long without any suspension. Suspension for a 12,000 pound animal involves horrendous impacts, even for an inch or two off the ground. I animated the animal in such a way that its digitigrade stride (runs on tip toe) gave it a "slingshot" effect slightly up and forward off the middle of the stance phase of the planted leg. That way, the animal stays level as the swing phase leg comes forward and is placed on the ground. As the animal sinks its mass onto the new leg, its ligaments, tendons and muscles store potential energy to release in the new stride just after the balance point of the stance phase.

Click on the movie to view at full size.

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