Bite of T.Rex 'stronger than all'

 

When it comes to biting power, Tyrannosaurus rex was the undisputed king, a study has shown.

No living or extinct creature that ever walked the earth has been able to match the chomping force of the iconic dinosaur's jaws, researchers believe.

The findings, based on computer simulations, suggest that T. rex hunted large prey which it despatched with bone-crushing bites.

Experts have been divided on the jaw power of T. rex, which lived at the end of the dinosaurs' reign 65 million years ago.

Some believe it had a modest bite which limited the carnivore to scavenging dead carcasses. Others contend that T. rex was an active predator whose jaws were a fearsome weapon.

The research involved "reverse engineering" the jaw muscles of an adult T. rex using computer models.

No one knows precisely what the muscles of dinosaurs were like, so the scientists tested a range of values.

Even with a margin of error, the study showed that a T. rex bite was twice as powerful as previously predicted.

The force exerted ranged from 20,000 to 57,000 Newtons, or 4,496 to 12,814 pounds. This means T. rex's jaws were four times stronger than those of the American alligator, which has the most powerful bite of any living animal. One wild alligator measured by scientists bit with a force of 2,960 pounds.

To put the findings in context, the researchers scaled up the skulls of a human, alligator, juvenile T. rex and another meat-eating dinosaur, Allosaurus, to match the size of an adult T. rex.

In each case, bite forces increased as expected but they still failed to match that of an adult T. rex, suggesting that the dinosaur had the most powerful bite of any living or extinct land-dwelling animal.

Dr Karl Bates, from the University of Liverpool, who led the research published today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, said: "The power of the T. rex jaw has been a much debated topic over the years. Scientists only have the skeleton to work with as muscle does not survive with the fossil, so we often have to rely on statistical analysis or qualitative comparisons to living animals, which differ greatly in size and shape from the giant enigmatic dinosaurs like T. rex.

"As these methods are somewhat indirect, it can be difficult to get an objective insight into how dinosaurs might have functioned and what they may or may not have been capable of in life.

"Our results show that the T. rex had an extremely powerful bite, making it one of the most dangerous predators to have roamed our planet. Its unique musculoskeletal system will continue to fascinate scientists for years to come."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all