T. rex bite much worse than previously thought (+video)
The Tyrannosaurus rex had a very strong bite; probably stronger than any other land animal. The force of its jaw would have been similar to that of a medium sized- elephant sitting on you.
The tyrant lizard, also known as Tyrannosaurus rex, had the strongest bite of any known land animal, new research suggests.
"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," study researcher Karl Bates, of the University of Liverpool, said in a statement.
Younger T. rexes didn't have such strong bites, the researchers found, which probably meant they had a different diet and relied less on the fearsome bite than their older counterparts. This differing diets likely led reduced competition between generations of T. rex, the researchers said. [Image Gallery: The Life of T. Rex]
The new estimate of bite force is higher than past estimates that relied on indent measures in which they pressed down the skull and teeth onto a bone until they got the imprints that matched those on fossils. In the new study, the researchers created a computer model of the dinosaur's jaw by first digitally scanning skulls from an adult and juvenile T. rex, an allosaurus, an alligator and an adult human. They used these scans to model each animal's bite.
"We took what we knew about T. rex from its skeleton and built a computer model," Bates said. "We then asked the computer model to produce a bite so that we could measure the speed and force of it directly."