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Investigating the running abilities of Tyrannosaurus rex using stress-constrained multibody dynamic analysis

Investigating the running abilities of Tyrannosaurus rex using stress-constrained multibody dynamic analysis
Investigating the running abilities of Tyrannosaurus rex using stress-constrained multibody dynamic analysis
The running ability of Tyrannosaurus rex has been intensively studied due to its relevance to interpretations of feeding behaviour and the biomechanics of scaling in giant predatory dinosaurs. Different studies using differing methodologies have produced a very wide range of top speed estimates and there is therefore a need to develop techniques that can improve these predictions. Here we present a new approach that combines two separate biomechanical techniques (multibody dynamic analysis and skeletal stress analysis) to demonstrate that true running gaits would probably lead to unacceptably high skeletal loads in T. rex. Combining these two approaches reduces the high-level of uncertainty in previous predictions associated with unknown soft tissue parameters in dinosaurs, and demonstrates that the relatively long limb segments of T. rex—long argued to indicate competent running ability—would actually have mechanically limited this species to walking gaits. Being limited to walking speeds contradicts arguments of high-speed pursuit predation for the largest bipedal dinosaurs like T. rex, and demonstrates the power of multiphysics approaches for locomotor reconstructions of extinct animals.
2167-8359
1-19
Sellers, William I.
c3daedff-29a2-4909-8509-8b04d124cbd8
Pond, Stuart B.
50436147-54f6-4e54-a907-df67bd97e3c3
Brassey, Charlotte A.
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Manning, Philip L.
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Bates, Karl T.
b66bb258-4ddd-4ff6-ae5c-40c4c2f4dd86
Sellers, William I.
c3daedff-29a2-4909-8509-8b04d124cbd8
Pond, Stuart B.
50436147-54f6-4e54-a907-df67bd97e3c3
Brassey, Charlotte A.
9b79c5fd-2f4d-4652-9e2a-ec3b2072396c
Manning, Philip L.
659072e2-120a-4179-8c62-22c07479111b
Bates, Karl T.
b66bb258-4ddd-4ff6-ae5c-40c4c2f4dd86

Sellers, William I., Pond, Stuart B., Brassey, Charlotte A., Manning, Philip L. and Bates, Karl T. (2017) Investigating the running abilities of Tyrannosaurus rex using stress-constrained multibody dynamic analysis. PeerJ, 5, 1-19, [e3420]. (doi:10.7717/peerj.3420).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The running ability of Tyrannosaurus rex has been intensively studied due to its relevance to interpretations of feeding behaviour and the biomechanics of scaling in giant predatory dinosaurs. Different studies using differing methodologies have produced a very wide range of top speed estimates and there is therefore a need to develop techniques that can improve these predictions. Here we present a new approach that combines two separate biomechanical techniques (multibody dynamic analysis and skeletal stress analysis) to demonstrate that true running gaits would probably lead to unacceptably high skeletal loads in T. rex. Combining these two approaches reduces the high-level of uncertainty in previous predictions associated with unknown soft tissue parameters in dinosaurs, and demonstrates that the relatively long limb segments of T. rex—long argued to indicate competent running ability—would actually have mechanically limited this species to walking gaits. Being limited to walking speeds contradicts arguments of high-speed pursuit predation for the largest bipedal dinosaurs like T. rex, and demonstrates the power of multiphysics approaches for locomotor reconstructions of extinct animals.

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 July 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418392
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418392
ISSN: 2167-8359
PURE UUID: afdab6cc-9f85-4ac7-98ae-3f5b756bd212

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Date deposited: 06 Mar 2018 17:30
Last modified: 10 Mar 2022 19:18

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Contributors

Author: William I. Sellers
Author: Stuart B. Pond
Author: Charlotte A. Brassey
Author: Philip L. Manning
Author: Karl T. Bates

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