9 Facts About The T-Rex That ‘Jurassic Park’ Forgot To Mention
The Tyrannosaurus Rex was one amazing creature. Its name actually means ‘king of the tyrant lizards’ – deriving from the Greek nouns ‘tyranno’ (tyrent), ‘saurus’ (lizard) and the Latin noun ‘rex’ (king). In 1905, it was Henry Fairfield Osborn (president of the American Museum of Natural History) who gave the large carnivore its name.
Since then, however, it seems like our knowledge about T-Rex has been influenced by Jurassic Park rather than scientific facts. So in case you need some new random facts to own the party small talk this weekend, you’re welcome.
1. T-Rex wasn’t the biggest carnivorous dinosaur that walked the earth.
Say whaaat? In your future nightmares, you can replace T-Rex with Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur that we know of. It lived about 112 million to 97 million years ago, during the so-called Cretaceous period.
Its favorite hunting spots were located in the swamps of North Africa. Reportedly, Spinosaurus auditioned for Jurassic Park but wasn’t deemed a good enough actor to make the cut.
2. We haven’t yet found a complete T-Rex skeleton.
The most complete ones that have been found so far are called Jane and Sue. Around fifty skeletons have been discovered in total, and none of them were complete. Theoretically, T-Rex could have had additional body features that we don’t even know about. Like another set of longer arms – or a massive set of angel wings.
3. Some dinosaurs could easily outrun T-Rex.
Not all of them, naturally. However, the tyrant lizard king didn’t even come close to being the fastest dinosaur due to the fact that it probably only reached a maximum speed of about 18 mph. Reportedly, the fastest dinosaur was the tiny, chicken-sized Compsognathus, which could reach 40 mph for short time periods.
4. Occasionally, T-Rex indulged in cannibalism.
Obviously, there was easier prey available. According to paleontologist Matthew McLain, T-Rex occasionally killed and fed on its own kind. After analyzing a 2015 T-Rex skeleton find, McLain is almost certain that it had been eaten by another, bigger version of its own kind.
5. Those tiny T-Rex arms were not as useless as you might think.
According to Scott Lee, professor of physics at University of Toledo, we should stop poking fun at the dinosaur’s arms ASAP. His research suggested that T-Rex used its arms to grab prey and push itself off the ground.
Apparently, its arms were extremely agile. It “could shoot its hands out at an acceleration of 90 meters per second, or about nine times the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity.” As if that wasn’t enough, T-Rex would also have owned anyone on armday at the gym: It could have “lifted 439 pounds with help from its bicep muscles.” Damn, T-Rex – we sincerely apologize.
6. Their bite was septic.
It is likely that T-Rex didn’t only have bad breath but also a nasty septic bite – similar to the one of the Komodo Dragon. Contrary to the myth that its bite would kill you, evidence has it that the bacteria-infested bite would give you no more than a badly infected wound.
Now imagine a similarly nasty wound, just ten times bigger. If the tyrant lizard’s prey survived the initial attack, it would have had a massive bacteria problem.
7. T-Rex and your ordinary farm chicken are actually related.
Who would have thought, right? According to scientific studies, a “comparison of the protein’s chemical structure to a slew of other species showed an evolutionary link between T-Rex and chickens.”
Consequently, birds are very likely to have evolved from dinosaurs. Don’t let those evil chickens come too close to you… just saying.
8. T-Rex had excellent vision.
Jurassic Park taught us all to sit very still if T-Rex approached – this way, you were most likely to survive. Scientists are now calling bullsh*t on the rumor that T-Rex had bad eyesight.
In fact, it must have been excellent – T-Rex would have been able to tell whether you were trying to trick it. Oh, and its brilliant sense of smell wouldn’t have helped your survival either.
9. They may have hunted in packs.
Luckily, they’re extinct. If Jurassic Park already scared the sh*t out of you, just imagine a whole pack of them hunting together. They would have been unstoppable… until that damn meteorite hit, of course.