Giant T-Rex could crush three cars in one bite

  • Giant T-Rex could crush three cars in one bite

Giant T-Rex could crush three cars in one bite

Scientists have long known that T. rex ate bones, as indicated by the fragments found in fossilized dinosaur dung. When the huge carnivorous dinosaur took a bite, it did so with an awe-inspiring force equal to the weight of three small cars, enabling it to crunch bones easily. "Minimally, we expected forces over 6,800 pounds, since I had worked with Stanford engineers as a grad student replicating T-Rex bites on cow bones, and that value was deduced". The Palo Alto, California-based company said the prototype contains 160 terabytes of memory, capable of managing the information from every book in the U.S. Library of Congress five times over. To understand how the giant dinosaur consumed bone, Erickson and Gignac also needed to understand how those forces were transmitted through the teeth, a measurement they call tooth pressure.

They found the giant dinosaur was able to bite down on bones that with almost 8,000 pounds of force - equivalent to the weight of three small cars - while their long teeth generated as much as 431,000 pounds per square inch of bone-failing tooth pressures.

Using the jaw musculature of crocodiles as a starting point, the Florida State researchers compared the reptilian figures with those of birds, a closer modern relative of dinosaurs, to create a model for the biting power of a T-rex.

While it might be tempting to give the T. rex's massive size sole credit for its devastating bite, Gignac said that the creature's teeth are the real stars of the show.

"Put another way, a bite from a T. rex could shatter bones like a ".

Erickson and his colleague Paul Gignac, of Oklahoma State University, initially looked at the bite forces produced by different crocodile species.

Mammalian crunchers such as wolves or hyenas slice their way through bones with specialized molars like hacksaws.

They based the T. rex model on a computed tomography (CT) scan from a scaled replica of one of the best-preserved skulls.

To begin, the researchers developed and tested a 3D anatomical model that predicted the bite forces of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). "We have modeled bite forces for giant fossil crocs at 23,000 pounds, so [T-Rex] was not the king in that regard", Erickson says. "Its tooth pressures, which are more important than bite forces with regard to feeding capacities are however the highest estimated (to date) for any animal".

"It was this bone-crunching acumen that helped T. rex to more fully exploit the carcasses of large horned-dinosaurs and duck-billed hadrosaurids whose bones, rich in mineral salts and marrow, were unavailable to smaller, less equipped carnivorous dinosaurs", Gignac wrote in the study. Also, the animal had more than 30 teeth in the upper jaw alone.

As per the new study, carried out by a team of paleobiologists from the Florida State University, the T-rex dinosaur could deliver one of the most powerful and forceful bites that any of the land animal in history.

FRANCOIS THERRIEN: So lots of those earlier bite force estimates were more theoretical construct.