Using computer simulations, the experts demonstrated that everyone’s favorite dinosaur could only reach speeds of about 12 mph, fully debunking the notion that they could run at speeds up to 45 mph.
"This project used a highly realistic computer simulation to predict how T. rex moved, and it shows that running would have been impossible because its skeleton just isn’t strong enough," Professor William Sellers, the lead author of the study, said in a statement.
Published in PeerJ, the study presented two biomechanical techniques — multibody dynamic analysis and skeletal stress analysis — to show the dino couldn't have handled the pressure of high speeds.
So yeah, those folks battling their way to safety in "Jurassic Park" really didn’t need to freak out. Even if a T. rex were chasing you near an elementary school during restricted speed times, you’d still be able to drive away.
First discovered in the 1800s, the Cretaceous period’s apex predator’s ability to run has and will most likely continue to be debated for decades.
"The running ability of T. rex and other similarly giant dinosaurs has been intensely debated among paleontologists for decades,” Sellers said. “These findings may well translate to other long-limbed giants … but this idea should be tested alongside experimental validation work on other bipedal species."
Dr. Eric Snively of the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, who wasn’t part of the research, noted that despite the not-so-little guy's inability to run, the dinosaur should still be considered a formidable threat.
"It might well have caught Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, had he stayed outside the Jeep and in the slippery mud," mused Snively.
So, while rexy couldn’t outrun a cheetah, its looming presence and lion-esque roar still would’ve been more than a match for humankind.