Shameless Papistry, Fantastical and Paleontological Musings, General Hilarity


And now for some multi-ton Dinosaurian predators.
Awhile ago I had a bright and sunny afternoon completely free. So I did what any sane person would do. I estimated the movement speeds of four large carnivorous dinosaurs. The nasties in question are as follows:

The Tyrant King

Allosaurus Fragilis

Giganotosaurus Carolinii

Suchomimus Tenerensis

First, I measured my hip height, which turns out to be pretty much exactly three feet tall. Then I gathered some data on the hip heights of each animal, and calculated a ratio of our respective hip sizes.

Tyrannosaurus Rex: 14.44 ft/ ratio of .2273

Allosaurus: 9.84 ft/ ratio of .3333

Giganotosaurus: 16.4 ft/ ratio of .2

Suchomimus: 12 ft/ ratio of .2732

Then I measured my speed over a measured distance of level ground, and averaged it across several trials, for four different types of movement.

Walking: 2.84 miles per hour

Rapid Walking(For when you’re late to class): 4.49 miles per hour

Jogging: 6.29 miles per hour

Sprinting: 9.13 miles per hour

After which I used the ratios calculated previously to gauge roughly how fast the predators would be at those four types of movement. The basic idea is that stride length for bipeds will be generally comparable, although it is obvious human anatomy and that of a theropod is not exactly parallel by any stretch of the word. Taking that into consideration, I would think that the ratio of hip height would fit about equally with the ratio of stride size, and therefore general speed. I also figured that a fairly bulky person, like myself, as a opposed to an actual sprinter, would better serve as far as general physical ability in comparison. We are talking about some of the largest carnivores to ever walk the earth. Keep in mind, this is not exactly publishable material. There are many, many factors influencing the speed of the animals in this “experiment”, not the least of which involves what would undoubtedly be the superior muscle power in the hind limbs of the beasts.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Walking: 12.49 miles per hour

Rapid Walking: 19.75 miles per hour

Jogging: 27.67 miles per hour

Sprinting: 40.17 miles per hour

Allosaurus Fragilis

Walking: 8.52 miles per hour

Rapid Walking: 13.48 miles per hour

Jogging: 18.87 miles per hour

Sprinting: 27.39 miles per hour

Giganotosaurus Carolinii

Walking: 14.2 miles per hour

Rapid Walking: 22.45 miles per hour

Jogging: 31.45 miles per hour

Sprinting: 45.65 miles per hour

Suchomimus Tenerensis

Walking: 10.40 miles per hour

Rapid Walking: 16.43 miles per hour

Jogging: 23.02 miles per hour

Sprinting: 33.42 miles per hour

Only in relation to Allosaurus are all the different speeds viable, because of the physique of all the other animals.  Allosaurus was more gracile than the other creatures, at least relatively, and the most likely to be able to pull off a full sprint without causing itself bodily harm. Its arms were more robust than the others, excepting Suchomimus, and it was only several tons, as compared to the larger weight of the others. One of the serious dangers for a multi-ton biped when running is tripping. The bigger you are, the harder, and more devastating, your fall. This is where the arms and smaller size come in handy. Allosaurus had a far better chance of catching itself, and if it did not, its ribs had a much better chance of not cracking under its own bulk.

Suchomimus is a different case. While a good deal heavier, anywhere from 4-5 tons, it had far longer and more powerful arms, like its relative Baryonyx, which it most likely used to catch fish in conjunction with its crocodile-like jaws. It is theorized that it and its relatives might have been quadrupedal at least part of the time. This semi-bipedal stance, similar to that of Hadrosaurs and Iguanodonts, would have allowed for occasional bursts of speed. It is not conducive, however, to the kind of sprinting tested here. Therefore, I do not think it could have reached the listed top speed in that case.

Tyrannosaurus Rex and Giganotosaurus are both at great risk of grievous injury due to a fall while running. At a heft of 7-8 tons for the Tyrant King, and 8-9 tons for Giganotosaurus, and smaller arms combined with a much larger head than Allosaurus, any trip might result in a completely snapped neck, shattered jaw, or any number of horrors visited upon the ribcage. At that momentum, the risk is just too great. It is also completely reasonable to think that their limbs may not have been able to push them forward that fast. Taking their respective anatomies into account, at the very most, T-Rex could hit a normal run, but not for long, and Giganotosaurus, with its far thicker legs, could probably not pull off more than a rapid walk.

This makes all the carnivores seem slower than they actually are, for each one can amble along faster than I can sprint. Their massive stride length makes them as fast, if not faster, than most modern terrestrial animals. Allosaurus and T-Rex were almost able to reach 30 mph, and are on par with the fastest man ever recorded, with Suchomimus not far behind. Giganotosaurus walked rapidly nearly as fast as Suchomimus could run.


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