Tyrannosaurus rex the hardest-biting land animal ever recognized — had a maximum bite force of almost 12,800 pounds. That is about 13 Steinway Model D concert grand pianos worth of prey-chomping devastation so powerful that scientists have been baffled by how the beast did not shatter its skull. However new proof emerged Wednesday suggesting a straightforward reply: T. rex is just that hardcore.
Based on the new study from the University of Missouri, the key to T. rex’s cranial cohesion is the stiffness of its 6-foot-long, 5-foot-wide skull.
“Once you put lots of force on things, there is a trade-off between movement and stability,” Associate Professor Cassie Holliday mentioned in a release. “Birds and lizards have more movement, however, less stability. When we applied their movements to the T. rex skull, we noticed it didn’t like being wiggled in ways in which the lizard and bird skulls do, which suggests more stiffness.”
On this approach, the researcher team mentioned, T. rex’s skull was stiff like these of hyenas and crocodiles. Earlier researchers might’ve missed this key trait by looking on the question from what graduate student Kaleb Sellers referred as “a bone-only perspective,” which does not consider “the entire connections ligaments and cartilage that mediate the interactions between the bones.”
Using a combination of anatomy and engineering analysis and 3D imaging, and with the assistance of two of T. rex’s relatives, the gecko, and the parrot, the research workforce re-created fashions of T. rex’s skull to observe its chewing behavior and all those ligaments and cartilage.
Researchers stated their new findings could also help assess jaw and muscular research in humans and other animals.