T. Rex Plodded Like an Elephant, Nerve Study Says
The mighty Tyrannosaurus rex didn't have the nerves—literally—to be a fast, agile killing machine, a new study says.
Instead, most times T. rex probably plodded along like an elephant, according to a new study that estimated the "speed limit" of nerve signals running through the dinosaur's body.
(Related: "T. Rex Was Slow-Turning Plodder, Study Suggests.")
When a vertebrate—an animal with a backbone—stubs its toe, electrical signals get carried from the toe to the spinal cord by a nerve, which is made up of bundles of long, fiberlike cells.
Since the researchers couldn't study a T. rex's nerves directly, the team looked at how nerves work in a range of modern animals, from the tiny shrew to midsize dogs and pigs to massive Asian elephants.