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T-Rex Could Easily Shatter Bones with Nearly 8,000 Pounds of Bite Force

May 19, 2017 05:18 AM EDT
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Tyrannosaurus rex had jaw muscles capable of producing nearly 8,000 pounds of bite force that can easily gnaw and slice through bones.
(Photo : Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

A new study revealed that the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex had jaw muscles capable of producing nearly 8,000 pounds of bite force quotient that can easily gnaw and slice through bones.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that the bite force quotient of the T-rex is roughly equivalent to the weight of three small cars. With astounding 7,800 pounds of bite forces, the T-rex can bite through and shatter the bones of its prey before consuming it.

"Through incredible, nearly 8,000-pound bite forces and record-breaking, 431,000 pounds per square inch tooth pressures, T. rex regularly scored, deeply punctured, and even sliced through bones," said Paul Gignac, an assistant professor of anatomy and vertebrate paleontology at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and lead author of the study, in a report from Live Science.

For the study, the researchers developed a new 3D anatomical model capable of predicting the bite force of animals. After accurately predicting the bite force of the American alligator, the researchers used the computed tomography (CT) scan from a scaled replica of one of the best-preserved skulls as basis for the model. The muscle arrangement of the T-rex was then based from a combination of crocodile- and bird- like features. The researchers also used cues from the bone structure of the dinosaur's skull as reference for its muscle structure.

The new model made it possible for the researchers to estimate the bite force quotient of the T-rex at any tooth position along its jaw. The researchers found that T-rex could bite at an astounding 7,800 pounds or 34,522 newtons. Each tooth of the T-rex could exert 431,000 pounds per square inch of bone-crushing pressure. With this high estimates, the T-rex could easily bite, puncture and slice through meat and bones.

The bite force quotient of the T-rex is far more powerful than any living animals today. The bite force of the biggest living crocodile measured about 3,700 pounds. Humans are puny compared to crocodiles and the T-rex. The average bite force of humans only measured at 200 pounds or so.

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