Everyone knows that the Tyrannosaurus rex — the mighty “king” of the dinosaurs — was a fearsome carnivore. There’s been plenty of debate over how much hunting the species actually did, with some suggesting that the T. rex was more of a scavenger than anything else, but a new discovery shows that, however the towering beast was able to find its food, its bite was truly horrific. In a new study published in Scientific Reports, researchers from Florida State University reveal the true power of a T. rex bite, including its ability to make bones disintegrate.
Using computer models based on the muscular structure of modern day crocodiles and their kin, the researchers applied virtual muscles to bone. Once the models were complete, they observed how the T. rex would have bitten down on prey, discovering just how insanely powerful the animal’s jaws really were.
According to the data, a living T. rex would have had roughly 8,000 pounds of biting force at its disposal. That’s an impressive figure, but it’s also not the whole story. When taking into account the arrangement and shape of its long, cone-shaped teeth, the scientists were able to calculate how much force would have been applied by each tooth, which measured a ridiculous 431,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. With that kind of force, a T. rex bite wouldn’t just have snapped bones, it could also have created the “catastrophic explosion” of some bone structures.
In short, there was practically nothing a T. rex couldn’t eat, and would likely have consumed not just the flesh of its prey, but also bones and the marrow within them. Yum.