T. Rex’s Tiny Arms Were Weapons After All

T. Rex’s Tiny Arms Were Weapons After All

Paleontologists have been reevaluating the function of Tyrannosaurus’s arms–and it was better than we gave them credit for.

Early tyrannosaurids had longer arms used for grasping, but they atrophied as the animal’s massive jaws evolved to take over that function. But even as they shrank, the shortened arms developed into effective slashing weapons at close quarters.

T. Rex’s arms were actually larger that they are commonly portrayed, at roughly a meter long and the thickness of a grown man’s leg. They were also very strong, with heavy bones and a wide range of motion. The number of fingers had reduced from three to two, giving the massive curved claws 50% more pressure during an attack. A T. Rex could rapidly deliver multiple deep slashes once it closed with an opponent.

So, all those jokes about T.Rex’s tiny arms may not be so funny, any more.

Source: Geological Society of America

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