New Footprints Reveal Dino as Fast as World’s Fastest Humans - Nerdist
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New Footprints Reveal Dino as Fast as World’s Fastest Humans

Even though it seems like you’d need a Jeep Wrangler to outrun a T. rex, the gigantic dinosaurs likely had a top speed of only about 17 mph. Newly discovered footprints from the La Rioja province of Spain, however, come from a dinosaur that would require a vehicle to outrun. Or at least the athleticism of the fastest people in the world, such as Usain Bolt.

A team of Paleontologists in Spain has discovered evidence of a fast dinosaur that was 15 feet long and could run faster than Usain Bolt.
Navarro-Lorbés et al., Scientific Reports

Gizmodo reported on the footprints of the speedy dino, which paleontologists outlined in a paper published in Scientific Reports. The paleontologists report that the footprints come from what was likely a carcharodontosaurid or spinosaurid. I.e., a carnivorous, bipedal theropod dinosaur. I.e., a meat-eating dinosaur that ran on two legs. This fast dinosaur probably grew up six-and-a-half feet tall and up to 16 feet long.

A team of Paleontologists in Spain has discovered evidence of a dinosaur that was 15 feet long and could run faster than Usain Bolt.
Navarro-Lorbés et al., Scientific Reports

The paleontologists used computer modeling to predict the top speed of the dinosaur. Using the tracks—which come from the early Cretaceous, or between 145 and 100 million years ago—the team created 3D models. They then used characteristics like the length of the footprints, the dinosaur’s likely hip height, and its stride length, as inputs for the models.

As for the top speed? The paleontologists peg it at about 27.738 mph. Which is, of course, astonishingly fast. Especially for a dinosaur that may have weighed up to 33,000 pounds. That speed, however—technically—wouldn’t have been fast enough to beat Usain Bolt. The Olympic sprinter’s top speed narrowly beats that, coming in at 27.787 mph.

An illustration of a fast Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur, which could run up to 28 mph and left footprints in Spain.
Fred Wierum

Unfortunately, this quick bipedal dinosaur was likely not the fastest dinosaur from the Cretaceous. Some sources, for example, say that the velociraptor may have been able to reach top speeds of around 40 mph. This means even the fastest human on Earth wouldn’t have been able to outrun it. Nor a Wrangler below third gear either.

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