The T-Rex was a fierce carnivore that stood up to around 20 feet tall (6 meters). It had powerful legs and a robust tail. It had a ferocious bite that could tear through flesh with ease, and it had an overall menacing and mean demeanor. Even though the T-Rex was a powerhouse dinosaur predator, its physical proportions had some problems. Could the T-Rex sit down and get back up again?
A T-Rex could definitely sit down and get back up when it wanted to. It had a specialized bone in its pelvis called the pubis bone that allowed it to sit comfortably. The T-Rex also used its powerful legs and tail and its small arms to assist it while going down to sit and to get back up again.
Sitting down is a great way for us humans to relax and rest, but why would a T-Rex want to sit down? And if this huge beast managed to sit down, would it be able to get up again easily, or would it be vulnerable? Also, if a T-Rex can sit down and get back up, what would happen if it fell over while running? Let us find out…
Can A T-Rex Sit Down And Get Up Again?
Interestingly enough, a T-Rex was able to sit down, and it could get back up too. The T-Rex has a bone in its pelvis that some paleontologists call the third foot, but it is actually called the pubis bone. It has been speculated that this bone was used to help the T-Rex sit down and get back up again.
There are other aspects to the T-Rex that may have helped with this action too. The T-Rex had a huge, muscular tail that was extremely strong. This tail was used to help balance the dinosaur, not only while walking and running but while sitting too.
The T-Rex needed this strong tail for balance as it had a very large heavy head, so the tail was more like a counterweight for the T-Rex’s heavy head. If it did not have this tail, then the T-Rex may not have been able to move around efficiently.
The tail was mainly relaxed while the dinosaur was sitting down, but it was used as a counterweight to help the T-Rex sit down and get back up. As the T-Rex sat down, it would move its body backward. The dinosaur would then use its tail as a stabilizing point as it started to sit, which allowed it to get down to the ground safely.
As the T-Rex got up, it would move its body forward while its legs began to straighten. If the strong tail was not there, the T-Rex would fall straight onto its face during this process.
The T-Rex’s arms were also used to stabilize the dinosaur while it was getting back up. They would touch the ground as the dinosaur moved its body forward and be used as little pegs to keep the T-Rex from falling to either side while trying to get up.
They used their little arms to help push their bodies up slightly while they lifted with their powerful legs. The T-Rex had to be very careful using its little arms in such a way, though, as applying too much weight on them could cause their arms to break.
Why Would A T-Rex Sit Down?
So now that we know that a T-Rex could actually sit down and get back up, why would a T-Rex sit down in the first place? There are a few reasons why the T-Rex may have felt the need to sit down. Although these are merely speculation as we are not exactly sure why the T-Rex may have sat down exactly.
The T-Rex may have slept while sitting down; this would have only been for short naps throughout the day and not for the langer nightly sleep. The T-Rex would most likely sleep laying down completely at night, so it could get better rest.
The T-Rex did not have to worry about predators while it was sleeping as it was an apex predator, and it only had two legs, so it most likely did not sleep while standing up.
The T-Rex could have also sat down to reach its food better while it was eating. As the T-Rex was a predator, it could have killed other dinosaurs that were very small compared to them, making it difficult to reach the meat while they were standing, so they may have sat down to make this easier.
The T-Rex was also just an animal, which means it could also just get tired. They could have sat down to catch their breath after a chase or to relax a little.
What Would Happen If A T-Rex Fell Down?
We know that a T-Rex can sit down and get back up again of its own accord, but what would happen if the T-Rex fell down?
This depends on the scenario during which the T-Rex would have fallen down. These scenarios include if the dinosaur just tripped or if the dinosaur was running at a fast speed while hunting and then fell. Let us go through what would happen during both of these examples.
If the T-Rex was just walking around and somehow tripped, there would not be that many issues with this. The T-Rex may break or fracture a bone or two depending on the angel that the dinosaur fell. The T-Rex would merely get back up and continue with its day most of the time.
The fact that the T-Rex had very tiny arms has raised some questions about if the dinosaur would actually survive a fall while running. These small arms were not able to break the T-Rex’s fall or counter its weight. This also means that their tiny arms usually broke during a bad fall.
A T-Rex may not just die from a fall while running; however, this could cause some very serious injuries to the dinosaur. Some of these injuries include broken arms and fractured or broken ribs. If these injuries were severe enough, then the dinosaur may have died from them.
Now, if the T-Rex was running full speed and falls, there may be a chance that it could have died from this. When the T-Rex falls down and hits the ground, the force of this impact that may be exerted on the dinosaur depends on the height and mass of the dinosaur.
An adult T-Rex could weigh about seven tonnes, and its stomach could be about 4.9 feet off the ground (about 1.5 meters). If a T-rex tripped at full speed, it would hit the ground with a deceleration of about 6 g. This means that the T-Rex would hit the ground with around 260 000 newtons of force.
This amount of force would create a crater 7.8 inches deep (20 centimeters) in dry soil. And that is just the force that its stomach would feel. Its head would be falling down from a height of 114 feet (3,5 meters). This means that the head of the T-Rex would decelerate at 14 g.
The impact of its head meeting the ground could kill the T-Rex, and its small little arms would have done absolutely nothing to prevent this. If the T-Rex survived this fall, it would have multiple other server injuries to contend with.
This is why a T-Rex would most likely not risk running at full speed and may have let some more agile prey go so as to not risk the server injuries or even death from a bad fall.
A T-Rex has no issues with sitting down and getting back up; the only mystery, really, is why it might do such a thing. There are many speculations about the reason; it could be for sleep, it could be to make reaching meat that is on the ground easier, but, alas, we will never truly know why.
But at least the T-Rex could get back up if it fell down, albeit with a few bruises and bumps and maybe with a broken bone or two, but it would not be stuck on the ground forever.
More About Dinosaurs…
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- 7 Ways the Allosaurus Defended Itself
- Can a Spinosaurus Actually Kill a T-Rex?
- How Do We Know Dinosaurs Had Scales?
- Were There Any Poisonous Dinosaurs?