London The Tyrannosaurus rex would have been able to outrun soccer star David Beckham, according to research published Wednesday by the Royal Society scientific academy.
Experts had argued previously that the 18-foot-tall T. rex's bulk would have meant it was a slow-moving scavenger, but new calculations using a supercomputer suggest the T. rex could run nearly 18 mph.
Scientists from the University of Manchester calculated the running speeds of five meat-eating dinosaurs that varied in size from a 6.6-pound Compsognathus to the 6.6-ton T. rex.
The fastest of the group was the Compsognathus, which could reach a top speed of 40 mph - 5 mph faster than the estimate for the fastest living animal on two legs, the ostrich, according to the study.
The Velociraptor, a 44-pound killer whose speed was a focus in the action movie "Jurassic Park," could run 24 mph, the team estimated.