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T-Rex pulverized bones with 8,000 pounds of force, study says

At the same time, the Tyrannosaurus Rex's teeth created 431,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. Basically, it was unstoppable.

This triceratops bone shows evidence of about 80 bite marks from a T-Rex.
Scientific Reports/Paul Gignac and Gregory Erickson

It's no shocker that the Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur used its powerful jaws to shred its prey, but a study published Wednesday reveals more about the power of its bite.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, reveals that the T-Rex crushed bones by biting down with "forces equaling the weight of three small cars while simultaneously generating world record tooth pressures."

"The Biomechanics Behind Extreme Osteophagy in Tyrannosaurus rex" -- written by Gregory Erickson. a Florida State University professor of biological science, and Paul Gignac, an Oklahoma State University assistant professor of anatomy and vertebrate paleontology -- explains that T-Rex could pulverize bones. This ability is known as extreme osteophagy, which is currently found in carnivorous mammals such as wolves and hyenas.

The T-Rex ate with nearly 8,000 pounds of force from its jaws, while its teeth generated an astounding 431,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

"It was this bone-crunching acumen that helped T. rex to more fully exploit the carcasses of large horned-dinosaurs and duck-billed hadrosaurids whose bones, rich in mineral salts and marrow, were unavailable to smaller, less equipped carnivorous dinosaurs," Gignac wrote in the study.

They came to their conclusions, in part, after modeling the musculature of living crocodilians and testing their bite force.

This isn't the first time scientists have dedicated research to the T-Rex's powerful bite. In 2012, a team of researchers from University of Liverpool used laser scanners and sophisticated computer models to analyze the T-Rex bite performance as compared with modern-day alligators.

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