Fact or Fiction? The Tyrannosaurus rex Was a Speed Demon

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Fact or Fiction? The Tyrannosaurus rex Was a Speed Demon

Most of us know how movies depict dinosaurs, especially the Tyrannosaurus rex. This beast is portrayed as an agile hunter and skilled runner, often matching the top speeds of a car. Was this scientifically possible, or is it simply done for our entertainment? Find out whether it’s fact or fiction that the Tyrannosaurus rex was a speed demon.

Was the T. rex Fast?

Often, movies depict this tyrant lizard as a ferocious, fast, and mighty predator. Despite these big-screen depictions, the T. rex was anything but quick compared to other dinosaurs of the time. The Tyrannosaurus could max out at around 12 miles per hour, and even that speed is questionable. Usually, this dinosaur cruised at three miles per hour.

The T. rex didn’t have to dash to catch its prey since most of it, such as the Triceratops, was also slow. Moreover, the Tyrannosaurus rex was fairly large, and many scientists theorize that running was impossible for this species due to its weight and size. Attempting to hit those high speeds we see T. rex running in movies would have severely injured this creature because its legs could give out under its weight.

3 Dinosaurs That Were Speed Demons

Although it’s fictional that the Tyrannosaurus rex was a speed demon, many dinosaur species were quickExamples include the following beasts:

  • Troodon
  • Carnotaurus
  • Velociraptor

Let’s dive deeper into the sprinters of the Mesozoic Era!


This theropod lived during the late Cretaceous period and could hit speeds of around 30–40 miles per hour! As predators, their mouths were filled with razor-sharp teeth, which helped them devour prey.


Scientists theorize that the Carnotaurus could run around 30–35 miles per hour, making it another amazing runner. Like the Troodon and T. rex, the Carnotaurus lived during the late Cretaceous period. Interestingly, this dinosaur had little arms like the Tyrannosaurus, but Carnotaurus arms were even smaller! In most depictions, their arms seem nearly nonexistent.


Finally, we have the beloved Velociraptor, who can hit startling speeds of around 40 miles per hour! Outrunning this beast would be a challenge for even the most seasoned human athlete. Velociraptors also lived during the late Cretaceous period and fed on smaller dinosaurs in addition to scavenging.

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