According to recent research from the University of Missouri, the key to T. Rex's cranial cohesion is the stiffness of his six-foot-long body, a 5-foot-wide skull.
"When you put a lot of energy into things, there is a trade-off between stability and movement," Associate Professor Cassie Holliday said in a press release. "Birds and lizards have more movement but less stability, and as we applied their individual movements to the T. rex skull, we saw that the shaking was not as good as the lizard and bird skulls, indicating more rigidity. "
] In this way, the research team said, the skull of T. rex is as stiff as that of hyenas and crocodiles. Earlier researchers may have missed this key feature when they looked at what Kaleb Sellers graduate student called a "pure bone perspective," in which "not all connections – ligaments and cartilage – are considered to mediate the interactions between the bones."
Using a combination of anatomy, technical analysis and 3D imaging, and with the help of two relatives of T. rex, the gecko and the parrot, the research team rebuilt T. rex's skulls to observe its mastication behavior and all these ligaments and cartilage.
The researchers said their new findings could also be helpful in assessing jaw and muscle studies in humans and other animals.