T. rex’s incredible biting force came from its stiff lower jaw

The fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex could generate tremendous bone-crushing bite forces thanks to a stiff lower jaw. That stiffness stemmed from a boomerang-shaped bit of bone that braced what would have been an otherwise flexible jawbone, a new analysis suggests.

Unlike mammals, reptiles and their close kin have a joint dubbed the intramandibular joint within their lower jawbone, or mandible. New computer simulations show that with a bone spanning the IMJ, T. Rex could have generated bite forces of more than 6 metric tons, or about the weight of a large male African elephant, researchers reported April 27 at the virtual annual meeting of the American Association of Anatomy. 

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