An Ankylosaurus probably couldn’t kill a Tyrannosaurus rex with the club at the end of its tail, but new research suggests the bony bludgeon could definitely break its ankles.
To estimate just how hard Ankylosaurus could hit with its tail club, Canadian researchers examined CT scans of several fossilized tails from dinos of different sizes. Combining the imaging data with measurements of the dinosaur’s backbone, they determined the Ankylosaurus could swing its tail in a 100 degree lateral arc, and that larger clubs could generate forces strong enough to crush bone.
The small ones would be like hitting something with a bowling ball,” said dinosaur researcher Victoria Arbour of the University of Alberta in Canada, author of the study, published Tuesday in PLoS ONE. “And you really wouldn’t want to be around when the bigger ones are swinging.”
This is from back in 2009, but still a good read if you like this stuff. SUE has a healed wound which may have been the result of a confrontation with a guy like this! Definitely wouldn’t want their tail swinging at your head (or you at all!). I also like to re-read older articles and compare with newer data, so enjoy!