Scientists use high-tech scans to study T. rex's little arms

Tyrannosaurus rex was big and ferocious, but it also had tiny arms. That amusing fact has been fodder for an Internet meme mocking the creature’s little arms— the prehistoric predator probably couldn’t even do things like clap its hands, for example.

Now, new research is focused on better understanding the T. rex’s little arms. Scientists took an arm off a T-rex called SUE from the Field Museum in Chicago for an intense scan at Argonne National Laboratory, part of the U.S. Department of Energy. The scan packed a punch about a million times as strong as a typical x-ray, and scientists hope that what they learn about the bones’ anatomy could tell them more about how it was used.


"These X-rays will give us a map of the blood vessels and muscle attachments in the bone, which have never been seen before," Carmen Soriano, a paleontologist with the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Lab, said in a statement. "This data could provide new insight into dinosaur biology, as well as clues to how SUE lived her life."

After the scans, they gave the T. rex arm back to the Field Museum. As for SUE, the specimen is considered to be the biggest T. rex discovered—it’s over 40 feet long and at the hip stands 13 feet tall, according to the Field Museum. A ferocious figure, even with tiny arms.

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