Dinosaurs, those magnificent prehistoric creatures that once roamed our planet, continue to fascinate us with their diversity and sheer size. But among these giant reptiles, who was the fastest dinosaur? This question has intrigued paleontologists for years, leading to numerous studies and debates.
The speed of a dinosaur can be difficult to determine due to the lack of direct observational data. However, scientists have developed methods to estimate their speeds using fossil footprints and biomechanical modeling. The results of these studies suggest that the title of ‘fastest dinosaur’ could go to several candidates.
The Fastest Dinosaurs Ever
When discussing the fastest dinosaurs, one name often comes up: the Ornithomimus. Belonging to the group of theropods known as ‘ostrich dinosaurs,’ the Ornithomimus is believed to have been able to reach speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph). Its long legs and bipedal stance likely contributed to its remarkable speed.
Another contender for the title of fastest dino is the Gallimimus. Similar in structure to the Ornithomimus, it was also a bipedal runner. Some estimates suggest that this dinosaur could match or even exceed the speed of its ostrich-like cousin.
However, the Dromiceiomimus might have been even faster. It’s thought that this dinosaur could reach speeds of up to 64 km/h (40 mph), making it potentially the fastest dinosaur in the world.
Fastest Bipedal Animal and Quadruped Dinosaurs
Most of the fastest dinosaurs were bipeds, meaning they walked on two legs. This body structure allowed for greater speed and agility. In fact, the fastest bipedal animal ever might have been a dinosaur: the Dromiceiomimus.
However, not all fast dinosaurs were bipeds. Some four-legged or quadruped dinosaurs could also move quickly when needed. For instance, the Carnotaurus, one of the fastest carnivorous dinosaurs, was a quadruped. Its estimated speed is around 48 km/h (30 mph), impressive for a four-legged dinosaur.
Fastest Flying Dinosaur and Fastest Dino in Water
The title of fastest flying dinosaur goes to the Microraptor, a small feathered dinosaur capable of gliding or possibly even powered flight. Its top speed in the air is hard to estimate but it was likely quite swift.
In the water, the Mosasaurus was probably the fastest dinosaur, with estimates suggesting a top speed of around 30 km/h (18 mph). It’s worth noting that the Mosasaurus wasn’t technically a dinosaur, but a marine reptile. However, it often gets included in discussions about ‘dinosaur’ speed due to its close relation and contemporaneous existence.
Slowest and Smallest Fast Dinosaurs
On the other end of the spectrum, the slowest dinosaur was likely the Ankylosaurus. This heavily armored dinosaur had a top speed of only around 6 km/h (4 mph).
Interestingly, some of the smallest dinosaurs were also among the fastest. The Compsognathus, for example, was only about the size of a turkey but could likely run as fast as a modern ostrich.
How Fast Was a Spinosaurus?
The Spinosaurus is a popular dinosaur, known for its distinctive sail-like spine. But how fast was it? Estimates suggest a top speed of around 15 km/h (9 mph) on land. However, it was likely faster in water, where it did most of its hunting.
Fastest Dinosaur in ARK
In the popular video game ARK: Survival Evolved, players often wonder which dino is the fastest. The answer varies depending on whether you’re on land, in the air, or underwater. On land, the Gallimimus holds the title, while the Pteranodon is the fastest in the air, and the Icthyosaurus is the quickest underwater.