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There's Claws - Therizinosaurus, the Scythe Reptile. It's the oddest of dinosaurs.
— Allen Johnson, about Therizinosaurus
in The Giant Claw

Therizinosaurus (name meaning "Scythe Reptile"), also commonly dubbed The Giant Claw due to its large scythe-like claws, is a genus of herbivorous therizinosaurid theropod dinosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now Mongolia. Therizinosaurus was the last and arguably the largest representatives of its unique group, the Therizinosauria.

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

Therizinosaurus lived in prehistoric Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous period 80–65 million years ago. It shared the environment with dinosaurs like Saurolophus, Protoceratops, Mononykus, Velociraptor, and its natural enemy Tarbosaurus. And with them, it died out when all the dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous.

When a single claw of a Therizinosaurus was first uncovered sometime in the 1950's by paleontologists, the claw itself was so extraordinary that paleontologists originally believed it to have been a single rib bone that belonged to a giant turtle, possibly Archelon. But sometime later in the 1970's-1980's, it was discovered that the claws were actually attached to a dinosaurs's arms. Measuring 10 feet (3 m) long, they were the longest arms of any dinosaur or creature ever found. And because of their scythe-like appearance, paleontologists had then decided to name the dinosaur "Therizinosaurus" or "The Scythe Reptile".

Physical AttributesEdit

180px-Therizinosaurus roars on beach, The Giant Claw

Therizinosaurus was the largest member of its family, measuring 32–43 feet (10–13m) long, stood 16–23 feet (5–7m) tall and weighed up to between 4–8 tons (8,000–16,000 lbs.). Known by its scientific name as the "Scythe Reptile", these dinosaurs were known for having the longest and largest claws of any animal ever discovered, 28–inch (1.5 m) long claws. Hence, how they got their nickname, "The Giant Claw".

Therizinosaurus used its long neck to reach higher branches in trees, where it would nibble leaves with its small, beak-like mouth. Also, it could probably hook branches down with its great claws, or use them to strip bark off the tree trunks.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

Therizinosaurus vs tarbosaurus

Therizinosaurus vs. Tarbosaurus

At first, scientist thought the claws were as large as they were because they believed they belonged to a meat-eating dinosaur, but it turns out Therizinosaurus, having a long neck, small head, and those magnificent claws on their hands, had actually been a plant-eater rather than a predator, and even used their huge claws to drag leaves towards their mouths.

Interestingly, these dinosaurs also lived in herds. They were the oddest of dinosaurs: great long necks for reaching up for vegetation; pot bellies – great fermentation chambers for the tons of vegetation they had to eat. Their huge claws weren't for killing, although they could discourage even a huge Tarbosaurus. As scary as they may have looked, Therizinosaurs were gentle creatures. When mating or trying to defend its self, Therizinosaurus may have stood with its arms outstretched, like a swan flapping its wings, so that it could display the size of its claws. If this failed, it may have been able to take gentle swipes at any aggressors, although the weight of the claws would have limited their use as an effective weapon.

When walking, Therizinosaurus probably folded its arms against its body, a bit like a bird, to stop the weight of the claws from unbalancing it. With its giant claws, long neck, bulbous body and small head, Therizinosaurus was one of the strangest-looking of all the dinosaurs.

Journal EntryEdit

Commonly dubbed "The Giant Claw", Therizinosaurus, the "Scythe Reptile", is among the oddest of dinosaurs that ever existed. With claws that measured almost 30 inches long, these animals had the largest and longest claws of all time. Originally believed to have been a carnivore or theropod dinosaur, it turns out that with a long neck and small head, Therizinosaurus was more of a plant eater rather than a predator.

Living in Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous, Therizinosaurus was among the largest herbivores in their environment. They had little predators to worry about, except for their natural enemy, Tarbosaurus. Surprisingly, these dinosaurs also lived and travels in herds. And although Therizinosaurus did not use those claws to kill other animals, they could discourage them from attacking the animal, thus they were great weapons.

— Allen, in his Journal, about Therizinosaurus

GalleryEdit