This is certainly a scary and strange-looking dinosaur, and one that up until its appearance in Jurassic World Dominion stayed off most people’s radar for more well-known dinosaurs like T Rex and triceratops. It is often called the dinosaur with the longest claws.
The Therizinosaurus was herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the late cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. First discovered in Mongolia, It could grow to 30 feet long and weigh 7000lb. It possessed sharp 3ft long claws and a beaked mouth. The Therizinosaurus became extinct around 65 million years ago.
However that has all changed, and more and more facts and questions about Therizinosaurus are being both searched for and asked. So hopefully we can help with that and let you know a little more about the wolverine of the dinosaurs! and the dinosaur with the longest claws
We have our 25 facts about this long-fingered and feathered dinosaur here! To us it looks like a cross between a sloth and a velociraptor but considerable bigger than both!
In our opinion it really looks like a dinosaur version of wolverine from the X-men!
We have LOADS of other pages on the site that cover the facts of some of the most popular dinosaurs and answer your questions, you can check these out on the links at the top of the page.
25 facts about Therizinosaurus.
With the appearance in the new movie more and more information is being requested about this scary looking, but not maybe so scary to meet, dinosaur. So we have researched these 25 facts for you and included a fact sheet for you to download and print out as well.
1. Therizinosaurus means ‘reaping lizard,’ or scythe lizard ( which is a tool for cutting planets) was discovered in 1948 and then catalogued by Evgeny Maleev when it was mistaken for a large turtle, it wasn’t until later 1976, although it was suggested in 1970, it was classified as a therapod ( walked on hind legs) dinosaur.
2. The first Therizinosaurus fossils were discovered in the late 1940s by a joint American-Soviet expedition in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia.
3. Therizinosaurus is one of the largest dinosaurs that ever lived, reaching up to 30 feet long and weighing up to 7,000 pounds! Although it was so long it had a small head at the top of its long neck.
4. Therizinosaurus had feathers, which it likely used for insulation and attracting mates. It was much very heavy and much too big to be able to fly. It didn’t have the muscles or the wings to do that.
5.Therizinosaurus may have looked very scary with its 3ft long claws, ( the longest claws of any dinosaur) hooked beak and massive size, but it was not a carnivore. It was actually, scientists think, a herbivore who ate leaves, bushes shrubs and other foliage.
6. The three claws on Therizinosaurus’ arms were massive, measuring up to 3 feet or 1 metre long. They were the longest claws of any dinosaur. Although they were scary looking and maybe could be used for defense or to scare off predators, they were probably most often used to pull branches down to gather food like sloths today.
7. Although the first Therizinosaurus fossils were found in 1948, it has become more famous (like a lot of dinosaurs) with its appearance in the 2022 movie Jurassic World Dominion.
8. Unlike lots of other dinosaurs, relatively little is known about Therizinosaurus due to its rarity and fragility. There have not been many fossils found of this rare dinosaur and although we presume it to have a beak like mouth a complete skull it not yet to be found in fact despite being one of the largest dinosaurs ever, very few complete Therizinosaurus skeletons have been found.
9. Scientists still aren’t sure exactly how Therizinosaurus moved, as its fossils suggest it may have been both bipedal and quadrupedal, (moved on two and 4 legs) however they are sure that it wasn’t a fast dinosaur, and would not rely on speed to get away from predators but on scaring them and intimidation with its size and long claws.
10. Some scientists believe that Therizinosaurus may have been an ancestor of modern-day sloths! However it is possible for two species to develop similar features without being related.
11. There have been lots of Eggs found with babies ( embryos) found inside. a whole nest was found in 2013.
12.Therizinosaurus had a beak, but its teeth were only at the back of its mouth not at the front.
13. Scientists are still unsure what color Therizinosaurus’ feathers were but one possible theory is that Therizinosaurus was a reddish brown color.
14.Therizinosaurus had a large digestive system to help digest all the plants it ate. This is a nice way of saying it had a big tummy or belly!
15. Therizinosaurus lived 70 million years ago which means it was alive at the same time as Tyrannosaurs Rex and Triceratops.
16. The arms of the Therizinosaurus could be up to 8 feet long! (2.4 metres) thats longer than a very, VERY tall person and dont forget about those crazy long claws as well!
17. This dinosaur used 4 toes on its feet to walk on, which makes it unlike other therapods which used only 3. It was certainly the rebel of the family!
18. The therizinosaurus was a therapod, which is the same group of dinosaurs as Tyrannosaurus Rex, AlloSaurus, Sinosaurus. However even though most of these dinosaurs were carnivores it is still thought that therizinosaurus was a herbivore. Like a vegetarian cousin!
19. As the therizinosaurus was so big and heavy it would have had few natural predators, however a relative of the T-Rex could have posed a threat the tarbosaurus which lived in the same area at the same time as therizinosaurus.
20. The therizinosaurus has been found in Mongolia ( or what is now mongolia)
21.The therizinosaurus went extinct at around the same time as the other dinosaurs 66 million years ago during the Climate change caused by the Asteroid impact by the Chicxulub asteroid,
22. When standing up on hind legs the therizinosaurus would have towered over people, and could have stood up to 18ft tall! Its legs alone were 3 metres long!
23. The claws of the therizinosaurus are the longest of any land animal, dinosaur or other, ever. Its a good job it ate plants!
24. Although we have no way of knowing for sure if therizinosaurus lived together we have found nests with eggs in from different adults very close together. So it could mean they grouped together to protects eggs during the year, or that they lived in groups. until we find more evidence and fossils we don;t know 100% though.
25. All of these discoveries are based on the bones that have been discovered so far. To be clear that is mostly just the legs and arm ( and claws) bones. They rest of information is taken from close relatives and put together to give us an idea of what this huge clawed herbivore (we hope) looked like.
Therizinosaurus is a relatively new edition to the fossil record, when you consider the mosasaurus was discovers way back in the 1700s! However its unique appearance, 3ft long claws, the longest claws of any dinosaur, its relationship to other therapods and its vegetarian ( herbivore) diet makes it a fascinating discovery.
Hopefully we have given you a little more information to work with and don’t forget to check out all our other facts sheets, and questions and answers on the site as well!
Some of My Dinosaur Resource Recommendations for Home and School.
Thanks for taking the time to read our facts and questions articles, as a teacher myself i have struggled to find resources in one place and that is why this website was born. I simply love teaching students about dinosaurs both in my role as a language and General Studies teacher. However there is sometimes a need for something more concrete than a printout (as useful as we think ours are! )
There is something awesome about the feeling of awe that these amazing creatures instil in our children and students. To further help you, and potentially me, i have included a few resources below that i have found to be incredibly successful when explaining dinosaurs to children, these range form books and resources, to toys fossils and dinosaur figures.
Sometimes having something tactile to touch in those tiny hands help to focus and cement learning and develop those big brains! Hope they are helpful too.
Dinosaur Books and Readers
There are of course hundreds of excellent, and not so excellent books on Dinosaurs for Children out there. So rather than, yet, go into huge detail. I will highlight the ones I love to use with my students from ages 6 to 10. We have include AR in these as well. ( nothing quite like a moving dinosaur in front of you!
I cant say how great these are to use in a classroom while reading with a group. the chance to read about a dinosaur and then touch a real piece is simply great. I have a selection ( self confessed dinosaur geek) but a cheap set of 10 or so will do the trick just as well. Dinosaur poop is great as well!!! i pass it round and ask them to guess what it is first!
I actually use realia in a lot of classes especially with animals and dinosaurs, and figures help to show the kind of animal we are reading about. It is possible to spend hundreds of dollars on dinosaur figures but ther eis no need, either as a teacher or a parent. The set below and similar we have used to help students picture dinosaurs to great effect.
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.