Therizinosaurus cheloniformis a dinosaur that lived in Mongolia, Khazakhstan and Transbaykalia during the late Cretaceous


Therizinosaurus had huge claws on its forelimbs that measured up to 70cm long, so would have been a fearsome sight. It was originally described from only a few bones discovered in Mongolia which were at first thought to belong to a turtle-like reptile and not a huge theropod dinosaur! As a Therizinosaurus skull has never been found, there is no definitive evidence as to what this clawed beast ate. However, since it had close relatives known to be herbivorous, it's likely that Therizinosaurus too was a plant-eater. Its terrible claws were probably used to strip bark from trees or fend off predators and rivals.

Scientific name: Therizinosaurus

Rank: Genus

Common names:

scythe lizard

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

Cretaceous period Cretaceous period
The Cretaceous ended with the most famous mass extinction in history - the one that killed the dinosaurs. Prior to that, it was a warm period with no ice caps at the poles.

What killed them

Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction
The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction - also known as the K/T extinction - is famed for the death of the dinosaurs. However, many other organisms perished at the end of the Cretaceous including the ammonites, many flowering plants and the last of the pterosaurs.