All About the Therizinosaurus: The Scythe Lizard

The Therizinosaurus is one of the fascinating creatures that ever roamed our planet.

This prehistoric animal was first discovered in 1948 and since then has captured the imaginations of scientists and dinosaur enthusiasts around the world.

Read on to learn more about the Therizinosaurus, one of the most exciting dinosaurs ever to walk the Earth!

Description and Appearance


Photo: CoreyFord via Getty Images

The Therizinosaurus was a theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period, around 70-65 million years ago.

It was a herbivorous creature that could grow to be up to 30 feet long and weigh up to 5 tons. This dinosaur is unique in both its appearance and its behavior.

The Therizinosaurus’ lengthy forelimbs are one of its most distinctive features.

Each forearm was about 7 feet long and ended in massive, sharp claws up to a foot long each.

These claws might have been utilized for self-defense and as a means of munching through vegetation.

The Therizinosaurus also had a beak and teeth adapted for eating plants.

The hind limbs of the Therizinosaurus were much shorter than its forelimbs.

The Therizinosaurus was covered in scaly skin, and it is thought that it may have had feathers on its body as well.

It is unknown what color this dinosaur was, but some scientists believe it may have been reddish-brown or tan.


The Therizinosaurus is a large, herbivorous theropod that lived during the Cretaceous period.

While its exact diet is unknown, it is thought to have been a browser, feeding on leaves and twigs.

The long, strong claws on its forelimbs were probably used to pluck foliage from trees and may also have been utilized to dig up roots and tubers.

It’s also possible that the Therizinosaurus used its claws for self-defense against predators like the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

While the diet of the Therizinosaurus is not fully understood, it is thought that this creature primarily fed on plants.

In addition to leaves and roots, it is possible that the Therizinosaurus also ate fruits, nuts, and seeds.

The Therizinosaurus was a slow-moving animal, and its tiny brain indicates that it was not very intelligent.

However, its size and claws would have made it a formidable opponent, and it likely had few natural predators.

Today, the Therizinosaurus is one of the best-known members of the theropod family, thanks in part to its unique appearance.

With its long neck and claws, this unusual dinosaur has captured the imagination of paleontologists and fossil enthusiasts for generations.

Nowadays, it’s easier to paint a Therizinosaurus in your head with the many descriptions and fossil evidence. Gage Beasley’s Therizinosaurus Dinosaur Profile Unisex T-Shirt puts all of those evidence together and gives you a taste of why the dinosaur was so interesting!


The Therizinosaurus was a reptile, so it laid eggs. It is unknown how many eggs the Therizinosaurus would lay at one time, but some scientists believe it could have been up to 30!

The young Therizinosaurus would have hatched from their eggs after about two months.

They would have been small, only about 2 feet long.

The young would have grown quickly, though, and could have reached their full size in just a few years.


The Therizinosaurus was a massive herbivore that lived during the Cretaceous period.

The Therizinosaurus is thought to have lived in Asia, specifically in what is now Mongolia and China. This dinosaur preferred to live in forests with plenty of vegetation to eat.

The Therizinosaurus’ most notable feature was its long, curving claws, presumably used to cut through vegetation.

It is believed that the Therizinosaurus was a solitary creature due to the lack of evidence of social behavior in its fossil record.

However, some scientists believe it may have gathered in groups during mating season.

The Therizinosaurus went extinct around 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period.

This dinosaur may have perished due to a meteor strike that triggered the global mass extinction of dinosaurs.

Overall, the Therizinosaurus was a fascinating creature that continues to capture the imaginations of scientists and laypeople alike.


Photo: Woudloper via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The first Therizinosaurus fossils were discovered in Mongolia in 1948. They were found by a team of Soviet paleontologists working in the Gobi Desert.

These scientists initially thought they had found a strange turtle’s remains! It wasn’t until later that they realized they had discovered a new type of dinosaur.

The Therizinosaurus was officially named in 1954 by a Soviet paleontologist named Evgeny Maleev.

The name Therizinosaurus means “scythe lizard,” which refers to its long claws.

Even though the Therizinosaurus was first discovered over 70 years ago, there are still only a few fossils that have been found.

This is because this dinosaur inhabited a region now challenging to reach.

The majority of the Therizinosaurus fossils found are incomplete, making it difficult for scientists to learn everything they want to know about this creature.

Some of the most well-preserved fossils include a partial skull, some ribs, and a few claws.