The Therizinosaurus was a large theropod that lived in present-day Asia, in the Nemegt foundation, during the Late Cretaceous approximately 70 years ago. This dinosaur was a member of the Therizinosauridae family, which consists of other therizinosaurid dinosaurs that were alive in the Late Cretaceous.

Key facts

Therizinosaurus pronunciationThe name Therizinosaurus is pronounced as “THER-ih-zine-oh-SORE-us”.
What does Therizinosaurus mean?This dinosaur’s name was derived from its Greek word therizo which means, “to reap or to mow”. The name Therizinosaurus is translated as scythe lizard due to the scythe-like form of its large claws.
Dinosaur typeTheropod
On the menuHerbivore
Length9-12 meters (30-40 feet)
Height5-6 meters (16-19 feet)
Weight6 tons (5443 kg)
Life expectancyDespite having a lot of information about this dinosaur, there are not enough studies to support how long the therizinosaurus was able to live.
Legs used to get aroundThis dinosaur is bipedal.
Estimated top speedThe estimated speed of the Therizinosaurus is approximately 17 mph.
When they livedThe Therizinosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous period which was 85-70 million years ago.
Where they have been found?The remains of the Therizinosaurus were found in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia.

When & Where

The very first fossils that were discovered to belong to the Therizinosaurus were found during a joint Soviet-Mongolian fossil expedition in 1948. There were other fossils that were discovered as well including giant claws that reached up to a meter in length. The fossils were then later described and labeled by Evgeny Maleev in 1954.

Size & Weight

Based on studies, the Therizinosaurus is a member of the Therizinosauridae family and can reach up to about 10-12 meters or 30-40 feet in length, and approximately 5-6 meters, or 16-19 feet tall, and can reach up to 3-6 tons in weight. 

Mobility & Diet

Although believed to have been carnivorous, the Therizinosaurus was actually herbivorous. Due to research, it was found that like its predecessors, such as the Segnosaurus and Erlikosaurus, the Therizinosaurus was herbivorous and had much weaker jaws. This dinosaur was believed to have probably fed off using its giant claws as well as its long arms to eat vegetables and plants during the Late Cretaceous period.

Interesting Points

  • This dinosaur lived starting from Maastrichtian Age to 66 million years ago.
  • Ate plants and was considered a herbivore.
  • There were only 2 specimens of their kind that were found.
  • Just like most dinosaurs, the Therizinosaurus reproduced their young by laying eggs.
  • They mostly lived in a terrestrial environment.
  • What makes the Therizinosaurus unique are the long and gigantic claws on each of their fingers on their hands. Although most of their kind have it, the Therizinosaurus claws were much larger.