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Therizinosaurus was a herbivore, that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period. The claws on its forearms could reach a meter in length, and could probably be used to fight off predators and grab its food. It and other relatives like Nothronychus are actually theropods. Most theropods are carnivores, and Therizinosaurus's family are the only known plant eating theropods. when fossils of this dinosaur were first discovered, they were thought to be the ribs of a giant turtle. Later, when the ten foot long arms they were attached to were found, Therizinosaurus was labeled a predator. Only when more of the skeleton was finally discovered, including the small head filled with leaf shaped teeth (which are perfect for cutting through vegetation) did scientists realize that they were looking at a plant eater.

Therizinosaurus cheloniformis

Fact File

Length: 10-12 metres (33-40 feet)

Height: 15-20ft (5-6m)

Weight: roughly 4 tonnes

Diet: Herbivorous, possibly Omnivorous


Therizinosaurus most likely fed on plants, however some paleontologists argue that it would have been able to use its large claws to rip apart termite mounds and eat the insects that were contained inside. It may have also eaten fish, using its long claws to spear fish in the water, like the grizzly bear today. Therizinosaurus may have been fed on by carnivorous dinosaurs like Tarbosaurus, but would have been a very difficult prey item to kill. This means that only a desperate hunter would try to tackle this dinosaur. After all, if a prey item wounds the predator, even if it kills the prey in the end, that predator can't hunt as well anymore, which tends to mean starvation.

Popular Culture

Therizinosaurus was featured in a Walking with Dinosaurs Special - Chased by Dinosaurs, where it was referred to as "Claws". In the episode it fought the Asian Tyrannosaur, Tarbosaurus. The Tarbosaurus tried to bite the Therizinosaurus on its long neck, but the Therizinosaurus dodged the attack, and slashed the Tarbosaurus on the side of the face with its huge claws. After some claw slashes, Tarbosaurus retreats as the Therizinosaurus wins.


Therizinosaurus as portrayed in Walking with Dinosaurs

Therizinosaurus is also in the TV Show 'Dinosaur King'.

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