- Replica Therizinosaurus Claw
- Measures approx. 19″ long
Therizinosaurus (meaning “scythe lizard”) is a genus of very large therizinosaur theropod dinosaur that lived in the Late Cretaceous period (Early Maastrichtian stage, around 70 million years ago). Therizinosaurus comprises the single species T. cheloniformis, which could grow up to 9 m (30 ft) and was one of the last and largest representatives of its unique group, the Therizinosauria. Fossils of this species were first discovered in Mongolia and were originally thought to belong to a turtle-like reptile. It is known only from a few bones, including gigantic hand claws, from which it gets its name.
Though the fossil remains of Therizinosaurus are incomplete, inferences can be made about their physical characteristics based on related therizinosaurids. Like other members of their family, Therizinosaurus probably had small skulls atop long necks, with bipedal gaits and heavy, deep, broad bodies (as evidenced by the wide pelvis of other therizinosaurids). Their forelimbs may have reached lengths of up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) or even 3.5 m (11 ft) in the largest known specimen. Their hindlimbs ended in four weight-bearing toes, unlike other theropod groups, in which the first toe was reduced to a dewclaw.