Therizinosauraus Might Look Brutal, But Scientists Say It Was Mostly For Show
by Trisha Leigh
When we’re little, we all love dinosaurs. There’s something magical about these giant, sometimes scary beasts who no longer exist – almost as if we make them into anything we want in our imagination.
Of course, scientists are always coming along and telling us the truth of the matter – like with this dinosaur, whose claws look absolutely ferocious.
According to paleontologists, though, they actually weren’t.
The dinosaur in question is the Therizinosauraus, a therapod that lived during the late Triassic and Cretaceous periods. It roamed the early 220-66 million years ago, and at 40 feet long with three-foot-long claws, it looks like it would have been a dino to reckon with.
Scientists say it was more of a gentle giant, letting it’s scissor-like hands do the majority of the talking.
They were actually gentle giants.
Watch the video for the full explanation:
Replying to @dinomike2986 Might be a mistake, but as I edited this I noticed the hand placement is more accurate in the actual movie. More so than the promotional material. It’s still not entirely correct but still very good. #dinosaur #jurassicpark #jurassicworld #therizinosaurus #paleontology #fypシ #foryoupage #sciencetok #edutok #learnontiktok
They went into a full description in their press release.
“Therizinosaurus is famous for its sickle-like claws, each as long as a samurai sword: Edward Scissorhands on speed.”
Simulations done on modern computers, though, say that the talons would have been too weak to be much of an aid in combat.
“Movies and documentaries suggest that they used these claws like long swords to fight each other or predators. But our research suggests that they cannot bear any stress, which means these animals couldn’t use their claws to fight or defend themselves.”
You’re probably wondering, then, why the claws evolved in the first place – and science has an answer for that, too.
“Not all therizinosaur hand claws were so useless in combat, but most other related species could use their claws as powerful hooking tools when feeding on leaves from the trees. So we conclude the largest claws of any animal ever were actually useless in mechanical function, and so must have evolved under sexual selection to be used in display.”
So not only were they there to scare other dinosaurs into leaving them alone, they were there to lure sexual partners into their sharp-but-kind clutches.
“They might even have used them to groom each other. These animals were feathered, and for all we know, they could have used them like elaborate combs.”
Personally, I would really have liked to see that.