Therizinosaurus: Jurassic World's 'Scythe Lizard' That Could Kill a T. Rex

Dinosaurs have been prominent in popular culture for decades, meaning species such as the T-Rex and Velociraptor have become almost universally recognized.

Another type, Therizinosaurus, may have been overlooked. The huge six-ton dinosaur recently featured in a trailer for the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion film in which it has been represented as a stalking threat.

While Therizinosaurus might not be as widely known as some other dinosaurs, it would have been able to stop a Tyrannosaur dead in its tracks.

The dinosaur lived in an area we'd now recognize as eastern Asia around 70 million years ago, though remains have also been found in North America, according to the Western Australian Museum.

Therizinosaurus
A stock image shows an artist's impression of Therizinosaurus. The dinosaur is thought to have had huge claws. CoreyFord/Getty

A strange-looking dinosaur, Therizinosaurus would possibly have had wide hips, a pot belly, and long arms adorned with yard-long claws at the hands that were so big that they would have been the largest claws in the animal kingdom. These natural blades have given the dinosaur the nickname "scythe lizard".

The dinosaur was also huge, standing at a height of around 16 feet.

These estimates of the dinosaur's appearance are just that—estimates. According to the U.K.'s Natural History Museum, the dino is only known from its forelimb skeleton, so reconstructions of its entire body are mostly guesswork.

In any case, despite its potentially threatening appearance Therizinosaurus is not thought to have been a meat-eater. Nonetheless, the dinosaur would have stood its ground against an attacking tyrannosaur, using its vast claws as a defense.

Another unknown about Therizinosaurus is whether or not it had feathers. The dinosaur may be depicted with or without them.

Therizinosaurus lived in the Late Cretaceous period, meaning it would have shared the planet with other dinosaurs such as the Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, and Velociraptor types.

The end of the Cretaceous period marked the end of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago when the Earth experienced one of the biggest mass extinction events in history.

The exact nature of the event is still open to scientific debate but perhaps the most prominent theory is that a large asteroid impact was the culprit. The impact is thought to have left behind the Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico, which spans around 93 miles and goes 12 miles deep.

In any case, birds are the only dinosaurs to have survived the mass extinction event. Frogs, salamanders, lizards, alligators and crocodiles, and some mammals are also thought to have weathered the destruction.

Therizinosaurus
In this combination image, a still from Jurassic World, inset, a Therizinosaurus was a theropod carnivorous dinosaur that lived in Mongolia during the Cretaceous Period. Jurrassicworld.com/i Stock/Getty