Therizinosaurs were some of the true freaks of the dinosaur world. I mean that in the nicest possible way for something that looked like the sick offspring of a giant chicken and Freddie Kruger. Perhaps the weirdest things about them were these long, scythe-like claws, that although may have seemed deadly, probably weren’t unless you were a particularly scrummy looking piece of foliage. That’s right, these cousins of tyrannosaurs and other theropods used their wicked sickle-claws for trimming hedges for food.
A lot of recent(ish) posts featured on this blog have been about the evolution of flight and feathered dinosaurs. I promised to kick this habit, and write about something different, but this video by Carl Zimmer adds a really nice narrative to the story and is quite a nice little overview for anyone interested.
If you have any questions about bird-like fossils, feathers, their function, or dino-birds in general, pop them in the comments and I’ll see what I can do! Stay tuned for the latest in the #OpenPhD series, and more cool palaeo stuff. 🙂