Jurassic World’s bizarre, scythe-clawed dinosaur couldn't have been a slasher, study confirms

Therizinosaurus, the scythe-clawed dinosaur from Jurassic World, could not have used its enormous, "useless," flimsy talons to battle, according to scientists.

According to a new research, a "completely bizarre" dinosaur with enormous claws whose purpose has long been unknown was unable to battle or repel assailants due to their fragility.

Therizinosaurus, a theropod dinosaur, existed between the Late Triassic and the Cretaceous (220 million to 66 million years ago). In the most recent "Jurassic World" film, the creature is seen impaling the vicious carnivore Giganotosaurus and batting away a deer with its scythe-like talons. The latest study, however, suggests that this portrayal is untrue.

Zichuan Qin, a doctoral student at the University of Bristol in England who conducted the research, told Live Science that "movies and videos indicate that they used these claws like long blades to battle each other or predators. "But according to our study, they are unable to handle stress, so these creatures couldn't use their claws to protect themselves or engage in combat. We were all shocked by the outcomes because everyone was anticipating ["Jurassic World: Dominion"] when we viewed it last year. We immediately understood, "No, that's not true!""

Tyrannosaurus rex in height, therizinosaurs began as turkey-sized creatures and grew to be 30 feet (10 meters) tall. With short legs and a "huge bottom," this "utterly weird" feathered dinosaur from the end of the Cretaceous period resembled a giraffe and may have perched on it to consume foliage, according to the experts.

The research found that the dinosaur's long, narrow "Edward Scissorhands" claws, which measured 3 feet (1 m), were the largest ever seen in a mammal.

"There's been a lot of debate about what these claws were for, partly because they're so big and partly because they're attached to an animal whose other characteristics suggest it was a herbivore — their skulls and their teeth suggest they were plant eaters," said Paul Barrett, a paleobiologist at the Natural History Museum in London who was not involved in the study.

The research, which was released on February 16 in the journal Communications Biology, found that these outsized talons were so weak that they were unable to even catch and draw down branches (opens in new tab). The researchers created 3D computer models of the talons from meticulous fossil images, which they then evaluated for various mechanical abilities like digging, tugging, and piercing.

Additionally, they looked at alvarezsaurs, a group of dinosaurs linked to therizinosaurs who, unlike them, developed into tiny dinosaurs with claws resembling those of a rock pick. The alvarezsaurs shrunk to the size of a chicken, making them the smallest dinosaurs ever, according to Qin. They could withstand great duress, such as digging in the earth, despite their claws' tiny size.

Paleontologists generally agree that Alvarezsaurus was an ant eater with talons that were perfect for digging up anthills, but the new research offers more thorough and quantifiable evidence, according to Barrett.

Why then did Therizinosaurus develop enormous, apparently pointless claws? According to the experts, males displayed their lengthy claws to entice females, much like peacocks spread their tails to dazzle prospective partners.

We come to the conclusion that they were primarily for show, said research co-author and University of Bristol vertebrate paleontology lecturer Mike Benton. Therizinosaurs may have used their long talons to flash and clatter in order to frighten people or to attract women.

According to Barrett, the writers made a strong argument against using these flimsy weapons for combat. They "might have had some small part in food gathering, though," he continued. But very frequently in evolution, these extremely bizarre and ornate structures that seem pointless are primarily about show and who gets to reproduce with whom.

He also proposed another potential use for the enormous talons. "They might have even groomed each other using them. Given that these creatures had feathers, they may have used them as ornate combs."