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Erlikosaurus andrewsi (Barsbold & Perle, 1980)

Name Means: "Erlik's Lizard" Length: 20 ft. (6 m)
Pronounced: er-Lick-o-Saw-rus Weight: 350 lb. (160 kilos)
When it lived: Late Cretaceous - 95 MYA    
Where found: Mongolia, China    

    Erlikosaurus was discovered in the late 1970s and was described by Barsbold & Perle in 1980. This dinosaur is named after Erlik, the king of the dead in Mongolian mythology.  It is a member of the strange and exciting therizinosaur family.  Erlikosaurus looked more like Deinonychus in size, but had longer arms and smaller teeth.
    The only known therizinosaur skull is that of Erlikosaurus. It looks very much like the skulls of some of the big plant-eating dinosaurs. It's teeth are small and leaf shaped, more suitable for eating plants than meat.  Of special interest is its toothless beak, which looks like that of a bird.  This species was probably the most primitive of the raised-up therizinosaurs, as the back vertebrae are designed to lift an animal in
almost upright position.  The tail and legs were short, and more designed for a "couch potato" lifestyle than that of a predator.   It may have been a herbivore that sat quietly under trees and used its giant claws to pull vegetation to its mouth.  Some scientists have suggested that its feet might have been webbed for swimming and that it ate fish.   Others think that the long claws were used for digging in the ground, possibly looking for large insects or the small mammals that lived with dinosaurs.
    Dr. Philip Currie of the Royal Tyrrell Paleontology Museum in Alberta said that material found in Canada in the late 1970?s and previously attributed to a theropod species may in fact belong to Erlikosaurus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


   

 


 

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