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Deinocheirus: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

One of the interesting Deinocheirus facts is that this dinosaur had long claws.

In 1965, multiple massive Deinocheirus arms about 8 ft (2.4 m), huge hands, shoulder girdles, and a few extraordinary bones of a contemporary dinosaur had been first observed in the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia. In 1970, this specimen became the holotype of the most effective species in the genus, Deinocheirus mirificus dinosaur. The genus name is Greek for 'terrible hand', given to this dinosaur by Osmólska and Roniewicz. No further remains had been observed for almost 50 years, and its nature remained a mystery. Two greater whole specimens were described in 2014, which shed some more infromation on many factors of the animal. Parts of these new specimens had been looted from Mongolia some years before but repatriated in 2014.

In 1965, researchers in Mongolia made an exquisite fossil discovery; multiple arms, whole with three-fingered arms and intact shoulder girdles, measuring almost eight toes long. A few years of intensive observation determined that the limbs of one belonged to a contemporary shape of theropod (meat-eating) dinosaur, which changed into finally named Deinocheirus meaning terrible hands in 1970. But as tantalizing as the one's fossils had been, they had been some distance from conclusive, and plenty about the Deinocheirus dinosaur remained a mystery.

For more relatable content, check out these Pterodaustro facts and Incisivosaurus facts for kids.

Deinocheirus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Deinocheirus '?

The name of this therizinosaur theropod dinosaur, Deinocheirus, is pronounced 'DINE-oh-KIRE-us', awarded with this name by Osmólska and Roniewicz meaning 'the terrible hand'.

What type of dinosaur was a Deinocheirus?

Deinocheirus is a genus of ornithomimosaur, consisting of giant dinosaurs that lived during the Late Cretaceous around 70 million years ago.

In which geological period did the Deinocheirus roam the Earth?

The remains of the family of these Deinocheirus dinosaur skeletons (genus Ornithomimosaur) led to the estimation that they lived in the world during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 70 million years ago.

When did the Deinocheirus dinosaur become extinct?

According to their fossil discovery, it has been approximated from Deinocheirus fossils that the last recorded appearance could have been around 66 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period.

Where did a Deinocheirus live?

According to the discovery of the Deinocheirus dinosaur (genus Ornithomimosaur) fossils in 1965, it has been concluded that the species must have lived in present-day Mongolia's Gobi desert with their arms, hands, and shoulder girdle nestled within a 70-million-year-old sandstone formation also known as the strange dinosaurs occasionally.

What was a Deinocheirus dinosaur's habitat?

The Deinocheirus dinosaur is believed to have stayed in a terrestrial habitat inside the Central Asian woodlands. According to the research accomplished so far on dinosaur species, historic rivers and streams are located to be the preferential regions for their habituation. They are thought to have resided upon natural forested floodplains and densely vegetated swamps, seasides, wooded area segments, and lakes and might have fed on fish for their diet.

Who did a Deinocheirus dinosaur live with?

Deinocheirus dinosaurs lived through the Upper to Late Cretaceous period with other dinosaur species like Oviraptor, Segnosaurus, Khaan, and Tarbosaurus, who possibly lived in the same region as them.

How long did a Deinocheirus dinosaur live?

The Deinocheirus dinosaur is believed to have lived during the Upper Cretaceous period 66 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Based on the natural ornithomimosaur, the reproduction of this ornithomimosaur Deinocheirus dinosaur is believed to be oviparous. This means that such an animal is believed to have reproduced by laying eggs.

Deinocheirus Fun Facts

What did a Deinocheirus look like?

The Deinocheirus dinosaur is the largest ornithomimosaurs (ostrich dinosaurs) ever discovered. It was a bipedal dinosaur, meaning it only walked on two legs. The largest known example was roughly 36-39.4 ft (11-12 m) long, weighed 14,109.6-16,975.6 lb (6,400- 7,700 kg), and had a waist height of 14.8 ft (4.4 m). The holotype is 94% larger than the other two known specimens, but the smallest, a subadult, is only 74% larger. Different sizes of the arms of the fragmentary holotype were extrapolated using different approaches when only the arms of the holotype were known.

Deinocheirus' waist height was originally believed to be between 4,409.2-26,455.5 lb (2,000-12,000 kg), according to a 2010 study. Comparing the arms to those of Tyrannosaurs has also suggested enormous sizes, despite the fact that members of this group did not have long arms in relation to their height. The lower temple's windows, which opened behind the eyes, were partially blocked by the jugal bones, as were Gallimimus' and another ornithomimid. They had toothless jaws which were slanted downward, with the lower jaw being much more solid and deep than the top jaw, which was thin and low. The lower jaw was larger than that of other Ornithomimosaurs, like that of a Tyrannosaurus. The muzzle was spatulate (flared out at the sides) and measured 9.8 in (25 cm) in length, making it wider than the roof of the skull. This shape was similar to the snout of duck-billed hadrosaurids.

Deinocheirus is the largest ornithomimosaurs.

How many bones did a Deinocheirus have?

Amongst the unearthed dinosaur fossils, a plus-sized physique could be deducted using the dinosaur's pelvis bone and hind legs bones. It also had a hump-like ornament bone that gave the Deinocheirus dinosaur body its distinctive profile. They also possessed bones from their gigantic hands that almost stretched 8 ft (2.4 m) in size. That's right, each of them equalled 8 ft (2.4 m)! These Deinocheirus mirificus skeletons also had strong bite marks, other than the terrible hand ending in claws and long arms used for poaching plants and animals in their natural surrounding. These bones, therefore, have also been unearthed from the specimens.

How did they communicate?

It is not known precisely how the Deinocheirus communicated with each other or with dinosaurs of different species. But Philip J. Senter, an American paleontologist and professor of Zoology at Fayetteville State University, known for his research on the paleobiology of dinosaurs, when reviewing the sounds of prehistoric land animals, believed that dinosaurs used to communicate by hissing and clapping, polishing the jaws against the upper jaw, rubbing scales against each other, and using environmental materials such as spray against water. Dinosaurs are also believed to have communicated vocally and visually. These two types of communication were most commonly used during the defensive posture, courtship, and territorial fighting. The same assumption is made that the head ridges of some species, such as Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus, were used to amplify grunts or roars.

How big was a Deinocheirus?

The exact measurements regarding Deinocheirus size, height and length are unknown. However, the largest of the clade is estimated to be about 36 ft (11 m) long.

How fast could a Deinocheirus move?

They are found to be actively mobile and could be referred to as bipedal dinosaurs correctly. It did not use its forelimbs for locomotion.

How much did a Deinocheirus weigh?

The Cretaceous Deinocheirus weight based on the classification of the specimen collected is estimated to have weighed around 13,277.7-14,109.6 lb (6,000-6,400 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male Deinocheirus dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Deinocheirus?

The Deinocheirus was oviparous and the young ones were born when the eggs hatch. The young ones of the Deinocheirus can be called hatchlings or nestlings. This term can be used for all dinosaurs as a generalized name since all were oviparous.

What did they eat?

Deinocheirus is said to have been an omnivore. Its skull shape suggests a plan to reduce plant weight, fish scales have been observed in relation to one specimen, and gastroliths were also present in the specimen's abdomen. One of the samples even consisted of more than 1,000 gastroliths.

Deinocheirus shared its attractive Asian habitat with a large species of dinosaur, the most notable being Tarbosaurus, a comparatively large (about 11,023.1 lb (5,000 kg)) tyrannosaurus. While it is unlikely that an unmarried Tarbosaurus would deliberately attack a full-blown Deinocheirus, 1% of the three could have had additional success. In any case, that predator could have focused its efforts on sick, old, or young Deinocheirus dinosaurs that were easy to fight.

How aggressive were they?

If considered in accordance with the anatomy, dietary preferences, as well as external features, it would be accurate to assume that they were aggressive in nature.

Did you know...

Deinocheirus found in the Gobi desert had been a subject of many different opinions between 1965 and 2013. In 2013, few additional specimens of the Deinocheirus mirificus were discovered, making a clearer picture. They are popularly associated with terms like 'mysterious', 'terrifying', and 'bizarre' not to forget the terrible hand image associated with it. The illustrations led to the spread of the belief that Deinocheirus is the largest terrible hand-bearing dinosaur species found!

Is Deinocheirus an Therizinosaurus?

John Ostrom, in 1971 was the first to propose that Deinocheirus had its roots in the ornithomimosaurs, shedding light on the fact that it exhibited both ornithomimosaurs and non-ornithomimosaurs characteristics. Six years later, in 1976, Rinchen Barsbold was the one to name order Deinocheirosauria, supposedly related to the genera Deinocheirus and Therizinosaurus. They are no longer considered closely related today.

One of the biggest exceptions to the Deinocheirus dinosaur is its close resemblance to all the other strange theropods of Late Cretaceous Period Asia, Therizinosaurus, which was also endowed with strangely long palms covered with the help of terribly long-clawed hand specimens. The theropod homes to which these dinosaurs belonged (ornithomimids and therizinosaurs) were closely related, and in any case, it is no longer unlikely that Deinocheirus and therizinosaurs could find their way into the same generalized framework through the convergent evolution technique.

How long were Deinocheirus claws?

The arms of these dinosaurs were among the largest of any bipedal dinosaur at 8 ft (2.4 m) long, with large, blunt claws on its three-fingered terrible hand with a normal size body and mainly fish-based diet. The ornithomimids' skeleton bore legs and feet that were relatively short and bore blunt claws. The large claws may have been used for digging and gathering plants and other animal preys. Bite marks on the Deinocheirus skeleton and bones have been attributed to the tyrannosaurid Tarbosaurus. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Gasparinisaura interesting facts and Turanoceratops surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Deinocheirus coloring pages.

Main image by FunkMonk (Michael B. H.)

Second image by Johnson Mortimer

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