Nothronychus

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Quick Facts
NameNothronychus
Diet
Weight1000 kilos
Length6 meters
Height3.6 meters
Period
Nothronychus
Human

Nothronychus was a herbivorous dinosaur discovered in North America and currently represents the most specialized North American tertiary genus. It lived about 91 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. 

Thanks to paleontologists Jim Kirkland and Doug Wolfe who unearthed a new type of strange theropod dinosaur during their 2001 expedition. They named it Nothronychus mckinleyi, in reference to its huge lazy claws on one foot. The word McKinley came from Bobby McKinley, whose land this important find came from. Some specimens were later found in the Tropic Shale in Utah. 

Like any other tertiary, it had a long neck to help it reach the treetops and a small head to help it pick out specific branches. It had very long arms and impressive-looking sharp claws to grasp branches and bring them close to the small head of this gluttonous herbivore.

It walked on two muscular hind legs but was unlikely to move fast. The tail was short and stubby, which helped it maintain balance on its hind legs. It lived in swampy forests.

Nothronychus was estimated to be about 4.5 - 6 m long, 3 - 3.6 m high and weighed 1,000 kg.

What does the name Nothronychu mean?

Nothronychus means "lazy claw".

What does Nothronychus eat?

Nothronychus was a herbivorous dinosaur, eating plants as food. 

What kind of environment did Nothronychus live in?

Nothronychus lived in swampy forests.

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

Who discovered them?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

  • Kirkland, J. I., Smith, D. K. & Wolfe, D. G.: (2005). Holotype Braincase of Nothronychus mckinleyi Kirkland and Wolfe 2001 (Theropoda; Therizinosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) of West-Central New Mexico. In: The Carnivorous Dinosaurs. Ed. K. Carpenter. Indiana University Press. Bloomington and Indianopolis. Ed. K. Carpenter. Indiana University Press. 87-96.
  • Kirkland, J.I., and Wolfe, D.G. (2001). "First definitive therizinosaurid (Dinosauria; Theropoda) from North America." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 21(3): 410-414.
  • Zanno, L.E., Gilette. D.G., Albright, L.B. & Titus, L. (2009) A new North American therizinosaurid and the role of herbivory in 'predatory' dinosaur evolution. Proc. R. Soc. B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1029.
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • Nothronychus means "lazy claw".
  • Nothronychus was a herbivorous dinosaur, grasping plants for food. 
  • Nothronychus lived in swampy forests.
  • It walked on two muscular hind legs but was unlikely to move fast. 
  • Nothronychus has huge one-foot claws, like those of a sloth.

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