There is a tradition in archosaur palaeontology to refer to things we don’t know much about as ‘enigmatic’, and while an appropriate term much of the time, it is annoyingly overused. Basically if something is interesting and very incomplete it is left as ‘enigmatic’ which is often a euphemism for “I’m going to speculate wildly because there is no good evidence to contradict me” or “I’m not going to say anything about it at all”. Deinocheirus, in the public eye at least, sits firmly in the former camp and one can see why.
Recovered from Late Cretaceous rocks the specimen consists of just a partial pair of arms. Very, very large arms to be sure, and certainly a theropod but after that things get murky. Most researchers seem happy with the idea that these likely belonged to some form of giant ornithomimid it has previously suggested to belong to a theirizinosaur. As a result of that lack of information (a pair of partial arms, described quite sometime ago, and in Russian as I recall) Deinocheirus seems to have entered into popular palaeo folklore as the great unknown theropod, thought I would have thought something like Gigantoraptor and the presence of other giant therizinosaurs would have left it without much potential glamour even if a complete one ever turned up. Still, it IS rarely figured and I have Max Langer to thank for this image from Warsaw (though it’s not clear if this is the original or a cast).
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