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Nigel Marven
The Giant Claw

The Giant Claw
The giant claw.jpg
General information
SeriesChased by Dinosaurs
Episode number1
Featured creaturesTherizinosaurus
Broadcast information
Original airdate30 December 2002
Chronological information
Previous episode
Mammoth Journey
Following episode
Land of Giants


  • Purpose: To find out what the largest claws ever were used for
  • Conditions: Desert, and dense forest growing on the sand dunes

Full synopsis

Nigel searches the early Mongolia deserts and forests for Therizinosaurus, who has massive and very long claws.

The episode starts off with Nigel in his tent where he shows a giant claw that scientists orignally thought to be the rib of a giant turtle but was actually the claw of Therizonosaurus. He is interrupted when a Saurolophus tramples his tent and he films them chewing vegetation being the first dinosaurs to be able to chew their food. The Saurolophus sneezes on him and Nigel sets off on his journey

Nigel comes across a nesting ground of Protoceratops that he crosses by using a red flag to draw their attention while one snaps at his cameraman. They travel into a forest where they watch a pack of Velociraptors hunt a Protoceratops. In a different forest, Nigel sets camp and finds a scorpion that he keeps. At night, a group of Mononykus approach the camp site and Nigel tries to catch one. After he caught one, he discovers that they have feathers but he puts his thumb in its mouth causing it to bleed. The next morning, Nigel finds that the Mononykus have eaten his scorpion and he packs up his camp. In the scrublands, Nigel hides in the vegatation urging his cameraman to turn off the camera when he spots a Tarbosaurus that spooks some Mononykus.

Then Nigel waits out at a freshwater lake with some Saurolophus and Mononykus as a perfect place for theropods to hunt prey. There he finds a hatched nest with the skeloton of a baby Therizinosaurus in a partially hatched egg as well as herbivore dung. Not far away, he finds a full skeleton of a Theriznosaurus. A pack of Velociraptors notices him and chases him and his cameraman into the forest. They climb onto tall tree stumps out of their reach and use a bicycle horn to scare of the raptors. After hearing commotion from the Saurolophus, Nigel returns to the watering hole where the Tarbosaurus has arrived for a drink but is interrupted by the roar of a Therizinosaurus leading to a clash of the titans. The Therizinosaurus fends off the Tarbosaurus with its formidable claws forcing it to back down. Nigel then finds whole herd of Therizinosaurus emerging from the forest and it is a herbivore that uses its sickle-claws to hook tree and bush branches towards its mouth. Nigel ultimately concludes that it was gentle herbivore by touching one that licks him and knocks him over.


75 Million Years Ago (Gobi Desert, Mongolia) 


  • Nigel's crew mainly his cameraman are more featured in this episode when crossing the Protoceratops nesting ground, hiding from the Tarbosaurus, and being chased by Velociraptors.



Original airdate

  • 30 December 2002 20.30 BBC One


  • 13 August 2003 19.00 BBC One