Named By: Altangerel Perle - 1980.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Therizinosauridae.
Species: E. andrewsi (type).
Size: Skull about 25 centimetres long. Body size uncertain due to lack of remains, but roughly estimated to be about 3.4 meters long.
Known locations: Mongolia - Bayan Shireh Formation.
Time period: Cenomanian to Santonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skull with mandible (lower jaw) and partial post cranial remains.
Named after Erlik, the demon king in Mongolian mythology, Erlikosaurus was a ground breaking discovery as it was the first therizinosaurid skull known to science. Despite the overall lack of other skeletal material, this skull made Erlikosaurus a model for other therizinosaurids, which at the time were only known from their post cranial remains, to be based on. That has worked both ways however, with post cranial material from other therizinosaurids filling in for Erlikosaurus's missing skeleton. Erlikosaurus has a particularly strong association with the related Segnosaurus from the same fossil formation.
- Segnosauria, a new infraorder of carnivorous dinosaurs. - Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 25(2):187-195. - R. Barsbold & A. Perle - 1980.
- Cranial myology and bite force performance of Erlikosaurus andrewsi : a novel approach for digital muscle reconstructions. - Journal of Anatomy. 222 (2): 260−272. - S. Lautenschlager - 2013.