Chicken-from-hell dinosaur

Giant chicken from hell dinosaur
Giant chicken from hell dinosaur. Credit: Mark A. Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Just announced this week, Anzu wyliei wasn’t the largest dinosaur by any means; but it was big enough. It stood over 10 feet tall and 11 feet long, weighed from 450 to 650 pounds, and roamed North and South Dakota around 66 million years ago, shortly before the asteroid wiped out all of its kind except the few that evolved into birds.

Bones from three separate individuals discovered recently comprised an almost complete set, so we know pretty well what this bird-like, beaked dinosaur with skinny, chicken-like legs looked like. For instance, we know it had sharp claws, but no teeth. Though it could not fly, it is believed (because of its relationship with other feathered species) to have had feathers on its tail and arms. And it had a tall crest on its head.

A. wyliei was found in the Hell’s Creek rock formation. Naturally, its discoverers have dubbed it “the chicken from hell.”

Resources: Discover Magazine, http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/03/19/giant-chicken-from-hell-is-new-dinosaur-species/, Giant “Chicken From Hell” is New Dinosaur Species, by Gemma Tarlach, March 19, 2014

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