Scientists Unveil New Dinosaur Species They Call “Chicken from Hell”
by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)
Paleontologists revealed a new type of dinosaur earlier this week they have nicknamed a “chicken from hell.”
The animal’s official name is Anzu wyliei, partly named after a feathered demon in Sumerian mythology and partly after the grandson of a Carnegie Museum of Natural History trustee.
The dinosaur is said to have lived 66 million years ago and to have walked on slender hind legs. Scientists describe it as a cross between an ostrich and a velociraptor, weighing 600 pounds and standing 7 feet tall. It had a toothless, bird-like beak and a large crest on its skull and less of a tail than its predator, the T-rex. It ate vegetation, small animals, and perhaps eggs.
All of this information has come from scientists from the University of Utah and presented in the Smithsonian Institution’s scientific journal PLOS One through the museum. The study came from three excavations dating to the Cretaceous period from a rock formation known as Hell Creek in North and South Dakota.
Paleontologists are particularly excited about Anzu wyliei because it’s the largest species of egg-stealing oviraptors yet found in North America.
The actual discovery of this dinosaur is not new, though. A replica of its skeleton has been on display at the Carnegie Museum for a decade. However, this particular analysis concluded that Anzu belongs to a group of dinosaurs scientists previously knew little about because they had recovered few remains from its members.