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'Chicken from hell' sheds new light on bird-like dinosaur

Published on Mar 20, 2014 6:02 AM
 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Nicknamed the "chicken from hell," a newly identified species of feathered dinosaur as tall as a human roamed North America at least 66 million years ago, paleontologists announced on Wednesday.

With a hen-like crest on its head, lanky legs like an ostrich, sharp claws on its forelimbs and jaws built for crushing eggs and prey, the Anzu wyliei weighed a hefty 440-660 pounds (200-300 kilograms).

The long-tailed creature is the largest known member of the legendary "egg-thief" dinosaurs, known as Oviraptorosaurs, which are closely related to birds, said the study in the journal PLOS ONE.

"We jokingly call this thing the 'chicken from hell,' and I think that's pretty appropriate," said lead author Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 
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