Although not technically a chicken (or even a bird for that matter) Anzu wyliei has been referred to as the “Chicken From Hell” by scientists awed by its bony crested head, lethal claws at the end of “prize-fighter arms,” spindly legs, narrow tail and feathers sprouting from its 11-foot long, 500 lb body.
The scientific name is a combination of “Anzu” comes from a giant bird-like demon in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, and Wylie J. Tuttle, son of a donor who helps fund research at the Carnagie Museum in Pittsburgh.
Officially considered an oviraptorosaur, the monster roamed throughout the Hell Creek region in the Dakotas at the end of the Cretaceous Period some 68-66 million years ago and was a contemporary of T-Rex. Built for speed, it probably ate small animals and eggs, as well as plants according to paleontologist Matt Lamanna, assistant curator at the Carnagie Museum, who described it as a “cross between a velociraptor and osteich.”
Although, other oviraptors (some of which are much bigger) have been discovered throughout Mongolia, Anzu wylieli is the largest species of egg-stealing dinosaurs ever found in North America.
A full-sized replica of Anzu wylieli can now be seen as part of the Carnegie’s “Dinosaurs in their Time” exhibit.
For more information contact the Museum at 1 Allegheny Ave., Pitsburgh, PA 15212 412 237-3400.