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‘Chicken from hell’: 11-foot dinosaur like a bird-like demon, stuns scientists

The “chicken from hell,” which was described in a press release on Wednesday by scientists, is an absurd and scary-looking 11-foot long raptor that looks like a mixture of a giant clawed chicken, a long-necked ostrich, and a feathered dinosaur. At a height of five feet and a weight of almost 500 pounds, the “chicken from hell” was no chicken when it came to survival, reported the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh in a news release on March 19, 2014.

‘Chicken from hell’ stuns scientists: 11-foot bizarre dinosaur a bird-like demon
Courtesy Bob Walters

After piecing together three fossil skeletons that were unearthed in North and South Dakota, paleontologists were not only able to gain a picture of what these bizarre-looking dinosaurs looked like from head to toe but also how they lived.

The “chicken from hell” lived as an omnivore around 66 million years ago in the Dakotas and led a life that was filled with danger, according to team leader Dr. Matthew Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. Besides sharing its Cretaceous world with “the most notorious carnivore of all time—T. rex—this oviraptorosaur seems to have gotten hurt a lot as well.”

Two of the three different fossil skeletons found showed clear evidence of injuries including broken and healed ribs. “Whether these injuries were the result of combat between two individuals or an attack by a larger predator remains a mystery."

“The chicken from hell” is on public view in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibition. According to Dr. Lamanna, the bizarre, bird-like dinosaur, has been named Anzu Wyliei by paleontologists. “Anzu is far and away the most complete caenagnathid that has ever been discovered. After nearly a century of searching, we paleontologists finally have the fossils to show what these creatures looked like from virtually head to toe. And in almost every way, they're even weirder than we imagined. We jokingly call this thing the 'Chicken from Hell,' and I think that's pretty appropriate. So we named it after Anzu, a bird-like demon in ancient mythology."

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