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New feathered dinosaur species discovered in the U. S.

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Matthew Lamanna from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pennsylvania and colleagues from the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Utah reported the discovery of a new species of large feathered dinosaur in the March 19, 2014, edition of the journal Public Library of Science.

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Three oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaurs from the latest Cretaceous Period were found in the uppermost Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota and South Dakota.

The similarity of the fossils and the proximity of the locations of the finds indicate that this is a never before seen species. The new species was named Anzu wylie. This discovery allows paleontologists to describe the oviraptorosaurian group Caenagnathidae more completely because previous fossils were fragmented.

Anzu wyliei was 11 feet long, five feet high at the hip, and weighed between 440 and 660 pounds. The dinosaur had a thin narrow crest, a long neck, and a short thick tail. The jaw shape and tooth structure indicate the dinosaur was probably an omnivore. The mineral composition of the rocks where the fossils were discovered indicates the dinosaur probably lived in a humid floodplain and may have been capable of swimming.

This is the most complete, largest, and first feathered dinosaur ever found in the continental United States.


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