[caption id="attachment_81818" align="aligncenter" width="512"] File picture fo illustration shows visitors at a dinosaur display room at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2004 (Getty/AFP/File, Jeff Swensen)
[/caption]With a ferocious appearance that would stop traffic on the busiest highway, the "Chicken from Hell" dinosaur could cross any road it wanted!
Scientists announced the discovery of the Anzu wiliei, a newly identified species of feathered dinosaur that roamed North America 66 million years ago, Wednesday.
Standing as tall as a human and weighing in at roughly 500 pounds, the dinosaur that scientists have affectionately nicknamed "The Chicken From Hell" had a beak, a bony crest on its head, long limbs, sharp claws and a thin tail that likely ended in a fan of feathers. "It looked like a giant scary bird," said the study's lead author, paleontologist Matt Lamana of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Among the largest feathered dinosaurs ever found in North America, the Anzu wiliei belongs to a family of birdlike dinosaurs called oviraptorosaurs. A team of researchers from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the University of Utah and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History spent nearly a decade studying three skeletons from the Cretaceous period that had been discovered in the Dakotas. They eventually reconstructed a skeleton that is 75 to 80 percent complete.
"We knew that there was a group of oviraptorosaurs in North America, but we didn't know many fundamental things about them," Lamanna explains. "What they looked like, how exactly they were related to their Asian cousins, how they lived, how big they got, all these things. Anzu helps to answer all of these questions."
The study "A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur From the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America" was published in the journal PLOS One.
"New Chicken From Hell Dinosaur Discovered"-- National Geographic
"Scientists Discover a Large and Feathered Dinosaur that Once Roamed North America" --Smithsonian
"New Dinosaur Called the Chicken From Hell" --Washington Post