Scientists unveil dinosaur dubbed the ‘chicken from hell’

For a Tyrannosaurus rex looking for a snack, nothing might have tasted quite like the “chicken from hell.”
That’s one way Matt Lamanna describes Anzu wyliei, the species of dinosaur that he and fellow paleontologists unveiled Wednesday.
It’s not the only way, though. Feathered demon also works, which is why Anzu — derived from Sumerian mythology — was chosen as a name. Or you could characterize it, as Lamanna also told CNN, as a 600-pound cross between an ostrich and a velociraptor. And it’s “pretty damn close” to looking like the 6-foot-tall turkey a child famously referred to in the movie “Jurassic Park,” except a lot stranger and meaner looking.
“You might think this was a really, really weird-looking bird,” Lamanna said. “… But, in fact, this was a very bird-like dinosaur … with a really long bony tail, very large hands and really sharp claws.”
Lamanna, from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, detailed the finding Wednesday with fellow scientists from the University of Utah, the Smithsonian Institution in the scientific journal PLOS One. This study came about not from one excavation but from three dating to Cretaceous period and from a rock formation known as Hell Creek in North and South Dakota.
The “chicken from hell” moniker aside, what makes Anzu wylie especially exciting to paleontologists is that it’s the largest species of egg-stealing oviraptors yet found in North America, said Emma Schachner, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Utah.