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U.S. archaeologists unearth ‘chicken from hell’

Scientists have officially labeled the dinosaur a member of the Oviraptorosaurs

Published: Updated:

U.S. scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of a birdlike species of dinosaur with no teeth, a beak, claws and a bony crest atop its head. Scientists from Carnegie and Smithsonian museums and the University of Utah have officially labeled the find a member of the Oviraptorosaurs. However, unofficially, the scientists are calling it the “chicken from hell.”

The dinosaur, which lived about 68 million to 66 million years ago in North America, “would look like a really absurd, stretched-out chicken,” said Emma Schachner, paleontologist at the University of Utah.

A paleontologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Tyler Lyson, added that “it would have been a cross between a chicken and a lizard.”

Researchers say it could not fly and “was a giant raptor… The animal stood about 10 feet tall, so it would be scary as well as absurd to encounter,” Schachner added.

“We jokingly call this thing the ‘chicken from hell,’ and I think that’s pretty appropriate,” the study’s lead author, Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, said.

The fossils were found in a sedimentary rock layer, in three locations in North and South Dakota, acoording to a released statement.

The beaked dinosaur’s formal name is Anzu wyliei. The name Anzu was inspired by a bird-like demon in Mesopotamian mythology, and wyliei is named after a boy name Wyli, the dinosaur-loving grandson of a Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh trustee, according to the University of Utah News Center.

The researchers believe the dinosaur was an omnivore, eating vegetation, small animals and perhaps eggs while living on a wet floopdplain, reported the University of Utah News Center.

Extended efforts to excavate the fossils began in 2005, after scientists realized they had come across a new type of dinosaur.