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Science

'Chicken From Hell' Unearthed In American Midwest 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the did-it-cross-the-road dept.
sciencehabit writes "A newly described dinosaur might look like a chicken, but don't be fooled: It was nearly 4 meters long, weighed about 250 kilograms, and lived 66 million years ago in what is today the Hell Creek rock formation in North and South Dakota. That's why its discoverers are calling it the 'chicken from hell,' and indeed it was related to early birds and to feathered, birdlike dinos that brooded over their nests, such as Oviraptor. The creature had a toothless beak, sharp claws, and a tall crest on top of its head. It is the largest Oviraptor-like dinosaur found in North America."
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'Chicken From Hell' Unearthed In American Midwest

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  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @05:55AM (#46532031)

    I believe you about the chickens. Cocks - wait for all the 14 year olds to stop sniggering - can be quite vicious to each other. Now scale it up 10 times and you have a Cassowary - the most dangerous bird on the planet which has killed a number of people. There is a youtube video (too lazy to look for it) of a pair of them stalking some keepers in a zoo - quite frightening. Now take them and increase their size another 3 times and you have this dinosaur. I for one would not want to go anywhere near it.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @06:16AM (#46532099)

    I don't see any use for the feathers on it's arm unless they unfurled to make a bigger impression.

    Air braking, manoeuvrability & stabilization would be good uses. e.g. an ostrich can zig zag while running by sticking out its wings which might be useful if it's being chased by a predator or trying to catch prey.

  • by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:29AM (#46533223)

    A 13 foot long, quarter ton chicken would NOT be the kind of animal I'd want to get angry. Or be anywhere near when it's hungry. Even though this article [plosone.org] says they were "ecological generalists that fed upon vegetation, small animals, and perhaps eggs." I wouldn't want to be the one to test whether this bird/dinosaur would decide to add people to its diet.

    For a sufficiently large bird, people are small animals!

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