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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 Anonymous Coward
    a.k.a. "Kentucky Fried Chicken"
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If we can breed chickens and get them to shorten their hatch-to-slaughter time down to 21 days ( and getting shorter ), we should try resurrect this beast and start breeding them.

      One of these weight 250KG, or equivalent of almost 150 chickens.

      It would solve the world hunger problem in no time !

  • And.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:12AM (#46531245)

    Jesus rode it...

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:12AM (#46531249) Journal

    ... to the obligatory Far Side Eggs and baby [imgur.com] cartoon.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wasn't it recently figured that most dinosaurs in fact had feathers? Or is this some secluded sect paleontology? In which case I can think of a number of favored dinosaurs that fit the bill of "chicken from hell" a lot better.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Hardly "most" though many of the later ones did.

      • Hardly "most" though many of the later ones did.

        Only most? Frankly, I can't think of a dinosaur in the last 65 million years that wasn't feathered...

        Or were you only referring to pre-CT dinosaurs?

    • Wasn't it recently figured that most dinosaurs in fact had feathers? Or is this some secluded sect paleontology? In which case I can think of a number of favored dinosaurs that fit the bill of "chicken from hell" a lot better.

      All dinosaurs started off as birds (there's still a lot of debate about this (die hards)), and evolved to what they were, this would be a stage in between. But I don't see any use for the feathers on it's arm unless they unfurled to make a bigger impression.

      • Wasn't it recently figured that most dinosaurs in fact had feathers? Or is this some secluded sect paleontology? In which case I can think of a number of favored dinosaurs that fit the bill of "chicken from hell" a lot better.

        All dinosaurs started off as birds (there's still a lot of debate about this (die hards)), and evolved to what they were, this would be a stage in between. But I don't see any use for the feathers on it's arm unless they unfurled to make a bigger impression.

        Ok I was wrong, just this weekend it was questioned so I spoke to my phone what came first the bird or dinosaur, and it came back the bird.
        Well: "the idea that birds are derived dinosaurs, first championed by Huxley and later by Nopcsa and Ostrom, enjoys near-unanimous support among today's paleontologists." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O... [wikipedia.org]

        The lesson learned, don't trust your phone for decent info.

      • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @05:16AM (#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 nadro (168931)

          There's a team trying to simulate dinosaur movement (Non-Avian Theropod Locomotion) by strapping artificial tails to chicken (paper+video):

          http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088458

      • by Immerman (2627577)

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

        Insulation I imagine, much like fur on mammals. In fact if you look at modern birds feathers are potentially far more efficient since their insulation properties can be changed to suit the situation, whereas you can't really "fluff up" fur.

  • Because if it tasted like Chicken I see a much better economic investment in a future Jurassic Park than as a tourist trap!
  • Was it more Chicken tasting, or Ostrich like?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... es El Pollo Diablo!

    http://miwiki.net/images/Elpollodiablo.jpg

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @02:34AM (#46531617)

    they probably found the remains of Ultra Mega Chicken [youtu.be] who was infact raised from the dead.

  • Es "El Pollo Diablo"

  • My anecdote (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2014 @03:18AM (#46531737)

    I keep a few chickens. Little cute bantam chickens, fairly tame too. Currently 8, which is about the most I've ever had.

    Observing these critters is quite interesting. For one, teaching them new things (e.g. drinking from chicken nipples, or walking up a plank to their roost when they are yet too small to fly up) is fairly easy and requires maybe one or two times of showing one, the rest soon follow. They may not be Einsteins, but they sure have more intelligence than often attributed to them.

    The other thing is that they eat almost anything. I would occasionally see them running around with a mouse or frog that they caught, which would get eaten eventually. (Remember these are quite small birds, about half the size of what one normally thinks of as chicken size.) Observing that, I've often been glad that they aren't bigger. The neighbor's Rottweiler, on the other side of the 8' fence, wouldn't be safe either. Chicken from hell, indeed.

    • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @04:55AM (#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.

      • Cocks - wait for all the 14 year olds to stop sniggering

        I'm 48 and sniggering.
      • by cusco (717999)

        Hens can be truly nasty when they have chicks to defend. Our landlord had a 40 kilo guard mutt named 'Rambo' who wouldn't even come to the back part of the lot because our little hen regularly pecked the shit out of his face every time he got near her chicks. Rosa sent me to bring one of the chicks and the mother gave me a nasty bruise on the lower eyelid (which was quite embarrassing to explain to my students).

      • Could you please not use that word? It's racist and shows a lack of respect for the president.
    • Finding provided nourishment and provided shelter is actually almost exactly the extent of intelligence I would attribute to chickens. How could a living animal possibly be less intelligent and not die?
    • by jc42 (318812)

      Some time back, there was an informative pair of pictures in an xkcd forum [xkcd.com]. Scan down for "but this" for the images.

      There might be a way to include such a search string in a URL, but I don't know how to encode it ...

  • Monkey Island knew it all along!

  • Could we deep fat fry them?

  • If they're anything like Pigeons from Hell [wikipedia.org], we're all screwed.

  • ... Chick-fil-A announces new menu items.

  • We should build a dino-chicken right now! Just not one that weighs 250kg.

    https://www.ted.com/talks/jack_horner_building_a_dinosaur_from_a_chicken
  • I am kind of surprised that I am apparently the only one that is thinking this sounds kind of like a Chocobo. I guess my brain was warped by too many Final Fantasy games in my youth.

    If only we could recreate these and race them! Better yet, they could be the solution for the elimination of fossil fuel based personal ground transport. Who needs a Tesla when you have a Chocobo?

    • The only meaningful difference between a chocobo and an emu or ostrich is that a chocobo is cute, and apparently not aggressive at all.

      • by Rotag_FU (2039670)

        I don't know. Barret was a pretty big guy. I'm not sure an ostrich or emu could successfully carry him, especially at speed. Also, I think the right chocobos could be much faster than an emu or ostrich considering how fast they could run across the veldt.

        This actually sounds like a fun nerd debate topic: Is a chocobo just a friendly emu? Why or why not?!
        In college I could probably have debated this with friends all night long.

    • Or chupacabra?
  • ...
    Caalll for Super Chicken!

    Ba-buck!

    Or maybe it's Baby Huey.

  • which can tip the scales at over 300 pounds. They also lay eggs that make omelets big enough to feed 10 people.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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