- Nature's Nightmares March 20
Picture a raptor. Okay, now give it some feathers. Slap a bony protrusion atop its head, stick some talons on those skinny toes, elongate the tail and give it a few more feathers, and tada: You have the "chicken from hell," a new species of dinosaur paleontologists unveiled Wednesday.
Technically dubbed Anzu wyliei, the new species is a 10-foot-tall, 11-foot-long, 500-pound beast from the oviraptorosaur family, a group of bipedal, birdlike dinosaurs. And the chicken from hell — which Matt Lamanna, the lead scientist who discovered the creature, said was "as close as you can get to a bird without being a bird" — is one of the largest such dinosaurs ever found. Lamanna and his colleagues, who reported their findings in the journal PLOS One, pieced together the new find from bones dug up in the Dakotas in the 1990s. It wasn't until recently that they realized seemingly random fossils actually fit together to make a near-complete skeleton of Anzu wyliei.
So what does a terrifying monster chicken eat? Apparently, its diet may have included plants, eggs, animals — basically anything it felt like consuming. "It was the Swiss Army knife of the Cretaceous," Lamanna told National Geographic.
In other words: The chicken from hell don't care.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 29 adorable slang terms for sex (from the last 600 years)
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- Why America is duty-bound to help Iraqi Christians
- Here's the last time Russia shot down a passenger plane
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
Subscribe to the Week