Richard And The “Chicken From Hell”

Scientists have discovered and properly named a new dinosaur species. Its technical name is Anzu wyliei, but it’s been commonly described on the news as the “chicken from hell.”

Of course, it’s not like any chicken we’ll ever see — fortunately. This creature weighed 500 pounds, had a crested skull, long beak, and powerful claws, and lived during the late Cretaceous period at the same time that Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed the planet. Like all of the late dinosaurs, the “chicken from hell” went extinct after a meteorite struck the Earth and changed the climate in which dinosaurs had thrived.

Richard’s connection with the “chicken from hell” is that paleontologists from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh played an integral role in the discovery of Anzu wyliei. Richard’s interesting Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story about their discovery is available here.

A Distant Ancestor

They’ve discovered a fossil in China of what appears to be an ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus Rex — except this creature lived 60 million years earlier and was 90 times smaller. It features the same massive, dagger-toothed skull, the same small “arms,” and the same apparently acute sense of smell. Even though it was smaller than a T Rex, you still wouldn’t want to meet it in a dark alley — it weighed about 150 pounds and looks like it could rips a normal-sized human to shreds in short order.

The BBC story on the find is interesting, although their depiction of what the dinosaur looked like it a bit unnerving. Tufted with a brown mane, it looks like a crazed horse on steroids.