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Newly Discovered Dinosaur Was A Giant "Chicken From Hell"

Oh god.

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Scientists have discovered a new bird-like dinosaur that they've described as a "chicken from hell".

Mark A. Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

It had a body over 10ft long and huge, sharp claws. A typical human stood next to it would come up just above its hip. So its lucky for us that it lived 66 million years ago in western North America.

Researchers believe it would have had feathers on its arms and tail, to go along with its sharp beak and crested head that are similar to some modern-day flightless birds. Its a member of the oviraptorosaurs (translation: "egg thief lizards") group of dinosaurs, which are closely related to birds.

The discovery includes bones from three different skeletons that together almost make up a complete one.

Skeleton illustration by Scott Hartman, / Individual bones by Mark A. Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

They were found in the uppermost level of the Hell Creek rock formation in North and South Dakota. The formation is known for having an abundance of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops fossils, which the giant raptor would have lived alongside.

The bones were found years ago but until now the researchers didn't realise they were a new species. Now it's been named Anzu wyliei. Anzu after a bird-like demon in Mesopotamian mythology, and wyliei after a boy named Wylie, the grandson of a Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh trustee.

And it appears the "chicken from hell" wasn't afraid of a scrap. One of the specimens appears to have a broken and healed rib, and the other has evidence of some trauma to its toe.