Feeds

GIANT FLESH-EATING DEVIL CHICKENS roamed North Dakota

Ten-foot-tall Satan Fowl prowled aptly named Hell Creek

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The middle of North America was overrun by terrifying swarms of enormous flesh-eating demon chickens some 66 million years ago, scientists have declared.

Credit: Courtesy Bob Walters

Devilish, yes ... but presumably we're talking about a really serious drumstick here

“It was a giant raptor, but with a chicken-like head and presumably feathers. The animal stood about 10 feet tall, so it would be scary as well as absurd to encounter,” says bone-bothering boffin Emma Schachner.

“We jokingly call this thing the ‘chicken from hell,’ and I think that’s pretty appropriate," adds top fossil-furtler Matt Lamanna, who was in charge of the team that discovered the satanic broilers.

According to Utah uni, where some of the investigating boffins are based:

Three partial skeletons of the dinosaur – almost making up a full skeleton – were excavated from the uppermost level of the Hell Creek rock formation in North and South Dakota – a formation known for abundant fossils of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. The new dinosaur was 11½ feet long, almost 5 feet tall at the hip and weighed an estimated 440 to 660 pounds.

The hellish fowl's official dino name is Anzu wylieiAnzu after a bird-like demon in Mesopotamian mythology, and wyliei after a boy named Wylie, the dinosaur-loving grandson of a senior figure in the Carnegie Museum, where the newly assembled skeleton of the devil birdosaur is to be displayed.

Unlike the inoffensive, tiny chickens of today, the demonic gobblers did not restrict their diets to bits and bobs pecked out of the dirt in front of them. We are told that they ate "vegetation, small animals and perhaps eggs". Presumably even human beings - had there been any about at the time - would count as "small" in this context.

Full details on the satanic hell chickens of prehistoric America can be found in press announcements here and published in the learned journal PLOS One here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.