March 21st, 2014


Not a pretty sight, except to another oviraptorosaur, is this newly-discovered species called Anzu wyliei:


Eleven feet tall and 500 pounds in weight, looks like a chicken but acts like a dinosaur.

With its toothless beak, long legs, huge feet, and claw-tipped arms, A. wyliei looked like a devilish version of the modern cassowary, a large ground bird found in Australia.

It was “as close as you can get to a bird without being a bird,” said study leader Matt Lamanna, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

Tastes like chicken.

21 Responses to “Dino-chick”

  1. kaba Says:

    That would be one heck of a drumstick.

  2. Lurch Says:

    The very last thing I’d want to run into would be a 11 foot tall chicken. Anyone who’s been around chickens knows what I’m talking about.

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    Bombs away.

  4. blert Says:

    Poor Wile E. Coyote!

    That beast brings new emphasis to ‘free range’ poultry.

  5. Harry the "Extremist" Says:

    The paleontologist fail to answer the really profound question: What wine would be best served with grilled Oviraptor?

  6. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Why did the oviraptorosaur cross the road?
    Because nothing was gonna stop it.

  7. Sgt. Mom Says:

    So, which came first, the oviraptorosaur or the egg?

    (Thank you all, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal – and don’t forget to tip your waiter!)

  8. Nick Says:

    Well, they went extinct, so maybe they weren’t particularly good-looking to other oviraptorosaurs.

  9. n.n Says:

    Inference (i.e. creation of knowledge) has been the bane of scientific progress. Where it should serve as a guide, it has instead assumed a status to justify conclusions.

    Well, at least this latest discovery is based on a “partial skeleton”. Whereas as other discoveries were made from, in a more extreme case, extrapolation from a single tooth.

    Human beings are creatures with a predisposition for instant or immediate gratification. This character flaw is exacerbated in a civilized society, which grants us the time and resources for casual (i.e. dissociation of risk) speculation and fornication.

  10. Don Carlos Says:

    “Though the team didn’t find direct evidence of feathers, the species was so closely related to birds that it was very likely covered in feathers that looked identical to those of modern birds.”

    Very likely, huh? Covered in feathers, huh? That (musta) looked identical to those of modern (huh?) birds?
    Speculation and artsy-fartsy fringe feathering ain’t real scientific. But never mind, just give them a new grant.

  11. Sergey Says:

    I see that many commenters here are unduly sceptical about robustness of inference made on the basis of uncomplete skeletons. But such inferences are no way arbitrary, they are not random guesses but follow well developed methodology rooted in correlations of different body parts known since Cuvier. Such sciences as comparative anatomy, comparative embriology and morphology form the basis of paleontological reconstruction, and provide powerful tools of inference empirically tested on a huge body of factual knowledge.

  12. Beverly Says:

    I still say he looks like my last date.

  13. OdTexan Says:

    Of course these things were real, a long time ago and, when the Romans cut down too many trees for the Circus Magnum these Super-chicks helped adjust the environment by killing off the Romans and allowing the Visual-Goths and Van-Gouls and Italians to move in and thus upset the delicate balance of nature and of course all of the influx of invaders further upset the weather and the lack of true feathers caused the dino-birds to slow down and of course, they were killed off, not for their meat which tasted like greasy maggots but for their skin which made excellent XL stretch pants for the white female Botticelli.

  14. southpaw Says:

    Alas, Colonel Sanders was born too late.

  15. NeoConScum Says:

    OMG..!! It’s the very best rendering of Babs “Mam” Boxer yet!!

  16. Timothy Fountain Says:

    “excavated from the fossil-rich Hell Creek formation of South and North Dakota, starting in the late 1990s.”

    Here in Sioux Falls, they’re why we can’t slow down for the post-winter pot holes. You don’t want to stay still with these things feelin’ all protective and motherly about their eggs.

  17. Capn Rusty Says:

    I went to high school in South Dakota. It is so-o-o-o tempting to say something about the chicks I knew back then, but if I did, I’m sure I’d bring Neo’s wrath down upon me.

  18. expat Says:

    How long did they run around after their heads were chopped off?

  19. Ray Says:

    Now that’s the chicken that has you for dinner.

  20. waltj Says:

    An 11-foot chicken, probably with a very bad attitude? No, thanks. I once saw a ten-year old gringo boy get chased by an angry cassowary at a resort in Mexico. The kid thought it was funny since he managed to outrun the bird. But he also didn’t push his luck and molest it again that I saw. (Mexico is not as safety or lawsuit-conscious as the US, so the cassowary and a number of other exotic birds were walking around free on the resort’s grounds).

  21. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Actually the most interesting observation about this “bird” is that it had no teeth. I was always under the assumption that dinosaurs were birds with teeth, now I am going to have to rethink my entire worldview.

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