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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Today's Dinosaur News

Posted by on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Skeletal reconstruction in left lateral view, with illustrated bones in gray and other preserved bones in white. (see this illustration in context in the study by clicking the image)
  • Matthew Lamanna et al, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092022.g005
  • Skeletal reconstruction in left lateral view, with illustrated bones in gray and other preserved bones in white. (see this illustration in context in the study by clicking the image)
Anzu wyliei—nicknamed "the chicken from hell" by scientists—is being described as a cross between a terrifying bird and a lizard. Large, feathered, and armed with a beak and claws, Anzu roamed the Dakotas during the late Cretaceous period. Hans Sues, one of the team of scientists that identified the dinosaur and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Smithsonian told BBC News, "Anzu is really bizarre, even by dinosaur standards."

"The skull has this extraordinarily tall and thin crest with a snout and a huge beak with sharp edges and a strange sliding jaw joint," that could be used to cut up vegetation and meat, he says.

The discovery of Anzu, which is named in part for a feathered demon from Mesopotamian mythology, provides detailed evidence of oviraptorosaurs in North America. (Most of these creatures have been found in Asia.) It also suggests that even until the end of their reign certain communities of dinosaurs were evolving and flourishing. This is contrary to earlier assumptions that dinosaurs were on the decline just before the astroid strike due to climate change.

Matthew Lamanna, the lead author of the study and a paleontologist at Carnegie Museum told the Washington Post,

“When people think of a dinosaur, they think of something like a T. rex or a brontosaurus, and when they think of a bird, they think of something like a sparrow or a chicken. This animal, Anzu, has a mosaic of features of both of those groups, and so it basically provides a really nice link in the evolutionary chain.”

You can read the complete study in the journal PLOS ONE. More here, here and here.

Thanks to Slog-tippers Cass and Rob!! Have a hot dinosaur news tip or question? Send it to dinosaurs@thestranger.com

 

Comments (4) RSS

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dnt trust me 1
I like bones D, F, K and L. I didn't realize the nomenclature of the skeletal system was so basic. Thanks!
Posted by dnt trust me on March 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM · Report this
2
Are we going to have a happy hour at Raygun soon?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on March 20, 2014 at 1:09 PM · Report this
sirkowski 3
Trying to make a joke about dinosaurs, Dakota, gays and evangelicals.

I've got nothing.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on March 20, 2014 at 8:41 PM · Report this
4
How can this be? The earth is only 6,000 yrs. old! These bones must have been planted by the Democrats. The republicans can't and won't admit that the earth has been around for a lot more years than they think. How old are the Redwoods in California I would ask my neighbor, he would dodge the question and go on a rant about the Bible and some other bizarre conspiracy theory about creation and evolution and then he would wander back to his kitchen and pour himself another drink. Is this the problem with republicans? Are they all alcoholics? Are they delusional like john boner and mcconell? Makes me wonder......
Posted by longwayhome on March 20, 2014 at 8:52 PM · Report this

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