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'Chicken From Hell' Unearthed In American Midwest

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the did-it-cross-the-road dept.

Science 78

sciencehabit writes "A newly described dinosaur might look like a chicken, but don't be fooled: It was nearly 4 meters long, weighed about 250 kilograms, and lived 66 million years ago in what is today the Hell Creek rock formation in North and South Dakota. That's why its discoverers are calling it the 'chicken from hell,' and indeed it was related to early birds and to feathered, birdlike dinos that brooded over their nests, such as Oviraptor. The creature had a toothless beak, sharp claws, and a tall crest on top of its head. It is the largest Oviraptor-like dinosaur found in North America."

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"Chicken from Hell" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531241)

a.k.a. "Kentucky Fried Chicken"

Key to ending world hunger (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46532003)

If we can breed chickens and get them to shorten their hatch-to-slaughter time down to 21 days ( and getting shorter ), we should try resurrect this beast and start breeding them.

One of these weight 250KG, or equivalent of almost 150 chickens.

It would solve the world hunger problem in no time !

Re:Key to ending world hunger (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46532057)

... we should try resurrect this beast and start breeding them...

What could possibly go wrong???

Re:Key to ending world hunger (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 5 months ago | (#46532263)

I want a drumstick!

Re:Key to ending world hunger (1)

cusco (717999) | about 5 months ago | (#46534681)

Could give a whole new meaning to 'Buffalo Wings'.

Re:Key to ending world hunger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46532459)

Wouldn't it be easier to try breeding bigger chicken? Or come up with some kind of giant GM chicken?

Re: Key to ending world hunger (3, Funny)

WindBourne (631190) | about 5 months ago | (#46534157)

Do enough of them, and they could solve the population problem as well.

Re:Key to ending world hunger (1)

hurfy (735314) | about 5 months ago | (#46537401)

Cool, and they just decided to allow you to keep chickens and stuff in your yard here ;)

Think I am gonna need more lumber....

Re:Key to ending world hunger (1)

squash_me_quickly (663285) | about 5 months ago | (#46537515)

If you had been listening in biology class, then you would know that about 80-90% of the "food" is lost between every link in a food chain.

So, if people just ate the corn they would be getting a whole lot more food "for their buck".

Re:Key to ending world hunger (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46540381)

It better be hominy or you'll have a lot of people get this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellagra

Re:"Chicken from Hell" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46532471)

That's one hell'va chicken nugget!

Re:"Chicken from Hell" typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46533303)

Did not rtfa, but tfs indicates it was from "Hell Creek".

Re: "Chicken from Hell" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46534183)

What KFC serves isn't even chicken lol.

Re: "Chicken from Hell" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46541303)

"You know what they call bats?"
"No."
"Chicken of the cave."

The only funny line from Anchorman 2.

And.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531245)

Jesus rode it...

Gives new meaning... (4, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | about 5 months ago | (#46531249)

... to the obligatory Far Side Eggs and baby [imgur.com] cartoon.

Re:Gives new meaning... (2)

GPool (413097) | about 5 months ago | (#46531507)

I was hoping for a sabre toothed chicken, as seen In the Chicken Museum [pinterest.com] .

Re:Gives new meaning... (1)

rvw (755107) | about 5 months ago | (#46532415)

... to the obligatory Far Side Eggs and baby [imgur.com] cartoon.

Luckily they invented the fridge [pinterest.com] , and it didn't take too long before it all ended for them

so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531257)

Wow! I gotta bag me one of them!

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531321)

Nice try. I know math late at night might be hard.

4 meters = ~13 feet
250Kg = ~550 lbs. = ~1/4 ton

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 months ago | (#46531365)

Nice try. I know math late at night might be hard.
4 meters = ~13 feet
250Kg = ~550 lbs. = ~1/4 ton

Must be a hunter or fisherman. "You should have seen the one that got away..."

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531387)

Dibs on the drumstick.

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 5 months ago | (#46531571)

You just need a bigger bag. Maybe it would fit into a goalie bag, after some processing if needed. I know you can fit tons of money in those:

  http://www.goaliemonkey.com/eq... [goaliemonkey.com]

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#46533055)

A 13 foot long, quarter ton chicken would NOT be the kind of animal I'd want to get angry. Or be anywhere near when it's hungry. Even though this article [plosone.org] says they were "ecological generalists that fed upon vegetation, small animals, and perhaps eggs." I wouldn't want to be the one to test whether this bird/dinosaur would decide to add people to its diet.

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (3, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 5 months ago | (#46533223)

A 13 foot long, quarter ton chicken would NOT be the kind of animal I'd want to get angry. Or be anywhere near when it's hungry. Even though this article [plosone.org] says they were "ecological generalists that fed upon vegetation, small animals, and perhaps eggs." I wouldn't want to be the one to test whether this bird/dinosaur would decide to add people to its diet.

For a sufficiently large bird, people are small animals!

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46538489)

beat me to it...

Re:so over 30 feet high and nearly a half ton (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46534317)

Wanna go snipe hunting?

I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531409)

Wasn't it recently figured that most dinosaurs in fact had feathers? Or is this some secluded sect paleontology? In which case I can think of a number of favored dinosaurs that fit the bill of "chicken from hell" a lot better.

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 5 months ago | (#46531691)

Hardly "most" though many of the later ones did.

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46533117)

Hardly "most" though many of the later ones did.

Only most? Frankly, I can't think of a dinosaur in the last 65 million years that wasn't feathered...

Or were you only referring to pre-CT dinosaurs?

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (0)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 5 months ago | (#46531997)

Wasn't it recently figured that most dinosaurs in fact had feathers? Or is this some secluded sect paleontology? In which case I can think of a number of favored dinosaurs that fit the bill of "chicken from hell" a lot better.

All dinosaurs started off as birds (there's still a lot of debate about this (die hards)), and evolved to what they were, this would be a stage in between. But I don't see any use for the feathers on it's arm unless they unfurled to make a bigger impression.

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 5 months ago | (#46532047)

Wasn't it recently figured that most dinosaurs in fact had feathers? Or is this some secluded sect paleontology? In which case I can think of a number of favored dinosaurs that fit the bill of "chicken from hell" a lot better.

All dinosaurs started off as birds (there's still a lot of debate about this (die hards)), and evolved to what they were, this would be a stage in between. But I don't see any use for the feathers on it's arm unless they unfurled to make a bigger impression.

Ok I was wrong, just this weekend it was questioned so I spoke to my phone what came first the bird or dinosaur, and it came back the bird.
Well: "the idea that birds are derived dinosaurs, first championed by Huxley and later by Nopcsa and Ostrom, enjoys near-unanimous support among today's paleontologists." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O... [wikipedia.org]

The lesson learned, don't trust your phone for decent info.

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about 5 months ago | (#46532099)

I don't see any use for the feathers on it's arm unless they unfurled to make a bigger impression.

Air braking, manoeuvrability & stabilization would be good uses. e.g. an ostrich can zig zag while running by sticking out its wings which might be useful if it's being chased by a predator or trying to catch prey.

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (1)

nadro (168931) | about 5 months ago | (#46532259)

There's a team trying to simulate dinosaur movement (Non-Avian Theropod Locomotion) by strapping artificial tails to chicken (paper+video):

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088458

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46532971)

An ostrich can break bones with it's kick, and it can easily outrun a lion. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] even states they can outrun most predators. The primary exception being the cheetah, which can top the ostriches 43 mph top speed. They also are herbivores, so I'm not so sure they'll need the maneuverability for catching "prey", unless flowers and shrubs somehow learned to run away from them...

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 5 months ago | (#46533657)

Sorry I misworded the second sentence - I meant the dinosaur in the article.

Re:I thought all dinosaurs were "chickens" (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 5 months ago | (#46534489)

> But I don't see any use for the feathers on it's arm unless they unfurled to make a bigger impression.

Insulation I imagine, much like fur on mammals. In fact if you look at modern birds feathers are potentially far more efficient since their insulation properties can be changed to suit the situation, whereas you can't really "fluff up" fur.

Ah, but how did it taste? (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 5 months ago | (#46531411)

Because if it tasted like Chicken I see a much better economic investment in a future Jurassic Park than as a tourist trap!

Re:Ah, but how did it taste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531975)

(One monster chicken to another) "tastes just like human"

Madre de Dios! Es "El Pollo Diablo"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531423)

El Pollo Diablo! [youtube.com]

newly described dinosaur might look like a chicken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531479)

Uh, no.

Why the fuck do science popularizers feel the need to write like this?

But what did it taste like? (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 5 months ago | (#46531531)

Was it more Chicken tasting, or Ostrich like?

Re:But what did it taste like? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 5 months ago | (#46531587)

Actually, it tasted more like wild ducks than farm raised ducks.

Madre de dios... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531585)

... es El Pollo Diablo!

http://miwiki.net/images/Elpollodiablo.jpg

Re:Madre de dios... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46535143)

POOR GUYBRUSH

did it have jet engines? (2)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 5 months ago | (#46531617)

they probably found the remains of Ultra Mega Chicken [youtu.be] who was infact raised from the dead.

Re:did it have jet engines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46537055)

ARISE CHIKUN!
CHIKUN ARISE!

Madre de Dios! (1)

phagstrom (451510) | about 5 months ago | (#46531685)

Es "El Pollo Diablo"

My anecdote (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531737)

I keep a few chickens. Little cute bantam chickens, fairly tame too. Currently 8, which is about the most I've ever had.

Observing these critters is quite interesting. For one, teaching them new things (e.g. drinking from chicken nipples, or walking up a plank to their roost when they are yet too small to fly up) is fairly easy and requires maybe one or two times of showing one, the rest soon follow. They may not be Einsteins, but they sure have more intelligence than often attributed to them.

The other thing is that they eat almost anything. I would occasionally see them running around with a mouse or frog that they caught, which would get eaten eventually. (Remember these are quite small birds, about half the size of what one normally thinks of as chicken size.) Observing that, I've often been glad that they aren't bigger. The neighbor's Rottweiler, on the other side of the 8' fence, wouldn't be safe either. Chicken from hell, indeed.

Re:My anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531745)

drinking from chicken nipples

Chick nipples: yeah, my favorite words for a while. Nifty invention.

Google it if you are interested. Maybe just not at work.

Birds can be vicious buggers (5, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about 5 months ago | (#46532031)

I believe you about the chickens. Cocks - wait for all the 14 year olds to stop sniggering - can be quite vicious to each other. Now scale it up 10 times and you have a Cassowary - the most dangerous bird on the planet which has killed a number of people. There is a youtube video (too lazy to look for it) of a pair of them stalking some keepers in a zoo - quite frightening. Now take them and increase their size another 3 times and you have this dinosaur. I for one would not want to go anywhere near it.

Re: Birds can be vicious buggers (2)

grub (11606) | about 5 months ago | (#46532211)

Cocks - wait for all the 14 year olds to stop sniggering

I'm 48 and sniggering.

Re: Birds can be vicious buggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46532389)

I'm 28, which is like two 14 year olds, and they both think it is funny

Re: Birds can be vicious buggers (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 months ago | (#46533849)

I'm 48 and sniggering.

14 year olds come in all age ranges.

Re:Birds can be vicious buggers (1)

cusco (717999) | about 5 months ago | (#46535067)

Hens can be truly nasty when they have chicks to defend. Our landlord had a 40 kilo guard mutt named 'Rambo' who wouldn't even come to the back part of the lot because our little hen regularly pecked the shit out of his face every time he got near her chicks. Rosa sent me to bring one of the chicks and the mother gave me a nasty bruise on the lower eyelid (which was quite embarrassing to explain to my students).

Re:Birds can be vicious buggers (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 5 months ago | (#46536891)

Could you please not use that word? It's racist and shows a lack of respect for the president.

Re:My anecdote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46533275)

I have nothing to add. I just like saying "chicken nipples".

Re:My anecdote (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 5 months ago | (#46533959)

Finding provided nourishment and provided shelter is actually almost exactly the extent of intelligence I would attribute to chickens. How could a living animal possibly be less intelligent and not die?

Re:My anecdote (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 5 months ago | (#46537263)

Some time back, there was an informative pair of pictures in an xkcd forum [xkcd.com] . Scan down for "but this" for the images.

There might be a way to include such a search string in a URL, but I don't know how to encode it ...

This isn't news (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531813)

to anybody who has eaten at KFC.

OK but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531839)

what did it taste like?

This requires one thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46531907)

A cybernetic time Traveling colonel sanders and original recipe......... lots of original recipe.

El Pollo Diablo! (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 5 months ago | (#46532075)

Monkey Island knew it all along!

One question really (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 5 months ago | (#46533287)

Could we deep fat fry them?

Did they walk like a pidgeon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46533515)

[Ever watch a pidgeon's head while s/he walks around???]

Peter Griffin . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46533541)

paging Peter Griffin!

Chickens from Hell? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 months ago | (#46533825)

If they're anything like Pigeons from Hell [wikipedia.org] , we're all screwed.

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 months ago | (#46534547)

... Chick-fil-A announces new menu items.

Dino Chicken TED talk (1)

richtopia (924742) | about 5 months ago | (#46535207)

We should build a dino-chicken right now! Just not one that weighs 250kg.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jack_horner_building_a_dinosaur_from_a_chicken

Chicken from Hell or Chocobo? (1)

Rotag_FU (2039670) | about 5 months ago | (#46535877)

I am kind of surprised that I am apparently the only one that is thinking this sounds kind of like a Chocobo. I guess my brain was warped by too many Final Fantasy games in my youth.

If only we could recreate these and race them! Better yet, they could be the solution for the elimination of fossil fuel based personal ground transport. Who needs a Tesla when you have a Chocobo?

Re:Chicken from Hell or Chocobo? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46536179)

The only meaningful difference between a chocobo and an emu or ostrich is that a chocobo is cute, and apparently not aggressive at all.

Re:Chicken from Hell or Chocobo? (1)

Rotag_FU (2039670) | about 5 months ago | (#46536559)

I don't know. Barret was a pretty big guy. I'm not sure an ostrich or emu could successfully carry him, especially at speed. Also, I think the right chocobos could be much faster than an emu or ostrich considering how fast they could run across the veldt.

This actually sounds like a fun nerd debate topic: Is a chocobo just a friendly emu? Why or why not?!
In college I could probably have debated this with friends all night long.

Re:Chicken from Hell or Chocobo? (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 5 months ago | (#46537021)

Or chupacabra?

When you find yourself in danger... (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | about 5 months ago | (#46536473)

...
Caalll for Super Chicken!

Ba-buck!

Or maybe it's Baby Huey.

Re:When you find yourself in danger... (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 5 months ago | (#46537147)

Perhaps it's more of a Psycho Chicken [youtube.com] ?

WTF?

Dungeons and Dragons predicted this in the 1970's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46536949)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vrock

Looks like they only got the lower plane of origin wrong.

Apparently some of us have never seen and ostrich (1)

AlphaBravoCharlie (3517679) | about 5 months ago | (#46538185)

which can tip the scales at over 300 pounds. They also lay eggs that make omelets big enough to feed 10 people.
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