Thursday, March 20, 2014

Paleo artist shows us new feathered dinosaur species, “The Chicken from Hell”

New feathered dinosaur, Anzu wyliei, paleo art by Robert F. Walters
When new discoveries are made in paleontology, most interestingly in the realm of dinosaurs, it’s up to paleo artists to interpret the findings and give them a visual form based on the available scientific data.

In this case, a new dinosaur species was discovered by scientists from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the University of Utah — not by digging in the earth, but by digging through existing fossils in the collections of several museums and piecing together the evidence.

Anzu wyliei, as the new dinosaur is called, sports some jaunty feathers and looks a bit like the nightmare chicken of your worst post bar-b-que dreams; and some of the scientists on the team have nicknamed it “The Chicken from Hell”.

As reported in the article, “One Scary Chicken—New species of large, feathered dinosaur discovered“, on Smithsonian Science, the name is taken in part from the name of a feathered demon from ancient Mesopotamian myths. The beast was about 5 feet tall at the hips and 11 feet long.

The new find is here brought to life by noted paleo artist Robert F. Walters, who I have profiled before. Walters and his partner, Tess Kissinger, created the dramatically large mural of the Hell Creek Formation at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and are well versed in the visual reconstruction of animals from this period.

 
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2 thoughts on “Paleo artist shows us new feathered dinosaur species, “The Chicken from Hell”

  1. sepia

    Walters’ illustration is very good. I note something on that picture of the Anzu wyliei that I saw in nearly every dinosaurs art: the fleshy junction between the upper and lower jaw. Does it has a scientific basis and what is it called?

  2. Charley Parker Post author

    I contacted the artist, who was kind enough to respond with the following:

    “It is caused by 2 overlapping muscles that criss-cross each other. One called the temporalis originates inside the post-orbital fenestra, and the pterygoidius originating off the top of the palate inside the pre-orbital fenestra. Fenestra are openings in the skull. There are no comparable human terms.”

    For my part, I’ll point out that you see a similar structure on modern crocodilians: http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/nile-crocodile-tony-beck.jpg

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