Recent finds in 66-to-68-million-year-old rocks in the Dakotas have revealed the existence of an extraordinary creature dubbed the Chicken from Hell. Attaining a length of 11 feet and a weight of 500 pounds, this dinosaur, now named Anzu wyliei, has a bird-like beak and a tall crest on its head. Its long arms extend into fingers with huge claws, and its tail supports a fan of feathers. Anzu wyliei, along with the fearsome predator Tyrannosaurus and the large-horned Triceratops—arguably the two best-known dinosaurs—were some of the last American dinosaurs.
Hans Sues, paleontologist at the Natural History Museum and one of the discoverers of Anzu, discusses these and other dinosaur finds from the Hell Creek Formation, the succession of fossil-bearing sedimentary rock that covers much of eastern Montana and adjoining regions of North and South Dakota, and which dates just prior to the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago.
Sues talks about the Chicken from Hell, Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, and a variety of other, mostly smaller dinosaurs, many of which are still not widely known. Find out about the new discoveries that are beginning to shed light on these animals and what science is revealing about their lives and times.