Every day new evidence of how our planet looked like millions of years ago is being revealed. From new species of T-Rex dinosaurs to marine creatures that roamed the ancient oceans.
This time scientists identified what appears to be a species of a dinosaur with feathers, as tall as a human being, that lived in the North America regions 66 million years ago. The new dinosaur bird species had a crest like a hen and long ostrich-like legs with sharp legs and powerful jaws used for crashing and eating eggs and other prey.
Paleontologists named the dinosaur bird Anzu wyliei and believe that this dinosaur weighed between 440 and 660 pounds (about 300 kg). The bird dinosaur belongs to the family of “egg-thief” dinosaurs, the Oviraptorosaurs, which are close related to modern birds.
The first skeletal pieces of this new dinosaur bird species were discovered 10 years ago in North and South Dakota, in a place called the Hell Creek rock formation. Many other fossils have been found in this specific area, like species of Triceratops and Tyrannosaurs.
The Anzu bird dinosaurs are believed to have existed between 66 and 68 million years ago which is pretty close to the end of the dinosaur era, wiped out by an asteroid, supposedly 65 million years ago.
The fossils revealed new details on a new branch of Oviraptorosaurs called caenagnathids which were discovered 100 years ago and were of many sizes, from turkey-sized dinosaurs to 1.5 tons giant Gigantoraptor.
New Dinosaur Bird Species identified – further details
The Anzu dinosaur species is more similar to the Oviraptoroids, found in China and Mongolia. The differences between the 2 species being the jaws – the fossils found in Mongolia reveal a short and deep jaw and the North American species have longer jaws that look more like a beak.