26 foot long 1 ton dinosaur chicken

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26 foot long 1 ton dinosaur chicken

Is this the ulitmate in KFC? It took 7 years for this 1 ton, 16 foot tall dinosaur chicken to grow to maturity. What would he eat when alive? Anything he damn well felt like :)

Xu Xing, a Chinese paleontologist, puzzled over the thigh bone of a monstrous new dinosaur he and his partners had discovered in the rich fossil beds of the Gobi desert.

The bone was so big, he said in an e-mail to The Chronicle, that he thought he and his colleagues had merely found another of those familiar plant-eating, long-necked, semi-aquatic creatures called sauropods, well known in the evolutionary past of the dinosaur world.

Then he thought the bone most likely came from a tyrannosaur -- perhaps the voracious and towering T. rex, the prime predator of fright movies.

But no, it wasn't T. rex at all; it was a fossil from the largest bird-like creature ever seen, Xu said.

More than 26 feet long and 16-1/2 feet tall, it was a young adult that must have weighed at least a ton and half when it was alive more than 70-million years ago, he said. It thrived in the late Cretaceous period only a few million years before all the dinosaurs on Earth became extinct.

... Quote:
When I went back to my geologist colleague Lin Tan's lab to check the skeleton, I was shocked, I said to Tan, 'it is not a sauropod, it is not a tyrannosaurus, it is a tyrannosaurus-sized oviraptor. We have a gigantic chicken!


And that's the report the journal Nature is publishing today: the discovery of a creature Xu's team has named Gigantoraptor erlianensis, a giant bird-like dinosaur from the Gobi's Erlian basin, long known to science for its famous fossils and to prospectors for its vast oil reserves.

From the fossil record, the world's leading paleontologists are now sure that all modern birds are descended from the dinosaurs; in fact the scientists often term birds "modern dinosaurs."

And paleontologists, studying the fossils marking the evolution of birds during the age of dinosaurs, have observed that as the bird-like dinosaurs approached birdness, they seem to have evolved into smaller and smaller types.

So what's an enormous beast like Gigantoraptor doing among the avian world's ancestors?

The details in the report by Xu and Tan are fascinating: "Growth lines" in one bone showed that the creature grew to adult size in only seven years -- faster than most other two-footed, meat-eating dinosaurs and "probably died in the eleventh year of life."

The animal had no teeth in its bird-like beak so its diet is a mystery, Xu said, because it had the relatively small head and long neck typical of plant-eaters, and the sharp claws of many meat-eaters.

And while the fossil-hunters found no evidence of feathers -- as many dinosaur species show -- the beast could well have had feathered arms and feathers on its tail, most likely for sexual display.

Finally, although most two-footed dinosaurs had stout legs to carry their weight, and short arms, Gigantoraptor's legs were relatively long and slender, and its arms were unusually long -- "more bird-like than its small relatives in many features," Xu said.

"But what kind of environment on Earth was this animal adapted to?" he wondered. "It's off the charts, and with no teeth what did it eat? Did it use those long legs to escape from predators? It's clearly a pre-flight bird, but no one would have predicted its evolution, so the door seems open to a new way of living for a new kind of dinosaur."

 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-b...

Actually it looks like a cross dressing dinosaur....

dino-chicken.jpg - 75.76kb
By netchicken: posted on 14-6-2007

The drumstick to die for!

mn_dinosaur14_ph3.jpg - 65.72kb
By netchicken: posted on 14-6-2007








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