State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Hell’s Chicken

The dinosaur Anzu wyliei. Illustration: Mark Klingler/Carnegie Museum of Natural History
The dinosaur Anzu wyliei. Illustration: Mark Klingler/Carnegie Museum of Natural History

From our great, wild west, those rusty, dusty hills,
Bones of a beast who would give a cowboy chills.
A fierce-looking crest – a mohawk made of bone!
Claws, beak, bony tail, locked within hard stone.
Heavy as a tiger, scary yet absurd;
Anzu, feathered giant: a dino, not-quite-bird.
Mysterious, its habits – egg-eaters? A chance.
But this terrifying creature may have also eaten plants.
We piece together dreams of the verdant late Cretaceous,
Shards, broken clues from the patient and tenacious.
How I wish I could’ve seen this dinosaur humungous;
I guess I’ll have to settle for their relatives among us!


chickens free ranging © Wikipedia:NVO
© Wikipedia:NVO

A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America, PLoS One, 3/19/14

Dinosaur dubbed ‘chicken from hell’ was armed and dangerous, The Guardian, 3/19/14

National Geographic, 3/19/14

Huffington Post, 3/19/14

This is one in a series of poems based on science news, written by Katherine Allen, a researcher in geochemistry and paleoclimate at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. You can read more on Allen’s website.

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Wardrobe Fitters Doncaster
10 years ago

Got to admit, they do look a like dont they.

10 years ago

They are ugly for sure 🙂

10 years ago

pretty scientific poem thanks , and yes they are ugly indeed. 🙂

10 years ago

Very nice poem lol I prefer the Chicken because I am bigger 🙂

6 years ago

Always imagined they would look more like they do on Jurassic park.

Painters Decorators London
6 years ago

Will show these to my son, he loves dinasours!