Anzu

Name: Anzu ‭(‬named after mythical creature that appears in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology‭)‬.
Phonetic: An-zoo.
Named By: M.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Lamanna,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Sues,‭ ‬E.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Schachner‭ & ‬T.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Lyson‭ ‬-‭ ‬2014.‭
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Oviraptorosauria,‭ ‬Caenagnathidae,‭ ‬Caenagnathinae.
Species: A.‭ ‬wyliei‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Possible omnivore,‭ ‬but uncertain.
Size: Up to‭ ‬1.5‭ ‬meters high at the hips.
Known locations: USA,‭ ‬Montana,‭ ‬North Dakota and South Dakota‭ (‬all Hell Creek Formation‭)‬.
Time period: Late Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull and post cranial remains.

       The scattered fossils of Anzu were first being found as far back as‭ ‬1998,‭ ‬and in time four individual discoveries were pieced together to form one oviraptorid.‭ ‬Anzu now has a enough fossils to reveal the skull as well as around seventy-five/eighty per cent of the total post cranial skeleton.‭ ‬This has now revealed Anzu to have been an oviraptorid that measured at least one and a half meters high at the hips,‭ ‬making it the largest known oviraptorid on the North American continent.
       Anzu is known to have had a fairly large rounded crest on top of its skull,‭ ‬a feature that was likely for display purposes.‭ ‬one of the‭ ‬most interesting things about Anzu is that‭ ‬the remains were found scattered across a flood plain,‭ ‬indicating that Anzu may have lived in a lowland flood plain environment.‭ ‬This is substantially different to what we currently know about the Asian oviraptorids which are known only from semi-arid environments.
       Because the holotype remains were recovered from the Hell Creek Formation,‭ ‬Anzu was popularly dubbed the‭ ‘‬chicken from hell‭’ ‬in popular media.‭ ‬However that name chicken from hell did not translate well into Ancient Greek or Latin‭ (‬the two most commonly used ancient languages when naming animals‭)‬,‭ ‬and so the decision was made to name it Anzu.
       Sometimes known as Imdugud,‭ ‬Anzu was a creature in the mythologies of ancient Sumeria and Akkadia that could be depicted as either a great bird or a griffin-like creature.‭ ‬Anzu was a servant to the sky god Enlil,‭ ‬though when Anzu desired to learn about the future of all things he stole the tablets of destiny.‭ ‬Anzu was subsequently killed when the tablets were retrieved,‭ ‬but by whom depends upon the version of the stories,‭ ‬with credits for the deed going to Lugalbanda,‭ ‬Ninurta and Marduk at different times.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America.‭ ‬-‭ ‬PLoS ONE‭ ‬9‭ (‬3‭)‬:‭ ‬e92022.‭ ‬-‭ ‬M.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Lamanna,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Sues,‭ ‬E.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Schachner‭ & ‬T.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Lyson‭ ‬-‭ ‬2014.‭



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