'Giant chicken with teeth' dinosaur fossil discovered in China

Updated 2017-05-05 09:31:30 chinaplus.cri.cn

A team of Chinese and Canadian researchers have discovered a new species of troodontid, a dinosaur species which had feathers.

In a paper published in the respected journal Nature Communications, the palaeontologists describe the dinosaur as a giant chicken with teeth.

They also say they believe the species is far older than the specimen they found.

The fossil is of a new kind of troodontid dinosaur, Jianianhualong tengi genus et species nova, from the Lower Cretaceous period, between 146 and 100 million years ago.

It was found in the Yixian Formation of Baicai Gou, Yixian County, northeast China's western Liaoning province.

It measures about one meter (3.3ft) long and is well-preserved, and it's believed it lived in a temperate environment.

The researchers say it had asymmetric tail feathers, which means it could have been able to fly, making it one of the earliest ancestors of birds.

The find is being seen being of great significance in reconstructing both the skeletal and internal evolution of troodontids, and bird-like dinosaurs, or paravians, in general.

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