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Re: another dumb question: Terror Birds are not dinosaurs?

what would tip you off that this thing was closer to a
chicken than to an oviraptor? The shortness of the tail?

Yes, among a long list of other things, such as (off the top of my head) the extremely long sacrum, the modified wing, the makeup of the palate, the way the neck vertebrae articulate with each other, the number of neck and back vertebrae, the bone fusions in the ankle, the proportions of the leg, the greatly reduced fibula (one of the two bones in the lower leg), the mobile upper jaw (which is connected to several easily visible features of the skull, such as the number of separate holes in it), and the general lack of oviraptorosaur peculiarities. :-)