New fossil discoveries show that giant dragons flew around the Earth with the dinosaurs 86 million years ago.
Scientists in Argentina have discovered a new species of flying reptile that has long been a school bus known as the ‘Dragon of Death’.
A study was published online in April detailing the findings in Limestone Research Scientific Journal.
a Reconstruction of a pterosaur – and accompanying photos on social media – on display in Mendoza, ArgentinaRecently, attention has been drawn to this research. Pterosaurs, also known as Thanatosdracon amaru, are believed to have preceded birds as the first creatures to have wings to hunt their prey. “Dragon of death” is a combination of the Greek words for death (Thanatos) and dragon (Dracun).
“Tahanatosdracon nevertheless exhibits distinct characteristics that allow us to distinguish it from other known pterosaurs,” project leader Leonardo Ortiz told USA TODAY. “Basically, these characteristics are found in the spine and limbs. This allows us to create new types of pterosaurs.”
Biggest Raptor ever? ‘Shadow of death’ dinosaur fossil found in Argentina
A team of paleontologists found fossils in the Andes Mountains in Argentina’s western Mendoza Province, noting that the rocks preserved the remains of reptiles dating back 86 million years to the Cretaceous period, according to the study. This happened 20 million years ago, before an asteroid impact wiped out three-quarters of life on Earth.
The team also classified the pterosaur fossil as the largest fossil found in South America and one of the largest in the world.
Although scientists have placed pterosaurs in the same category as birds because of their ability to fly, It is difficult to classify them because they are cold-blooded predators. They had no competitors in the sky, so pterosaurs are believed to have ruled over all continents and evolved into various shapes and sizes.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Argentine discovery of fossil bird reptile “dragon of death”