Imagine a winged dinosaur the size of a school bus casting a massive shadow over you as it swoops down to earth. Fossils of such a beast dubbed ‘the dragon of death’, have been unearthed by scientists. A study published online detailed the findings in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research. A reconstruction of the Pterosaur (the dragon of death)-and accompanying images on social media-displayed in Mendoza, Argentina, recently drew attention to the study.
Hermosa reconstrucción del pterosaurio Thanatosdrakon amaru hallado en Mendoza, Argentina, y estudiado por Leonardo Ortiz David. pic.twitter.com/0rRYXnVP9f— Federico Kukso (@fedkukso) May 23, 2022
Location, Age, And Size
A team of paleontologists found the fossils in the Andes mountains of Argentina’s western Mendoza province, noting that the rocks preserved the reptile’s remains dating back 86 million years to the Cretaceous period, according to the study. That’s 20 million years before an asteroid impact wiped out dinosaurs and three-quarters of life on Earth. The creature had a huge wingspan, measuring up to about 30-feet long.
‘Dragon of death’ is a catchy alias stemming from the newly discovered creature’s official scientific name: Thanatosdrakon Amaru. The name is a combination of the ancient Greek words for death (thanatos) and dragon (drakon).
Once It Ruled All Over The Continents
Though scientists have put pterosaurs in the same category as birds because of their ability to fly, they’re difficult to classify because they were cold-blooded predators. They had no rivals in the sky, so pterosaurs are believed to have ruled over all of the continents and evolved into various shapes and sizes.