‘Dragon of Death’: This scary flying dinosaur comes, and boom you’re dead

Yep they were flying too! If you were to magically be transported to Earth millions of years ago, half your time was likely to be (not) wasted in running away from dinosaurs that roamed the land. Think you’d go to an island and live your days? You’ll have to tackle dinosaurs in the water. And wherever you went under the sun, you were likely to be spotted by flying dinosaurs from the sky.

The ‘dragon of death’ was perhaps the most fearsome member of the dino-air force. This flying reptile or pterosaur’s body alone was the size of a school bus. And when it spread its wing fully in front of you, the 30 feet span was just perhaps not unfurled to give you a warm hug.

This ‘dragon of death’ has been discovered in Argentina. It’s a new species. This killing machine lived 86 million years ago

Researchers say it predated birds as among the first creatures on Earth to use wings to hunt their prey from prehistoric skies.

The team of paleontologists discovered the fossils of the newly coined Thanatosdrakon amaru in the Andes mountains in Argentina’s western Mendoza province. They found that the rocks preserving the reptile’s remains dated back 86 million years to the Cretaceous period.

The estimated date means these fearsome flying reptiles lived at least some 20 million years before an asteroid impact on what is now Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula wiped out about three-quarters of life on the planet about 66 millions years ago.

Project leader Leonardo Ortiz said in an interview over the weekend that the fossil’s never-before-seen characteristics required a new genus and species name, with the latter combining Greek words for death (thanatos) and dragon (drakon).

“It seemed appropriate to name it that way,” said Ortiz. “It’s the dragon of death.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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