Flying reptiles once dominated the skies in North America, reveal new fossils - BGR

If you go back in time to a time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, you would have many things to fear. The dinosaurs that reigned on the land were often gigantic and the oceans were dominated by equally formidable creatures. The sky had its own share of impressive animals, and newly discovered fossils help mark this point dramatically.

A new study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology describes a former airborne. reptile so huge that it would compete with some small planes today. The species, named Cryodrakan boreas means "Frozen Dragon of the North", just to give you an idea of ​​the kind of creature we are talking about.

Determining the existence of this new species was made possible by a partial skeleton discovered in Alberta, Canada, in a region well known to fossil hunters. Scientists can often work with only a few bones to draw a larger creature, but the bone wealth left by this particular specimen has helped the research team to paint a much more vivid picture of the scale these reptiles could achieve. flying.

"This type of pterosaur (azhdarchids) is quite rare and most specimens are just bone," said Michael Habib, co-author of the study, in a statement . "Our new species is represented by a partial skeleton. This tells us a lot about the anatomy of these great leaflets, their flight and their way of life. "

As the study explains, the new species belongs to a group of animals known for their incredible size. Some of these creatures could weigh up to 500 pounds and deploy their wings at about thirty meters, which corresponds to the same stage as the modern light aircraft.

These creatures would have projected rather impressive shadows on all that they hunted the discovery of such animals helps the researchers to better understand the characteristics of the flight of the animals, as well as the potential limits.

This article appeared first (in English) on BGR