what prehistoric reptile was discovered in Argentina




A team of paleontologists discovered the remains in Argentina's Andes Mountains in 2012

A team of paleontologists discovered the remains in Argentina’s Andes Mountains in 2012

Photo: Reuters / BBC News Brazil

Fossilized remains of a giant flying reptile — the size of a bus — have been discovered in Argentina.

The Death Dragon, as scientists dubbed the new species, hunted prey about 86 million years ago.

When outstretched, its wings measured nine meters from end to end. The size of the predator is “terrifying”, Leonardo Ortiz, the scientist behind the discovery, told the BBC.

“This species was similar in height to a giraffe,” says Ortiz, with a wingspan that “defies the limits of our biological understanding.”

Its remains have been preserved in rocks in the Andes Mountains for 86 million years, meaning the flying creature lived in the same period as dinosaurs.



Newly identified pterosaur fossils were buried in rocks 86 million years ago

Newly identified pterosaur fossils were buried in rocks 86 million years ago

Photo: Reuters / BBC News Brazil

Ortiz was one of the paleontologists who originally discovered the reptile’s fossils during an excavation in Argentina in 2012.

He chose the species name — Thanatosdrakon amaru — because it combined the Greek words for “death” and “dragon.”

“It seemed appropriate to name it that way,” Professor Ortiz said in a previous interview. “He IS the dragon of death.”

The reptile is believed to be one of the first predators to use its wings to hunt prey — soaring through the prehistoric skies of Earth before the evolution of birds.

Despite this, Ortiz told the BBC the animal probably spent most of its time on the ground.

Details of the creature’s prehistoric lifestyle are scarce, but the fact that a pair of different-sized specimens were discovered together is evidence that the predator lived in groups.

The reptile lived about 20 million years before an asteroid hit Earth in a catastrophic extinction event, wiping out three-quarters of animal and plant life and marking the end of the Cretaceous Period.

In 2017, fossils belonging to an even older pterosaur, dating to 170 million years ago in the Jurassic period, were discovered on the Scottish island of Skye with an estimated wingspan of 2.5 meters.

About Raju Singh

Raju has an exquisite taste. For him, video games are more than entertainment and he likes to discuss forms and art.

Check Also

Samsung starts its own production of 3nm chips; what does that mean?

Home › Technology > Samsung starts its own production of 3nm chips; what …