Scientists discovered a new species of pterosaur, the plane-sized reptiles that lorded over primeval skies above T-rex, Triceratops and other dinosaurs of the late Cretaceous.
With a wingspan of 10m and weighing 250 kg, Cryodrakon boreas rivals another pterosaur as the largest flying animal of all time, researchers reported in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Like other winged reptiles living at the same time, about 77 million years ago in what is Western Canada today. C. boreas was carnivorous and probably fed on lizards, small mammals and even baby dinosaurs.
Despite a likely capacity to cross large bodies of water, the location of fossil remains and the animal’s features point to an inland habitat. There are more than 100 known species of pterosaurs.
Despite their large size and wide distribution – across North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe – only fragmentary remains have been unearthed, making the new find especially important.