An ancient flying reptile, one of the most massive pterosaurs ever known, dominated Canadian skies about 77 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period. Researchers unearthed the fossils of this reptile about 30 years ago. Back then, the scientists cataloged the pterosaur as belonging to an already known species.
However, the ancient flying reptile named Cryodrakon Boreas (frozen dragon of the north wind) represents a whole new species. The study on this pterosaur was released in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The Cryodrakon Boreas fossilized skeleton, comprising of legs, neck, wings, and one rib, belongs to a young specimen of the ancient flying reptile.
“The specimens collected from the Dinosaur Park Formation can be assigned to a new genus and species Cryodrakon Boreas. The largest elements referable to this taxon suggest that this genus reached sizes comparable to those of other giant azhdarchids,” wrote the researchers in the abstract of the study issued in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
New Ancient Flying Reptile Species That Dominated Canadian Skies Found By Scientists
Cryodrakon Boreas pterosaurs were carnivores, according to researchers, and they used to hunt lizards, small mammals, and even other dinosaurs. This ancient flying reptile species lived in Western Canada during the Cretaceous Period and would have weighed 250 kilograms, reaching 10-meter wide in full wingspan.
The researchers from the Queen Mary University of London, the University of Southern California and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology took part in the study on the fossilized ancient flying reptile skeleton. The fossils were found at the Dinosaur Provincial Park, east of Calgary.
The researchers don’t know more about this Canadian pterosaur, known as Cryodrakon Boreas, not even its color. However, an artistic impression made by David Maas of the ancient flying reptile reveals the pterosaur in white and red, as a suggestion to the Canadian flag since the specimen was found in Canada.