Some people may be fascinated by dragons and the best way to trace their origins is through fossils. Over in Australia, it appears researchers have unearthed a savage creature that is believed to be the country’s largest flying reptile.

The remains of the creature referred to as pterosaur was allegedly a dragon that had a spear-like mouth. Aside from that, it also had a 7-meter wingspan.

It also had a skull that was allegedly one meter long and had around 40 teeth. This was the reason why researchers believe that it soared above an ancient inland sea and would pick on fish or smaller dinosaurs that inhabited Queensland’s no-longer-existent Eromanga Sea.

Leading the University of Queensland research team was Ph.D. candidate Tim Richards. The group analyzed the fossil of the creature’s jaw. The remains were discovered at the Wanamara Country, near Richmond in North West Queensland.

Richards says that the pterosaur is the closet that they have right now to a real-life dragon.

“The new pterosaur, which we named Thapunngaka shawi, would have been a fearsome beast, with a spear-like mouth and a wingspan around seven meters,” he stated. “It was essentially just a skull with a long neck, bolted on a pair of long wings. This thing would have been quite savage.”

The fact that it was able to fly would raise questions on its origins. Richards explains that the pterosaur is nothing like a bird or a bat.

“Though, to be clear, it was nothing like a bird, or even a bat – Pterosaurs were a successful and diverse group of reptiles – the very first back-boned animals to take a stab at powered flight,” Richards explained.

The species belonged to a group of pterosaurs known as anhanguerians. They allegedly inhabited every continent particularly during the latter part of the Age of Dinosaurs.

Pterosaurs allegedly had thin-walled and narrow bones, meaning they were rare and poorly preserved. Hence, Richards was pretty surprised they were able to find some that still existed.

“By world standards, the Australian pterosaur record is poor, but the discovery of Thapunngaka contributes greatly to our understanding of Australian pterosaur diversity,” he stated.

It is only the third species of anhanguerian pterosaur known from Australia, with all three species hailing from western Queensland.

Represenatation image: fossils
Represenatation image: fossils Photo by Asher Legg on Unsplash

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.