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Cryodrakon Boreas: A giant flying reptile, newly identified

Artist’s impression of the reptile. (Source: David Maas/QMUL)

Paleontologists have identified a new species, named it Cryodrakon boreas, and declared that it could be one of the largest flying animals. With a wingspan of over 10 metres, it is believed to have flown over the heads of dinosaurs. The reptile lived over 77 million years ago in what is western Canada today.

Its remains were, in fact, discovered 30 years ago from the Dinosaur Park Formation located in Alberta. Then, paleontologists had assumed that it belonged to an already known species of pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus. A new study by reseachers from the Queen Mary University of London, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, has concluded that the remains belong to a new species, which is also the first pterosaur to be discovered in Canada. The remains included a skeleton consisting of parts of the wings, legs, neck and a rib.

The researchers came to the conclusion after analysing the remains ago as well as additional, undocumented material that was uncovered over the years.

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