New Dragonlike Species of Dinosaur Discovered in Australia

The fossil of a massive pterosaur found a decade ago in the Australian outback has been confirmed as a previously unknown species of dinosaur. The creature—with an estimated seven-meter wingspan and “40 razor-sharp teeth”—is being compared to a dragon. To explain the size, Tim Richards (a researcher at the University of Queensland) says to picture a wingspan only slightly smaller than a hang-glider. “It would have been a fearsome sight,” he says. “From its morphology, it’s mostly likely adapted for a carnivorous lifestyle. Its teeth were probably designed more for holding on to slippery fish.” It has been named Thapunngaka shawi, “a combination of the Wanamara nation words for ‘spear’ and ‘mouth,’ and the surname of the person who discovered the fossil.” Believed to have lived 105 million years ago, it’s the biggest flying reptile to have existed on the continent. Read more at The Guardian.

Image courtesy of University of Queensland