Cryodrakon Boreas

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Context: Scientists unveiled 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.

Relevance: 
Prelims: Current events of national and international importance. 

Introduction: 

  • With a wingspan of 10 m 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.
  • Its remains were first discovered more than 30 years ago in Alberta, Canada, yet elicited scant excitement because of the misclassification.
  • But a closer look at the fossil remains of a juvenile and the intact giant neck bone of a full-grown specimen left no doubt that a new species had been discovered.
  • Like other winged reptiles living at the same time, about 77 million years ago, 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.



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