A team of paleontologists have discovered the fossilized remains of a new species of airborne reptile in the Andes Mountains of western Argentina. Dubbed the “Dragon of Death” by its discoverers, this enormous member of the pterosaur family is the largest pterosaur known to have existed in South America in the Cretaceous Period, or, indeed, at any time in the region’s history.
The fossilized bones that allowed this species to be identified for the first time were found in the Argentinian province of Mendoza, which is located along the western coast of Argentina in the country’s mountainous Cuyo region. The recovered bones of the largest pterosaur included several vertebrae and assorted bones of the fore and hind limbs, which were determined to have come from two separate creatures.
At full size these incredible flying reptiles would have had a wingspan that measured 30 feet (nine meters) across, and their bodies would have been a similar length from end to end. In flight it would have been a fearsome sight, soaring high in the sky and blocking out the sun while scanning the ground below for prey to swoop down on and seize.