Imagine a winged dinosaur the size of a school bus casting a massive shadow over you as it swoops down to earth. Fossils of such a beast, dubbed the “dragon of death,” have been unearthed by scientists in the Andes mountains region of Argentina, according to a report by Reuters.
The ancient flying reptiles roamed the skies 86 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, at around the same time as dinosaurs. The creature had a huge wingspan, measuring up to about 30 feet long.
This new species is now one of the largest flying reptiles discovered worldwide, and the largest found in South America.
“Dragon of death” is a catchy moniker stemming from the newly discovered creature’s official scientific name: Thanatosdrakon amaru. The name is a combination of the ancient Greek words for death (thanatos) and dragon (drakon).
“It seemed appropriate to name it that way,” project leader Leonardo Ortiz told Reuters. “It’s the dragon of death.”
The research was published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research in April.