Could this be the origin of the dragon myth? Australia finds fossil with wingspan of a bus
Good news for the die-hard fans of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter: Their beloved fantastical worlds can feel a little more real with the discovery of scientific evidence that a dragon-like large flying reptile lived in what is now Australia, over 150 million years ago.
Researchers at the University of Queensland have studied a pterosaur fossil discovered in the area in 2011 and identified it as likely belonging to the largest flying reptile that ever roamed our planet.
"It was essentially just a skull with a long neck, bolted on a pair of long wings, that would've been seven meters wingspan, something like that," PHD candidate and research team leader Tim Richards told Reuters.
"So this thing would have been quite savage to look at, you know, flying above you. It would have cast a great shadow over some quivering little dinosaurs somewhere."
The flying reptile would have had a wingspan of around seven meters, a head over a meter long and 40 sharp teeth – suggesting the dragon-like dinosaur was probably a carnivore.
The pterosaur fossil is a unique find and marks the discovery of a new species, which the researchers have called Thapunngaka shawi, after the now extinct language of the Wanamara Nation in Queensland.