Okay, it wasn’t exactly a dragon. But it was very much like him. It is a pterosaur with a wingspan of seven meters. It flew over the vast inland sea that once covered much of the interior of Queensland, Australia. So let’s say yes. It is the “kite” that flew over Australia.
Tim Richards of the University of Queensland’s Dinosaur Laboratory led the research. They analyzed a fossil from the jaw from this Cretaceous period.
“It’s the closest thing we got to a real dragon.” The sentence comes from Richards in a statement. “We call the new pterosaur Thapunngaka Shawi. It would have been a fearsome animal with a spear-shaped mouth. A skull with a long neck screwed onto a pair of long wings. That thing would have been pretty wild.
The skull alone would have been a little over three feet long. And about 40 teeth. Very suitable for catching the large predatory fish that live there.
Reptiles, not birds
“Pterosaurs could fly. But they were nothing like birds, not even bats, “he said.” They were a diverse and successful group of reptiles. The first backbone animals to try to fly with a motor. “They had thin-walled and relatively hollow bones. As a result, their fossilized remains are rare and often poorly preserved.
“It’s pretty surprising that there are fossils of these animals,” said Richards. “The discovery of Thapunngaka is a great surprise. It broadens our understanding of the diversity of Australian pterosaurs.
The fossil was found in a quarry northwest of Richmond in June 2011. Its name honors the indigenous people of the Richmond area where the fossil was found. The “dragon” that flew over Australia can be seen in the Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond.