A new dinosaur has been named, and it also comes from the North! Cryodrakon boreas, translating roughly to “frozen dragon of the north wind” is a new species of azhdarchid pterosaur whose bones have been reportedly unearthed since 1972 in the province of Alberta. In 1992, a partial skeleton was found in Dinosaur Provincial Park. This marked some of the first pterosaur bones found in Canada, bones that date back to the Cretaceous period around 76 million years ago. Although it was believed to be part of the species Quetzalcoatlus, research by Michael Habib showed that these bones belonged to a different taxon, which meant that the creature was unique.
Just last week in their published article, David Hone, Michael Habib and Francois Therrien gave this creature a name: Cryodrakon boreas. The “cryo” is derived from the Greek word kryos for “icy cold” and drakon for “dragon”, and the specific name is Boreas to represent the north wind. This is pretty awesome, because it’s how we derived the name for our business CryoDragon as well! And now… it’s real!!!
So what is Cryodrakon boreas? It’s a pterodactyl that was the size of a small plane. It has a wingspan of up to 33 feet, and therefore one of the largest flying animals in Earth’s history! Using the bones found from a single bird, they were able to predict how Cryodrakon might have looked, believing it to be a muscular ground hunter that used its gift of flight to quickly escape danger or attack prey. In fact, this type of pterodactyl was one of the largest of its kind, and likely even more heavier and robust than its competitors of similar size.
Although the name of this pterodactyl drew inspiration from Game of Thrones’ frozen, zombie dragon Viserion, we are stoked that we now have a real “CryoDragon” to refer to in the future. Even better, both CryoDragon and Cryodrakon are Canadian!