120-Million-Year-Old ‘Dragon’ Discovered

Paleontologists in northeast China have discovered a wildly snaggle-toothed skull that belonged to a previously unknown, 120-million-year-old flying reptile.

Named Guidraco venator, which is Chinese and Latin for “ghost dragon hunter,” the meat-eating pterosaur had a wingspan of between 13 and 16 feet. The basket of pointy teeth at the end of its foot-long skull probably helped it catch fish, and a round sail on its head may have stabilized flight.

Pterosaurs were highly successful reptiles (not dinosaurs, as they’re commonly mislabeled) that lived between 210 and 65 million years ago. Although insects took to air first, pterosaurs are recognized as the first flying vertebrates. Learn more here.

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