Fossil scientists find 'frozen dragon' pterosaur in Canada

Last updated at 07:30
Illustration of new species of pterosaurDavid Maas
A new species of pterosaur called Cryodrakon boreas has been found - its head is 3.5 the size of its body

Fossil scientists have found a new type of pterosaur, nicknamed "frozen dragon", in an area of Canada in Alberta.

The bones of these creatures were found nearly 30 years ago, but researchers in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology have now officially confirmed that it is a new type of pterosaur called Cryodraken boreas.

The new dinosaur's head is believed to be 3.5 times the size of its body!

They have been described as the "frozen dragon of the north winds". If that's not a great name, we don't know what is!

This is because it was found in the icy areas of Alberta and its wings could grow up to a wingspan of 33 feet. That's taller than a Giraffe! It also has a long head and neck which took up most of its body.

However, a fossil scientist, Mike Habib, from the University of Southern California says that the pterosaur would have been flying around in a landscape that was "a lot warmer than central Alberta is now."

pterosaur flying above landscape with Canadian flag on itDavis Maas
The new pterosaur had a wingspan that could grow up to 33 feet
What is a pterosaur?

Pterosaurs were flying reptiles that lived around 76 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

There are over 200 different pterosaur species and the most popular one, that you may be familiar with, were called pterodactyls.

They were thought to have had long, leather-like, pointy bodies with enormous wings that covered the skies whilst they clumsily flew over other dinosaurs.

Illustration of pterosaur flying over landscapeGetty Images
There are over 200 species of pterosaur

Experts have described pterosaurs as the "biggest, meanest, and most bizarre animals that ever flew."