Fossil remains of a “flying dragon” have been found by a scientist in Chile.
First published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, scientists at the University of Chile further investigated Osvaldo Rojas’ discovery.
Rojas is the director of the Atacama Desert Museum of Natural History and Culture.
The scientists determined that the flying reptile was part of a group of early pterosaurs that lived 160 million years ago. It possessed a long, pointed tail, wings, and sharp teeth that pointed outward.
The remains were found in the Atacama Desert, in the town of Cerritos Bayos, in 2009.
The Atacama desert hasn’t seen rain in decades despite being submerged under the Pacific Ocean and is a prime, untapped location for fossil discoveries. Jhonatan Alarcon, a scientist at the University of Chile who led the investigation said, “This shows the distribution of the animals in this group was wider than what was known up to now.
”There are pterosaurs of this group also in Cuba, which apparently were coastal animals, so most likely they have migrated between the North and the South or maybe they came once and stayed, we don’t know,” he continued.
Further investigation revealed that the animal was part of the Rhamphorhynchinae subfamily and lived during the Jurassic period.
Fossils of this creature have previously been found in North America. The uncovering of these fossils in South America could indicate a migration pattern as this creature lived during a time when the earth’s southern landmasses were connected to create the supercontinent, Gondwana.