Fossils of a winged reptile which dominated the skies some 120 million years ago have been found in north east china. The creature bears striking similarity with the aerial creature ‘Ikran’ in James Cameroon’s movie ‘Avatar’.
The new the new pterosaur has been named Ikrandraco avatar and was found in Liaoning Province by a team led by vertebrate paleontologist Wang Xiaolin.
The Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) issued a statement on Friday detailing the discovery.
After studying the fossil, Wang and his team concluded that the new species had an elongated skull and a blade like bulge of bone on the lower jaw. Its teeth were sharp and resembled the “Ikran” in the sci-fi blockbuster Avatar. The dinosaur also had a pouch like throat resembling a pelican. The latest fossil hints that the winged dinosaur had a 1.5 meter wingspan.
The Ikran character in the sci-fi flick was fashioned upon the largest known pterosaur with a wingspan of up to 12 meters. The pterosaurs were related to dinosaurs and lived between 225 million and 65 million years ago.
Wang further described the winged creature as having sharp; semi-circular mandible could reduce air resistance. The skull features of the creature are something which is unknown among the pterosaur species. The creature is believed to fly close to the water surface with its jaw crest cutting through the water when hunting. The throat poach could be a store for keeping its prey.