Still No Smurf Cats, Thankfully

I'm not the biggest fan of James Cameron, but when art inspires science and science inspires art, I rarely have any complaints. In this instance, it's the former. Yesterday, Chinese paleontologists led by Xiaolin Wang of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, announced a newly discovered pterosaur, which they've named in honour of Cameron's 2009 film, Avatar.

The 120 million year old creature - which, I will once again clarify was not a dinosaur - has been called Ikrandraco avatar, meaning "Ikran dragon from Avatar." The name was suggested due to the similarities in cranial structure between the pelican-like fresh water predator, and the blue dragon creatures ridden by the films Na'vi. Unlike most pterosaurs, which have a pronounced crest on the top of their heads (an aerodynamic evolutionary advantage), the Ikran had a hook-like growth under the jaw, which Wang's team believe indicates the presence of a pouch, as well as boasting an 8 foot wing span. The discovery, based off studies of two separate specimens, were uncovered in China's Liaoning province.

Via Reuters.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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