The species was identified from fossils collected by paleontologists and local residents over several decades in Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park.
The creature, called Cryodrakon boreas or Frozen Dragon of the North Winds, is similar to the largest known pterosaurs, and is among "the most popular and charismatic of all fossil animals", according to Michael Habib, assistant professor of Integrative Anatomical Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC) and research associate at the Dinosaur Institute of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
The neck bones of the newly named species are shorter and wider than those of its closest relatives.
"It's a handsome, stark landscape in winter, but dear God it's cold and snowy", Hone told CBC News. Based on the largest vertebra yet found of this species, adults may have possessed wingspans of roughly 10 meters (33 feet). That's longer than the 11-metre wingspan of a Cessna Skyhawk four-seater plane.
Now that they've, nonetheless, the probabilities for future analysis are expansive, Therrien mentioned. It had no chewing apparatus, so it would likely eat whatever was small enough to go down the gullet, including lizards, mammals and baby dinosaurs. That animal, like the newly described Cryodrakon boreas, belong to a group known as the azhdarchid pterosaurs, which were notable for being mostly head and neck, and known primarily from limited and fragmentary remains, which also makes them hard to classify or understand their behavior and biology.
Habib, one of the few scientists in the world who has worked extensively with Quetzalcoatlus fossils, said that when he first saw the Canadian pterosaur four years ago, he had a hunch that it was not what he had seen before.
"This type of pterosaur (azhdarchids) is quite rare, and most specimens are just a single bone". A dragon indeed; this creature boasted a wingspan measuring over 10 metres in length, and it weighed around 250 kilograms.
Restore the look of the dinosaur and describe its managed now.
Despite the fact that the remains-comprising of a skeleton that has part of the wings, legs, neck and a rib-were initially assigned to Quetzalcoatlus, investigation of this and additional material revealed throughout the years demonstrates it is a different species in light of the growing comprehension of azhdarchid diversity.
That said, the bones of the 1992 specimen exhibited bite marks, and even an embedded tooth belonging to a small carnivorous dinosaur, likely a scavenger that feasted on its carcass.
"This makes Cryodrakon boreas an important animal since it has very well preserved bones and includes multiple individuals of different sizes". While its neck bones were long like a typical Quetzalcoatlus, its proportions did not match.
Cryodrakon may not have been the only species of pterosaur in Canada. Experts have been excavating for pterosaur bones there given that 1972.