Newly Discovered Dinosaurs Named After ‘Game Of Thrones’ Dragons

An entire new group of dinosaurs will be named after the Targaryens.

A model of one of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons is seen at photo call to launch Game of Thrones Season 5.
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An entire new group of dinosaurs will be named after the Targaryens.

Game of Thrones may have wrapped up its run in 2019, but its legacy lives on. As National Geographic reports, a new genus of pterosaur has been discovered, and its name is inspired by the show.

The genus’s name, Targaryendraco Wiedenrothi, is meant to honor Daenerys Targaryen as well as her three dragons. With enough discoveries, this new name could be assigned to an entire group of flying dinosaurs.

This new kind of pterosaur is reportedly distinguished by its narrow snouts, and it’s said to come from shallow coastal environments. Paleontologists at the Universidade Federal do in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil conducted a study to prove that this type of pterosaur deserved its own name.

“All these species are from shallow coastal environments and probably fed on fish. The slenderness of jaw is the main feature they share… it’s the most extreme slenderness in the jaws of any toothed pterosaurs,” said Rodrigo Pêgas, who led the study.

A pterosaur expert not involved with the study suggested that the naming of this new species represented a long-overdue recognition for a species that had lived for millions of years during the Cretaceous era. The species is said to have lived roughly 130 million years ago, when the part of Germany in which it was found was the coastline of a warm and shallow sea.

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People who study folklore have long believed that fossils of flying dinosaurs contributed to the myth of dragons that proliferated all over the world. In discussing his reason for naming the pterosaurs in honor of Game of Thrones, Pêgas said that the descriptions of George R.R. Martin’s dragons are distinct in part because they’re anatomically correct. The dragons have four legs instead of six, and their wings and front legs are joined on the same extremities.

“I always thought it was very nice, especially because I work on pterosaurs. I am a big nerd and a big fan of Game of Thrones,” Pêgas told reporters.

The news of the dinosaurs’ naming comes as dragons are set to play an even bigger role in an upcoming Game of Thrones spin-off, according to Deadline. House of the Dragon is currently in the works at HBO and would be set 180 years before the events of the show. It is set to center on Daenerys’s ancestors, and specifically, the civil war fought between sects of the Targaryen house. Because the Targaryens were known as dragonlords, there should be plenty of dragon-centric action on the upcoming series.