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Scientists name newly discovered theropod dinosaur after Game of Thrones dragon

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Dragons have always been a part of mythology and various cultures all over the world since times immemorial. Literature and modern-day electronic media have further helped to secure their place in pop culture. Even though dragons have only been limited to fantasy so far, the earth did have creatures quite similar millions of years ago. There was a time when the planet was ruled by dinosaurs, and giant 10-meter-long theropods terrorized the heavily forested landmasses.

 
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Scientists are still discovering more about these ‘terrible lizards’, and new species are coming to light every year with extensive research using modern technology. The newest discovery in the field of paleontology brings fantasy and reality together, as researchers have named a newly unearthed fossil of a T-Rex relative after a famous dragon from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones universe.

rhaenys-targaryen-and-meraxes-by-alexandra-boshevska

Rhaenys Targaryen and Meraxes, by Alexandra Boshevska

The freshly discovered species has been named Meraxes gigas, a carcharodontosaur, that lived between 100 million and 90 million years ago in what’s now Argentina. Meraxes went extinct nearly 20 million years before T. rex walked on Earth.

According to a report by Cell.com, Meraxes is the most complete carcharodontosaurid yet from the Southern Hemisphere and had short arms like the T-Rex. The specimen that was discovered by scientists was about 45 years old and weighed more than four metric tons when it died. Meraxes is about 11 meters long, and its skull is heavily ornamented with crests and bumps and tiny hornlets, ornamentations that probably helped attract mates, as described by Juan Canale, a paleontologist via ScienceNews.

In Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, Meraxes was a she-dragon ridden by Queen Rhaenys Targaryen during Aegon’s Conquest. The dragon was named after one of the gods of Old Valyria. Meraxes was larger than Vhagar but smaller than Balerion.

There’s a chance Meraxes will be seen or mentioned in House of The Dragon. Are you excited about the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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Official House of the Dragon Merchandise

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