The Newly Found Ancient Flying Reptile is Named After an Avatar Creature

By: Alyson Wyers - Sep 18, 2014
References: reuters & theverge
Between epic romances like Titanic and the beauty of an Avatar creature, filmmaker James Cameron has had a significant impact on popular culture. Most recently, a group of scientists from China turned to the popular 2009 science fiction film Avatar when it came time to name their fossil discovery. Paleontologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences named the ancient flying dinosaur 'Ikrandraci avatar' which translates to 'the Ikran dragon from Avatar.'

The blue dragon-like Avatar creature was what the Na'vi rode in battle in the movie. The scientists believe the Ikran-named pterosaurs had a throat pouch similar to a pelican and a wingspan of around 8 feet. They also have an "Ikran-like crest" located on the lower jaw.