Posted on February 26, 2020 at 11:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
A genus of dinosaurs has taken its name from a familiar dynasty in fantasy literature: the Targaryens.
George R.R. Martin, in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, imagined that house’s pet creatures — dragons — as having two legs, not four, rather like the (real but no longer existing) pterosaur.
And so when some paleontologists realized that a previously known pterosaur really didn't belong in its current genus — Ornithocheirus — they paid homage to the fossil's oddly dark bones by adding it to a new genus dubbed Targaryendraco, reports the Guardian.
Martin described himself as “delighted, needless to say” and suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that perhaps someday they'll find evidence that Targaryendraco wiedenrothi could breathe fire.
The Song of Ice and Fire series served as the basis for the smash hit show Game of Thrones; though the show has concluded before the release of the final two books in the series, readers are still eagerly (and impatiently) awaiting the sixth book, The Winds of Winter.
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