Since the first dragon skeleton was discovered in 1908 by Ernest Hathelwhite, in the Khumara Basin in what is now northern Sudan, experts have been split over the flight capabilities of such beasts.
When the skeleton (Dragonus Primus) was shipped back to England, experts at London’s Natural History Museum rebuilt it, discovering many predicted traits – the distinctive rippled spine and chest construction serving combustion – but no evidence for wings except vestigial nubs over its forelegs.
Up until April 2018, several other examples have been unearthed, notably the famous Dragonus Duoignis (two fires), discovered during excavations in the grounds of Crimliegh Castle, Cumbria in 1982. None so far have provided evidence of wings.
So, the announcement yesterday by a joint team from Cambridge, England, and Paris-Sud universities, that they have found a perfectly preserved specimen in a peat bog in Combourg, Northern France, has peaked interest in the scientific community, international media and of course Game of Thrones fans. The most notable revelation is the existence of its perfectly preserved wings. These are composed entirely of musculature, explaining the missing skeletal evidence at previous sites. This as-yet-unnamed creature is quoted by lead archaeologist Bernard Vitton as being approximately twelve metres in length, with an estimated wing span of thirty metres.
As this specimen is not thought to have been ceremoniously buried or to have died on its ‘nest’, local authorities are keen to point out that treasure is unlikely to be found at the site.