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Nematoceraraptor gracilis



Dragons of Erodes

Nematoceraraptor gracilis is the oldest definite dragon known to science. The little predatory animal lived approximately 163 million years from now in what is now Southern Tameris. It most likely comes from a sphenosuchian stock with which contemporary members it shares most anatomical characteristics. Peculiar on the findings of this animal was the presence of integument impressions. Much like early ornithodirans it sported a coat of filaments over most of its body. But the most noteworthy impressions are from the head where it already had developed pinnae and a cartilaginous nose region, much like the dragons we know today. How these features evolved is still not fully understood, but it's speculated that these developments are related to the muscular nasals and ear flaps of the closely related crocodylians.
Early dragons like Nematoceraraptor were nocturnal animals that possibly relied most on their hearing and sight. During the Mesozoic they were generally outcompeted by dinosaurs, pterosaurs, aquatic squamates, and other pseudosuchians from developing into large forms. Up until the K/Pg extinction event, dragons didn't grow much larger than Nematoceraraptor.

All binomial names featured in the descriptions of Erodian lifeforms are stand-ins or straight taken over from Earth's taxonomy. Erodian scientists work with a different naming system, and to not raise confusion over well-known animals I avoid introducing it to the descriptions.
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GayCoonie's avatar
Am I reading the description correctly? Are "dragons" archosaurs that just happen to be covergently simmilar to mammals?