The Frozen Dragon of the North Wind

Jacqueline Pernice

February 23, 2021

Within the vast terrain of Canada’s badlands, all your Game of Thrones dreams will come true. The new species of pterosaur, a flying reptile, had been discovered. Its name, Cryodrakon Boreas, is Greek for ‘Frozen dragon of the North Wind’. 

     Despite the intimidating name, scientists say that the Cryodrakon Boreas looked less like a fire-breathing dragon and more like a giraffe-sized, reptilian type stork. The Cryodrakon, at its time, lived in what we currently know as Alberta, Canada. 

     Over 77 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, this reptile thrived. The species could grow up to 13 feet tall with a bewildering wingspan of 30 feet. It is now considered one of the largest flying animals known. It had a long neck, monstrous wings, and a thin head that was predicted to be about 3.5 times the length of its body. 

     As big as the reptile’s head was, it had no chewing apparatus. Meaning, it had no teeth or structure to chew with. Instead, it would consume whatever was small enough to fit down its gullet. Lizards, mammals, and small dinosaurs would most likely be the Cryodrakon’s main food choices.

     François Therrien is a curator at Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. He explained that even though the current environment of Alberta is quite harsh and frigid, the landscape that the Cryodrakon would have soared over would have looked more like a tropical paradise near a large inland sea.

     The fossils of this reptile were found over 30 years ago in Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park. However, scientists believed that the fossils were a part of a known species of pterosaur, the Quetzalcoatlus. According to The Washington Posts, a scientist named Irfan Habib, along with a taxonomy specialist, David Home, made the astounding discovery that the skeleton didn’t belong to the Quetzalcoatlus but to a new species, the ‘Frozen dragon of the North Wind’. 

     The Cryodrakon belonged to the azhdarchids, a type of pterosaurs (or pterodactyls), which are known for their distinctive long necks. The fossils that were discovered had belonged to a younger Cryodrakon, with its wingspan “only about 16.4 feet when it died… researchers studied the giant neck bone from an adult to determine that the wingspan of a fully grown Cryodrakon likely reached 32.8 ft.” (CNN World). 

     Researcher’s compare the size of the Cryodrakon to the Cessna airplane, according to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. The Museum also released more information about the Cryodrakon, stating that it has enough wing capacity to fly across oceans. 

     As for the benefits to the scientific community, David Hone expressed his opinion and thoughts on the discover, stating that, “It is great that we can identify Cryodrakon as being distinct to Quetzalcoatlus as it means we have a better picture of the diversity and evolution of predatory pterosaurs in North America.” The plan is to study how the muscles worked within the species, hopefully discovering how the Cryodrakon took off, flew, and walked. 

Can You Spread COVID-19 After Being Vaccinated?

Davis Newman

February 23, 2021

Early  this year, the first vaccines have started rolling out, and people are wondering how effective it is at stopping the spread from person to person. More importantly, can a person spread COVID-19 after being vaccinated? 

     The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. According to Stanley H. Weiss, M.D., an epidemiology professor, the vaccine will highly diminish the spread, but it is unknown by how much. Clinical trials for the vaccine were based on preventing symptomatic cases and not asymptomatic cases, which are still infectious. Furthermore, more trials would have to be taken to find out if the vaccine prevents asymptomatic cases. Up to 20% of Covid cases are asymptomatic, so it is very important to find out if vaccines are effective at halting the spread of asymptomatic cases.

     To further complicate the situation, vaccines are not 100% effective, and patients can still become infected with the virus, although asymptomatic or with less severe symptoms. Even in a patient with a strong response to a vaccine, a virus can still do some replication and shed while the patient is shortly infected. Along with that, according to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine takes a few weeks to kick in, and a person with the vaccine can still catch it before the vaccine’s incubation period. 

     To conclude, you can spread and contract COVID-19 after receiving both doses of the vaccine. However, it does greatly reduce the symptoms and transmission rate compared to a non-vaccinated individual. The CDC still emphasizes protective measures even if you get the virus due to these factors. Continuing to take protective measures like wearing a mask waiting your turn for the vaccine is still the most important measure you can take to end this pandemic lockdown sooner rather than later.

Who is the GOAT of Sports

By Luis Berg

February 23, 2021

Since the beginning of sports, the debate of who is the best in their given experts, Who is the greatest of all time who is the GOAT of sports. Tom Brady has been called the GOAT  of football for the last couple of years and many would say he solidified his legacy with his 7th Super Bowl win last Sunday. This is more wins than any other player in the history of the NFL. Tom turned 43 last year but he looks better than ever. In his 20 seasons in the NFL, he has won 3 MVPs and 4 Super Bowl MVPs also throwing nearly 600 touchdowns in his career. 

     In basketball, the younger generation would say Lebron James,  but most adults and basketball players agree that Michael Jordan is the best. With six NBA championships, two more than Lebron, and he won three of them in a row, also winning 5 MVPs, one more than Lebron. 

     In hockey, it must be Wayne Gretzky. Nicknamed “The Great One’’, the NHL itself said he was the greatest hockey player of all time. Winning a total of four Stanley Cups and nine MVPs during his 20 seasons in the NHL. 

     In soccer, it’s a 4-way tie between Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele, and Diego Maradona. With so many different trophies to win from the World Cup to Winning the league they played in and many other tournaments, it’s very difficult to rank them. Also, the game has evolved a lot over the years each player has played. Soccer in the 40s when Pele played was a much different sport to what soccer is today. Maradona played in the ’60s, a very physical era of soccer compared to the modern game where fouls are regularly called. 

     If we look just at who has the most trophies, Lionel Messi would win,  but there weren’t even that many trophies to compete for back when Pele and Maradona played. Ronaldo has won fewer trophies than Messi, but one could argue that he has won more important trophies. 

     For the sake of finding out who is the GOAT of all sports, no one soccer player has been dominant enough to separate himself from being named the GOAT  of soccer, let alone the GOAT of sports as a whole. In tennis, the GOAT is Roger Federer with 20 grand slam titles more than any other person in the history of tennis. 

     In the solo sport of swimming, it isn’t even an argument, Michael Phelps has won more Olympic gold medals than anyone else. Not only in swimming, but more than any other sport. With a total of 28 medals and 23 of them being gold, Michael Phelps is far ahead of anyone else not only in his own sport but any Olympic competition. It is an individual sport that speaks even more to his individual greatness and I think that’s the true meaning of the GOAT of sport. No other person is as good at winning as he is. That’s why I believe that Michael Phelps is the GOAT of sports.