In 1990, Rupert WIld named a new species of pterosaur, Ornithocheirus weidenrothi, based on a fragmentary specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Stadthagen Formation of Germany. In a 2019 review, Rodrigo Pêgas and colleagues redescribed O. weidenrothi and gave the species a new genus name, Targaryendraco. The genus name honors House Targaryen from Game of Thrones, and the species name honors the original discoverer, Kurt Weidenroth.
Targaryendraco is known from a single, fragmentary specimen consisting of two portions of the distal mandible, some additional mandibular fragments, a dorsal rib, fragments of the left radius and ulna, a third metacarpal, and a manual claw.
The most complete portion of the mandible is from its distal-most 9 cm (3.5 inches). This fragment is roughly 1 cm (less than 1/2 inch) wide and 1.5 cm (more than 1/2 inch) tall, and roughly canoe-shaped in profile. This fragment preserves 9 tooth positions, but only portions of teeth in the first two positions. The teeth were roughly elliptical in cross section and were directed somewhat forward and outward. At the tip of the lower jaw, between the first pair of teeth, the jaw terminates in a point of bone, known as an odontoid process.
Two other fragmentary portions of the lower jaw are known. One is from near the middle portion of the jaw, at the rear end of the mandibular symphysis. It’s about 2 cm (3/4 inch) long, and preserves the base of two pairs of teeth. The other fragment of the lower jaw is from the jaw joint on the right side.
The only bones from the rest of the skeleton are a dorsal rib, fragments of the left ulna and radius, part of the third metacarpal, and a hand claw. Because of the incomplete nature of the specimen, the wingspan of Targaryendraco cannot be estimated.
Targaryendraco was discovered in rocks formed in a shallow marine setting, and based on its dentition was likely an aerial fisher.
Pêgas and colleagues found Targaryendraco to be close to Aussiedraco and Barbosania, both found in rocks of the middle part of the Cretaceous from Australia and Brazil respectively. Pêgas and colleagues named this lineage the Targaryendraconidae, and found that family to be close to another lineage made up of Aetodactylus, Camposipterus, and Cimoliopterus, which they named Cimoliopteridae.
The combined Targaryendraconid and Cimoliopterid lineage was given the name Targaryendraconia, and was found to be the sister group to the Anhangueria, made up of the Hamipteridae and Anhangueridae.