New species of Pterosaur from early Jurassic Era discovered in Patagonia


ptesosaur-imageA group of scientists has discovered a new species of pterosaur from the early Jurassic period in the Patagonia region of South America.

The discovery was disclosed in a study that was published in the last week of August 2016 in the journal PeerJ.

The study also provides new information on the origin, tempo and mode of evolution in pterosaurs.• The new species has been named Allkauren koi from the native Tehuelche word ‘all’ for ‘brain’, and ‘karuen’ for ‘ancient’.

  • The fossil of Allkaruen koi was found in northern central Chubut Province in Argentina. The remains included a well preserved and uncrushed braincase.
  • The cranial remains were in an excellent state of preservation.
  • Allkaruen, from the middle lower Jurassic limit, shows an intermediate state in the brain evolution of pterosaurs and their adaptations to the aerial environment.
  • In order to study the neurocranial anatomy, the researchers used computed tomography to observe, in three dimensions, the cranial endocast and the inner ear.
  • Subsequently, a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the group was performed, including these cranial data and other anatomical features.

 

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