Δευτέρα, 17 Οκτωβρίου 2016

New pterosaur species discovered in the Patagonia region of Argentina


new-pterosaur-species-patagonia-argentina_1Reconstruction of a ptesosaur. Credit: Gabriel Lío
Researchers announced the discovery of a new (extinct) species of pterosaur from the Patagonia region of South America. The discovery was made from the cranial remains of a specimen that were found to be a pretty well preserved condition, probably dated from the Early Jurassic period (around 200 – 175 million years ago). Interestingly enough, the new species was named as the Allkauren koi, from the native Tehuelche language – with ‘all’ roughly translating to ‘brain’ and ‘kauren’ meaning ‘ancient’.

The very name ‘Pterosaur’ comes from the Greek for ‘winged lizards’. These astounding flying reptiles ruled the skies between the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period; and quite unsurprisingly, one of the largest known flying animals of all time – Quetzalcoatlus, comes from this extinct clade. In terms of size, the larger variant of Quetzalcoatlus’ is estimated to have had an incredible wingspan of over 36 ft. But interestingly this was just one end of the size spectrum, with some Pterosaur specimens also showcasing the diminutive dimensions of small sparrows.