Dragon-like dinosaur fires up scientists

Dragon-like dinosaur fires up scientists

A new dragon-like dinosaur has been unearthed in Argentina, and named for its well-preserved skull.

Allkauren koi lived 170 million years ago, and is being hailed as an evolutionary link between early and late pterosaurs.

Dragon-like dinosaur fires up scientists

Artist's impression of Allkauren koi (Peer J)

Its name comes from the words for 'all', 'brain' and 'ancient' in the local Tehuelche tongue.

The remains were found in Patagonia, in the south of the country. The skull was "undistorted and superbly preserved", giving scientists a unique chance to study the shape and size of its brain.

"Pterosaur neuroanatomy is known from only a few three dimensionally preserved remains and, until now, there was no information on the intermediate forms," researchers from Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio said in a statement announcing the discovery.

"This study therefore provides new information on the origin, tempo and mode of evolution in this particular group of flying reptiles."