A Thunderbird is an oversized large bird that has been reported for centuries. Native Americans knew of this creature and speak of it in legends. But as with most legends, there is truth behind it. A wingspan is typically estimated from 8-12 feet from witnesses, of which the first reports came in the late 1800’s. In 1890 it is said that two cowboys shot and killed a large bird that had no feathers, smooth skin and an “alligator head.” This report mostly resembled a Pterodactyl, could the species have survived past its mass extinction event?
On April 10, 1948 three people in Illinois claimed to have seen what they thought was a passenger plane until they noticed its wings were flapping. A few weeks later in Illinois two people saw a giant bird which projected a shadow the size of a plane’s shadow onto the ground. In 1977 in Illinois three boys were playing when a large bird came out of the sky and chased them. It picked one of the boys up and dropped him later after carrying him quite a distance. In 2002, a large bird which “looked like something out of Jurassic Park” was spotted in Anchorage, Alaska. Recently, reports of a giant bird have been seen in Texas.
What is the Thunderbird? Is it real or just a big hoax. Sightings of the creatures are rare, and only happen occasionally. Is it an oversized bird? Or a small family of Pterosaurs that has managed to survive until modern times? The answer lies in the skies, but we may never know.
American Museum of Natural History, Part 22: THE FLAPFLAPS
On to the “Vertebrates that aren’t Synapsids or Dinosaurs” hall (aka the “Hall of Vertebrate Origins” which I find rather misleading). Pterosaurs were the first thing to greet us in this hall and it was nice to see some of the Archosaurs not represented much in the two special exhibits! The big cast in photo 5 is Quetzalcoatlus so, friendly reminder that that thing was terrifyingly big.
I overheard some day care leaders talking about how Pterosaurs were warm-blooded but Dinosaurs weren’t and Max had to drag me away before I corrected them (that they were all warm-blooded). Sigh.
Also, this is a good post for me to make an announcement:
STARTING NEXT YEAR, I WILL FINALLY BEGIN PTEROSAUR PTUESDAY!
You read that right! I want this blog - though called A Dinosaur A Day - to cover all of the bird-line Archosaurs (Avemetatarsalia). So I’ll be doing Pterosaur Ptuesday! Going over a Pterosaur every Tuesday and showing this weird and fascinating group of flying reptiles. Avemetatarsalia really is the group of lightweight, active, fluffy reptiles and we have to give all of them their due!
Finally got around to painting my Zbrush model of Anhanguera. I have a
huge backlog of unfinished work built up. Some of them have been posted
around on my various portfolio sites as WIP’s but most of them have not been
seen by anyone. I’m going to be working on finishing these projects up
and getting them online. The majority of them are paleo-reconstructions
of some kind.
I’ll also be using this polypainted Zbrush model as a guide to paint the 3d printed
model of the posed version. I’m hoping to post photos of that up
soon. I just need to get my hands on some new paint and brushes.