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!
By some crazy stroke of luck one Clear Alolan Night, you may have the once-in-a-lifetime pleasure to spot ghastly blue lights streaking across the sky. The Alolan Aerodactyl is still a very mysterious Pokemon to Scientists all over the World. Due to the fact that none of the eyewitness descriptions match those of the common revived Aerodactyl, some scientists believe it to be a species of Aerodactyl that never went Extinct, hiding out in the remote Jungles of Alola for Millions of years. Other scientists however aren’t fully convinced it’s even real, as no one’s been able to catch one yet.
*Flash Bang: Alolan Aerodactyl’s signature ability. If this Pokemon is stuck by a Critical Hit, it will release a bright flash of light from its body, which both causes Confusion and Harshly lowers the Speed of the opponent.
Wanted to make some adjustments to Alolan Aerodactyl. It’s now Ghost/Flying, which is probably more appropriate given Cryptids might as well be Ghosts, it has a Ghastly Glow, and it’s an Animal that should be extinct but isn’t. Its design now also looks much more different from the original Aerodactyl, taking the Crests and Wings from Nyctosaurus and the Lower Jaw of Ikrandraco.
My Tupandactylus character: Jax She’s a hoarder of anything sparkly and bright and can usually be found upon her throne of shiny stones and other items inside her crystal cave that she calls home. Her temperamental personality can usually be tamed with the offering of anything bright and sparkly.
And yes, I am very well aware that the actual Tupandactylus did not have teeth. But, my girl does.
Sorry for the long absence. Here is Austriadraco, a small late Triassic pterosaur from Austria. It has a short coracoid and may have been closely related to Articodactylus, who shares this trait.
This one was tricky as I couldn’t find any pictures off the fossils, just numeric proportions and a skeletal. The pose it meant to be for display by holding the wings up to flash the red and white markings.
I decided to take a week out of Dinovember and devote it to extinct non-dinosaur critters! Dinosaurs are amazing but there have been so many weird non-dinos that have also lived on this planet! So I highlighted 7 of my favorite other reptiles that lived before the K-T Extinction.
Check the captions for more info on these critters.
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.
To form a picture of a particular pterosaur species, paleontologists must often gather information from several fossils, borrow details from living animals with similar ways of life, and draw conclusions from related pterosaurs that are better known.