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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Positively Pterosaurs

 by Mauverneen

A Heron

Every so often I see a Heron flying past, and I look up and think how much like a Pterodactyl it looks. And then I imagine what it must have been like to have these giant birds flying past, and possibly swooping down and grabbing whatever it can (like yourself) to dine on, or maybe take back to the nest to feed it's young. We've seen it in the movies. 

I wondered if they really were that big and that scary. So, I looked it up. (If I were a bigger fan of Jurassic Park I might have already known the answer, but, oh well...)

First off, Pterodactyl is not actually a dinosaur, but a pterosaur. Pterosaurs were airborne reptiles and most specimens have been about the size of hawks and eagles. Nothing to worry about. But wait! One of those creatures WAS actually very, very large - about the size of a giraffe with a wingspan of 23 feet or more! And you think pigeon poop on your car is bad?  

Anything with a wing span the size of a bus would have me worried - and not just for my car.

There were actually several of these huge flying reptiles (flying reptile sounds worse to me than flying dinosaur and nobody ever says pterosaur) - the Quetzalcoatlus, Pteranodon, and the Hatzegopteryx. Even the names are scary. I can't imagine running from one and trying to warn your neighbors that it's coming. Before you could spit that name out you'd be a goner. 

The first specimen of that last one was found - you're not gonna believe this - in Transylvania. Really. Go look it up. 

For further reading:,a%20whopping%2040%2Dfoot%20wingspan.

See what I mean?

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