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Why pterosaurs weren't so scary after all
The Guardian (UK) ^ | 8-10-2013 | Mark Witton

Posted on 08/12/2013 8:30:33 AM PDT by Renfield

For most of us, "pterodactyls" are imagined as large, vicious and ugly gargoyles with lanky limbs, leathery wings and jaws lined with savage teeth, the sort of disreputable brutes we find in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, the Jurassic Park franchise – even a recent episode of Doctor Who. Such works suggest we should think ourselves lucky that these flying reptiles – some of which measured 10 metres across the wings and stood as tall as giraffes – were confined to landscapes populated by equally terrible dinosaurs, marine reptiles and turbulent volcanoes during a time known as the Mesozoic era (250m-65m years ago) and that they aren't alive today to menace mankind. Of course, the popular understanding of these fossil animals and their world is only a distant echo of reality, a construct of poor scientific communication, melodramatic media and romantic storytellers....

(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: dinosaurs; godsgravesglyphs; paleontology; pterosaurs
"...Pterosaurs were probably as hyperactive and energetic as modern birds and mammals, and nothing like the slow, laboured gliders they were once thought to be. Far from being scary, scaly beasts, pterosaurs would have been warm, soft to the touch and eminently strokable. Pet stores would be lining up to sell smaller pterosaur species – some with wingspans of under 50cm – if they were still around today...."
1 posted on 08/12/2013 8:30:34 AM PDT by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 08/12/2013 8:30:52 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

I’m just grateful that cows don’t fly!


3 posted on 08/12/2013 8:34:34 AM PDT by kenavi (Debunk THIS!)
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To: Renfield
And they could be used as record player needles.


4 posted on 08/12/2013 8:35:37 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (This message has been recorded but not approved by Obama's StasiNet. Read it at your peril.)
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To: Renfield

They had teeth. Birds don’t have teeth.


5 posted on 08/12/2013 8:36:35 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: KarlInOhio

Its a living.


6 posted on 08/12/2013 8:36:54 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Renfield

Wow. Thanks for the article and link.


7 posted on 08/12/2013 8:41:38 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
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To: Born to Conserve

That why the phrase, “As rare as hen’s teeth.”


8 posted on 08/12/2013 8:48:39 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Renfield
Judging by what I found on my freshly-washed car this weekend, they are still around.
9 posted on 08/12/2013 8:52:45 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Renfield
Far from being scary, scaly beasts, pterosaurs would have been warm, soft to the touch and eminently strokable.

The critters sound downright cuddly...


10 posted on 08/12/2013 8:52:55 AM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Renfield

11 posted on 08/12/2013 8:55:36 AM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: Renfield
its a MAGICAL liopleurodon...


12 posted on 08/12/2013 9:00:36 AM PDT by Mr. K (Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics, and then Democrat Talking Points.)
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To: Charles Martel

13 posted on 08/12/2013 9:00:59 AM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: Charles Martel

A pet roc.


14 posted on 08/12/2013 9:30:59 AM PDT by jmcenanly ("The more corrupt the state, the more laws." Tacitus, Publius Cornelius)
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To: Renfield

We have a lot of great blue heron rookeries in the woods where we ride horses. Their loud, deep throated ork sounds and low flight over head remind me of the pterosaurs.


15 posted on 08/12/2013 9:50:48 AM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Born to Conserve

From the article:

We now know of more than 130 pterosaur species sporting all manner of bizarre jaws and teeth (or no teeth at all, in several lineages),


16 posted on 08/12/2013 10:11:32 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Renfield

Obligatory 6kyo dim bulb post:

If they were so cuddly why didn’t Noah let them on the ark?


17 posted on 08/12/2013 10:55:33 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: Renfield
Goblins are scary!

 photo angela-corey_zpsaf0fc4f2.jpg

18 posted on 08/12/2013 10:57:35 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: JoeProBono

They had photoshop back in the 1800s?


19 posted on 08/12/2013 11:47:33 AM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
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To: Renfield

Imagine what the big ones could do.

20 posted on 08/12/2013 4:05:35 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Fight the culture of nothing.)
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

Thanks Renfield.

21 posted on 08/13/2013 7:40:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Renfield
Reappraisals of pterosaur trackways and limb joints in the 1980s and 90s finally laid parts of the controversy to rest, confidently demonstrating that pterosaurs walked on four limbs held almost vertically beneath the body. This energy-efficient stance is reminiscent of the limb carriage in most birds and mammals, rather than the sprawled limbs of modern reptiles.

Four legged birds?

22 posted on 08/13/2013 8:33:43 PM PDT by Eaker (Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. Robert A. Heinlein.)
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