Much has been written, in blog posts and in direct comments, about this page by Darren Naish: “Pterosaurs alive in, like, the modern day.” I will not give any more attention to his one-sided coverage of the issue, for he is a well-known paleontologist and has received attention enough. Most of his page involves the straw-man argument, for serious researchers use recent eyewitness account-testimony rather than most of the old reports Naish has listed and blasted.
I bring up a point he and other paleontologists have avoided or have been oblivious to: If an absence of pterosaur fossils in certain strata (or apparent absence, depending on origins philosophy) seems to say, “No pterosaurs are expected to be presently living,” what about the absence of fossils of ancestors of pterosaurs? That absence would have to say, “No pterosaur ancestors preceded the pterosaurs that left fossils.” Would Naish deny that there is an apparent lack of fossils of pterosaur ancestors? Compared to how many fossils we have of pterosaurs, how rare the fossil fragments that might have been from a pterosaur ancestor and shows evidence for being so!
I bring up that point because there are serious weaknesses in the idea that fossils can be used as evidence for widespread extinctions of general classes of organisms. Why not choose the less-popular road, and think reasonably and openly about real possibilities, rather than ridicule old reports of living pterosaurs and ignore the recent reports?