The Big Picture of Modern Pterosaurs

Let’s begin with “A Brief Introduction to Living-Pterosaur Investigations:”

YouTube video produced by Jonathan David Whitcomb


Definition of “Modern Pterosaur”

From page 294 of the fourth edition of my nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God, we can read the technical definition:

A featherless vertebrate two-winged creature, living within the past few thousand years, having an elongated digit-like bone on the leading edge of each wing and an absence of any bat-like wing-support involving bones that radiate into the wing membranes

For those who would prefer a simple definition:

A modern pterosaur is a non-extinct featherless flying creature often called “pterodactyl” or “flying dinosaur”

Cryptozoology Rather Than Standard Zoology

As of May 29, 2016, the modern pterosaur appears to fly only in cryptozoology, not yet landing on any page of a biology text book. I can be seen in the many eyewitness descriptions rather than in the zoo or in the biology laboratory.

Of course the same could once be said for other animals including gorillas in Africa. We now have no doubt in the existence of the gorilla, although it was once thought to swing from jungle trees only in the imaginations of gullible persons. Westerners once found it convenient to dismiss stories of gorillas as Boogeyman tales.

So what evidence do we now have that at least one species of pterosaur is presently living? It’s in the wide range of testimonies, from a great variety of eyewitnesses from around the world, describing flying creatures that have a remarkable consistency in details of description.

The Long-Tailed Ropen

If reports of non-extinct “pterodactyls” were not enough to shock people, many of the descriptions include a long tail. In fact, the ratio between the presence of a long tail and the absence of one, in the overall sighting reports, is about 20-to-1 (41% to 2%).

What’s so unusual about a dominance of long tails in modern pterosaurs? It’s the opposite of what we would expect if people were just playing hoaxes. Think of the last film or television science fiction show you saw that had “pterodactyls” in it. That movie or TV show probably was depicting short-tailed pterosaurs. Those Pterodactyloid short-tailed flying creatures were assumed by many scientists to have been the last ones to survive, after the long-tailed ones had mostly died off. Those are the pterosaurs often shown in science fiction films and on TV, yet it’s the long-tailed ones that dominate in actual human encounters with those flying creatures.

What is a ropen? It’s a long-tailed pterosaur, similar in some ways to Rhamphorhynchoid (“basal”) fossils. The end of the tail is often seen as having a structure described in various ways:

  • diamond-shaped
  • spade shape
  • triangle

Sightings Around the World

People see them in many parts of the planet. I, Jonathan Whitcomb, have received reports directly from eyewitnesses who report encountering living pterosaurs on five continents, as I have been available to communicate with those persons over the past 12+ years.

A recent sighting was in northwestern Arkansas, in the first week or two of May, 2016. Here is part of the report:

. . . saw a pterosaur come up out of the water and fly into the woods. It was grey and did not have feathers. . . . [wingspan] was from 15 to 19 feet! . . . grey leathery skin.

I had previously received several reports of pterosaur sightings in Arkansas as well as many in surrounding states. These included (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee
  • Missouri

Indeed, it’s easier to list the American states in which modern pterosaurs have not been reported than it is to list the ones in which they have been seen. The states shown above are listed because they surround Arkansas.



Cryptozoology and Pterodactyls

. . . the belief that all pterosaurs became extinct many millions of years ago is not based on sound objective evidence but on a number of assumptions.

What is this flying ropen?

How often we’ve been taught that all dinosaurs and pterosaurs became extinct . . . as if that were proven! But what if some are  still living? . . . consider the many eyewitness testimonies of those flying creatures.

The Ropen and Destination Truth

Adventure, danger, enlightenment—those I experienced half a year later, sitting in my living room, delighting in the ropen-episode of Destination Truth. I thought I remembered advising the production team “do not” enter a cave that might contain a ropen . . .

Rhamphorhynchoid Pterosaurs and Ropens

The pterosaur suborder of Rhamphorhynchoidea, those long-tailed featherless flying creatures—they’re also called basal pterosaurs. For generations, many scientists have assumed that they became extinct . . .


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About Norman Huntington AKA Jonathan Whitcomb

Passionately supporting research into living modern pterosaurs
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