Tale of the Pterosaur Tail

June 30th, 2012 by Nathaniel Coleman AKA Jonathan Whitcomb Leave a reply »

Contrary to what some paleontologists believe, the orientation of the tail vane, in the “basal” pterosaurs, now appears to be horizontal. Two eyewitnesses, both living in California, have made this clear: Patty Carson, of Riverside; and an anonymous eyewitness living in Lakewood. Each had her own clear daylight sighting of a living pterosaur at close range.

Rhamphorhynchoid (“basal”) Pterosaur in Cuba

Carson observed a long-tailed featherless flying creature at the Guantanamo Bay military installation in Cuba, in 1965, and was able to concentrate on the appearance of the “dinosaur” for many seconds. Here is her sketch of the head:

Patty Carson's sketch of the long-tailed pterosaur of Cuba

Why show a sketch of the head, when the tail vane is in question? This lays aside any doubt about misidentification. It was no featherless bird or long-tailed bat with a long head crest that was observed in Cuba by Patty Carson.

Carson watched the creature for a short while before it flew away, revealing its long tail and the vane at tail-end. Carson saw the orientation, a structure that could have been seen well from above or below the creature but not nearly as well from the side.

Southern California Sighting

In the second sighting, a lady was sitting in her back yard, typing on her computer, when she heard a strange noise. The dog had been barking for awhile, but that usually did not mean anything special, for many animals like rats and possums creap around the neighborhood, coming from the nearby storm channel, which was directly behind the lady’s back yard.

She finally became upset at the dog’s barking and the strange noises and walked out from under the gazebo, talking loudly to the dog. That is when she say what caused the barking. Only about twenty feet above her head, a large creature sat on the telephone line. It was facing away from the lady, whose loud talking scared it into flying off to a tree on another street.

The lady was able to see the tail, which she estimated was at least four feet long, and the orientation of the tail vane. It was horizontal.

Pterosaur or Ropen Living in Lakewood, California

On June 19, 2012, over a storm drain in Lakewood, California, in clear daylight at about noon, a long-tailed featherless creature sat on a telephone line.

Pterosaur Tail Vane Orientation

How is the Rhamphorhynchoid tail vane oriented, horizontally or vertically? According to at least a couple of key eyewitnesses, it is horizontal.

What is a Basal Pterosaur?

The word “basal,” when referring to a general type of pterosaur, relies on the popular belief in the basics of Darwin’s idea of evolution. For those who believe that long-tailed pterosaurs evolves into the Pterodactyloid type, this refers to the idea that the Rhamphorhynchoid type was mostly earlier and that one or more species of the long-tailed types had descendents that evolved into that short-tailed pterosaur. “Basal” relates to the word “base,” meaning foundational.

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