Within a few weeks, my first e-book should be published: Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. To quote from the preliminary version of the first chapter (“How can Pterosaurs be Alive?”):
” . . . The first discovery of a pterosaur fossil by a Western scientist, in 1784, was decades before Charles Darwin began writing about his ideas on extinctions and evolution. Before Darwin, Western scientists had assumed that all species of pterosaurs were extinct for a simple reason: Those who discovered the fossils had no experience with any similar animal that was living.
“Also important, probably no scientist at that time had considered that a few species of pterosaurs might still be living, rarely seen because they’re both uncommon and nocturnal. Today, some cryptozoologists believe that a few of their species are indeed uncommon and nocturnal—and still alive.
“. . . Some Americans and Australians hesitate to report their shocking sightings of “pterodactyls,” or flying creatures that appear like what should not exist. That’s the way things are. We may understand something of what they feel. They have the right to remain silent, and they have the right to avoid being burned by skeptics. But you have a right to know why some eyewitnesses are hesitant to report shocking encounters. You’ll see an example in the chapter about the 1944 sighting by Duane Hodgkinson and his tight-lipped army buddy.”
Those who believe in modern pterosaurs have been ridiculed for years, with no end in sight for the ridicule. But cutting down ridicule by cutting down one of these amazing animals would be wrong. We need to protect precious life, not destroy it.