I know of three paleontologists who have openly criticized living-pterosaur investigations. So how do I answer the Mesozoic objection? Let’s examine specific comments from specific paleontologists.
Darren Naish criticized the idea of extant pterosaurs in a late-2007 online post. He believes that there are “no indications from the fossil record that pterosaurs survived beyond the end of the Cretaceous . . .” He also proclaims that “the fossil record convincingly demonstrates that pterosaurs became extinct . . .” What he fails to include in his long post, however, is an explanation for how any fossils can demonstrate the extinction of even one species, let alone all species of a general type.
Mr. Naish seems to have failed to apply simple clear reasoning. Fossils tell us nothing about true extinction, notwithstanding one worldwide catastrophe that killed many individual creatures; near-extinction is a world apart from true extinction. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the difference between extinction and near-extinction is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
But Naish is not the only paleontologist to miss this critical point. Glen Kuban also appears dedicated to ridiculing living-pterosaur investigators or at least actively fighting against any hope that pterosaurs still live; he also appears to believe that fossils are evidence for the extinction of all species of pterosaurs. But his long web page bears a striking resemblance to the one written by Naish: Both paleontologists concentrate on old questionable accounts, avoiding the critical eyewitness sightings that most heavily support the concept of modern extant pterosaurs.
See “Extinction or Near-Extinction, What Distinction?”
See also Live Pterosaurs