Pterosaurs Alive
In America
What if you saw a pterodactyl? (I know the correct word is "pterosaur.") Would you tell your neighbors? What about your associates where you work? You might if you were a native in a village in Papua New Guinea.
If you are one of at least 1400 Americans who have seen a living pterosaur, feel free to contact me; I have an open mind on this, but I warn you about others who are not so open. And you could be surprised at where the responses are most negative.
Before mid-2009, even among many cryptozoologists, there was some resistance to the possibility that some pterosaurs avoided extinction. A few cryptozoology enthusiasts (perhaps mostly couch-sitters) attacked the credibility of those who reported eyewitness accounts after interviewing Americans who had seen pterosaurs.
Getting back to that prominent cryptozoology site, one commenter was so anxious to promote extinction that he made an interesting concession: "In the past few hundred years, we've collected or wiped out millions of animals in the US. Our ancestors would have shot them out of hand, or trapped them, because a large night flying animal would have been seen as a possible threat to livestock." At least one of the critics has allowed a hypothesis that does not include the assumption of extiction millions of years ago.
The same critic says, "The problem I personally have with living pterosaurs is . . . they seem to exist in an ecological vaccuum. . . . What do they eat?" It seems that this critic has not read any books or web pages on living pterosaurs. On Umboi Island, in Papua New Guinea, the ropen is sometimes seen to fly down to reefs, apparently to catch fish or clams. Over a river in Washington State, similar creatures are seen swooping low over the water, at times causing local Nighthawk birds to screach in response. In other parts of the United States, nocturnal pterosaur-like animals are thought to catch bats. 
And Critics Alive
Contact Nathaniel Coleman
I live in the United States of America. This
is not a country where one always feels free
to tell ones neighbor about a live pterosaur
but this is now my favorite subject, and I
feel free to talk about it. I'm a writer.
On a prominent cryptozoology site, in August of 2009, a forum thread started with an announcement of the "1400"
press release. The first response mostly consisted of a sarcastic, "Drug induced hysteria possibly??? misidentifications???," accompanied by an image of illegal drugs. Other comments were similar.
But before getting into details about why some of them doubt pterosaurs are still alive, think about how hard it would be to report a sighting of one. If the creatures were rare they would be rarely seen, and if those who report one are labeled "crazy" or "liars" few of them would tell many people about their sightings. Also, few of those who heard of it would believe and repeat it.
By Nathaniel Coleman
But why does that critic believe that a nuisance animal must become extinct? Have mountain lions never been a threat to livestock? What of coyotes and grizzly bears? Why assume that living pterosaurs must be more of a threat or easier to hunt into extinction?
Other critics have offered other reasons for disbelieving that pterosaurs are still alive, but their reasonings are more from ignorance of the research that's been done.
   Do Pterosaurs Eat Bats?