Theory of extant (modern, living) pterosaurs
In Papua New Guinea, native belief in the "ropen" of Umboi Island resembles native belief in the "indava" of the Tawa Village area of the mainland: Natives think of the creatures as real. But the similarity is in more than native confidence in the existence of ropens and indavas: Both of these winged creatures have been described as gigantic; more intriguing is the bioluminescence, for both the ropen and the indava glow brightly at night. Whatever this creature is, however closely ropens and indavas are related, they are not extinct but extant.
On Umboi Island, native eyewitnesses include Jonathan Ragu and Jonah Jim. Jonathan saw a long-tailed flying creature near the northwest coast of the island; Jonah saw a long-tailed flying creature near Lake Pung. Both of the eyewitnesses, close enough to see details, described both a shape and a glow. The hypothesis that the ropen has intrinsic bioluminescence, although in the realm of crypozoology rather than zoology, is supported by these two eyewitnesses. But there is more.
When the American explorer David Woetzel saw a large glowing object flying towards Lake Pung, he was exploring with the hope of seeing a giant living pterosaur; he saw but a distant glow. The point? Eyewitness evidence for extant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs on Umboi Island has nothing to do with what the eyewitnesses wish to see. The American creationist, who so much wanted to see a living pterosaur, saw just a glowing object, strange as it was; the natives who had no desire to see a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur saw what they later compared to a silhouette-sketch of a Sordes Pilosus (Rhamphorhynchoid). These three sightings stand up to scientific reasoning, for the observed shape depended on the distance between the eyewitness and the object observed; it had nothing to do with what an American creationist wanted to see. The theory of extant pterosaurs, even bioluminescent ones, although still cryptozoological, is a reasonable theory.
Understanding various opinions on living pterosaur research--this comes from considering those opinions and learning about the philosophies and the theories
that cause those opinions.
Extant (adjective): Still existing; not destroyed or lost