Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ancient flying reptiles reprieved...

or so claims today's Observer newspaper. Pterodactyls, or pterosaurs now called were not the evil bat like creatures with odd shaped heads and long beaks that could pierce the standard chest at a glance. Latest research denies pterosaurs as wilful cackling monsters roaming the Jurassic sky and suggests incredibly long lived and graceful creatures surviving 160 million years. It appears therefore that these hardy flyers have been given a very poor press by the likes of HG Wells and Steven Spielberg.

Yes, if turned suddenly or without warning that beak could have out the average eye and yes those teeth could tear out the average gizzard should the beast be standing on your chest. But times were brutal back then. After all, who of us can be surprised that alongside the evolution of eyes should also evolve beaks for poking them out. Evolution is playful. Before becoming too misty we should remember the pterosaur diet included insects, small dinosaurs and mammals. I'm not much stirred by the fate of insects and small dinosaurs but eating the mesozoic mammal was wrong. Small and furry I know but they were kin and we should not forget that.