The Bat-Pterosaur Relationship

By Jonathan Whitcomb
 
For years, a few Americans have suggested that reports of giant "pterodactyls" living in Papua New Guinea
were only misidentified Flying Fox fruit bats. My associates and I disagree with that idea, but some of us do
believe that there is a bat-pterosaur connection, albeit far different than what's suggested by our critics.
 
But why couldn't the reports be of misidentifications? After all, so-called "ropens" and giant fruit bats have
several things in common: large size, featherless wings and body, and . . . well . . . a shocking appearance.
Now consider detailed descriptions of ropens: a tail as long as 22 ft., a wingspan as wide as 50 ft., a mouth
described by a native eyewitness in Papua New Guinea as like that of a crocodile (although the Western
eyewitnesses who have gotten good views have seen more of a long beak), fish-eating habits over reefs,
and upright posture while holding onto the trunk of a tree. The ropen is hardly a Flying Fox fruit bat.
 
But what is the relationship between some bats and some long-tailed ropens (apparent living pterosaurs)?
We now have strong circumstantial evidence that some ropens eat some bats, not just in remote tropical
jungles, but in temperate climates of North America, even in the United States.
 
The old Flying-Fox-fruit-bat explanation had been soundly disproven, for many eyewitness reports and native accounts reveal a
long-tailed fish-eating creature with a head crest like that of some pterosaurs, and a bioluminescence brighter than any classified
bioluminescent organism . . .
 
There are dozens of bat species in North America; most of them eat insects.
 
Because of so many responses from American eyewitnesses of apparent pterosaurs, by early 2009, I decided to write another book:
"Live Pterosaurs in America."
 
Visitors to Australia, Papua New Guinea, or other islands of the Southwest Pacific are sometimes shocked at the giant bat called “Flying Fox.”
 
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