Pterosaurs were amazing flying reptiles that came in all shapes and sizes.1 Not surprisingly, when these bizarre creatures are found in the fossil record they are 100% flying reptiles. Some achieve the size of a fighter jet, such as Quetzalcoatlus discovered in Texas or Hatzegopteryx in Romania. Paleobiologists have recently discovered a new pterosaur (Afrotapejara zouhrii) in Africa belonging to a group called the tapejarids that were small to medium-sized toothless pterosaurs.2 This was just after the discovery of three new pterosaur species, also in Africa. The Tapejaridae is recognized by their large and strange sagittal crests.
Pterosaurs had at least eight different kinds of skulls. Some, such as Pterodaustro, had 500 flexible teeth. A study of their unique anatomy also reveals they had pointed jaws attached to a large head and long neck.
Is there any fossil evidence of how an unknown hypothetical non-flying reptile millions of years ago achieved a streamlined head and hollow bones in preparation for flight? There is none. Additionally the front legs of this “proto-pterosaur” would have to evolve into extremely aerodynamic wings. Such a strange scenario should document how the 4th finger of the hand would extend out to an amazing length while at the same time supporting a wing membrane. No transitional fossils recording such a change have been unearthed and evolutionists do not fully understand their ancestry.3
An exciting discovery in Brazil revealed “exceptionally well-preserved” pterosaur specimens that has “associated soft tissue and preserved integuments.”4 More soft tissue (i.e. collagen) from fossils allegedly millions of years old.
Creationists see pterosaurs (Pterosauria) as belonging to a created kind5 of aerial reptile. Clearly there are unique varieties, such as in canines, lizards, and sharks. Their fossils show they were suddenly and catastrophically buried not that long ago, as evidenced by pterosaur soft tissue discoveries.
Fossil evidence shows that pterosaurs didn’t evolve from “proto-pterosaur” ancestors. They were created by God and existed recently.
Stage image: Artwork of Afrotapejara zouhrii.
Stage image credit: Megan Jacobs, Baylor University, Texas. Copyright © 2020. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.
1. Sherwin, F. 2005. Pterosaur! Acts & Facts. 34 (9).
2. Staff Writer. Fourth new pterosaur discovery in matter of weeks. Phys.org. Posted on phys.org April 2, 2020, accessed April 6, 2020.
3. Witton, M. 2013. Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy. Princeton University Press, 6.
4. Campos, H.B. and E. Kischlat, 2020. The tapejarid pterosaur Tupandactylus imperator from Crato Formation and the preservation of cranial integuments. Biorxiv.
5. Genesis 1.
*Mr. Sherwin is Research Associate is at ICR. He earned his master’s in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado.
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