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What exactly is the Quetzalcoatlus?


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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:03 PM

I first got to know Quetzalcoatlus as a very, very different beast, however. Little known today is that Quetzalcoatlus was depicted as a most peculiar creature in a few books from the 1970s and 80s.

As you can see from the images reproduced here, it was depicted as a short-headed pterosaur with a bony lump on the back of its head, a very flexible neck, and pointed, toothy jaws. Imagined like this, it really looks like some sort of horrific demon.


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#2    keninsc



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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

This from Wikipedia:


#3    Leonardo



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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:35 PM

Queztalcoatlus doesn't really belong in the Cryptids section, as it was an actual animal and has been scientifically described from fossil records. I believe what the author of the article is alluding to, is that the early depictions of it, based as they were on speculation and incomplete or erroneous knowledge, describe an animal which certainly did not exist.

It is, I suppose, a lesson on how unscientific (or even quasi- or semi-scientific) media and literature can propagate a meme about something which is not real (the "demonic Quetzalcoatlus") but this become accepted as 'truth' by the lay-community. How many current 'cryptids' are also the result of such memes being spread without any foundation in reality?

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