Early reconstructions of pterodactyls depicted them as darkhued animals of nightmarish aspect. (animatronic dinosaur factory)Even in this century pterodactyls have been cast as villains in prehistoric drama—the oversized wing finger that tried to make off with Fay Wray in King Kong gave Kong his chance to show his chivalry in the rescue. But dark colors and darker character were entirely inappropriate for flying reptiles. With few exceptions—the Texas giant is one—the aerial dragons habitually flew over shallow regions of the sea. As hunters of fish and squid, they were therefore the equivalent of shorebirds in today’s ecosystem. And shorebirds are rarely somber in plumage. As a group, pterodactyls probably sported the camouflaging color scheme common among shorebirds, a dark topside to hide it from bigger pterosaurs attacking from above, a white bottomside to hide it from prey in the water below. (life size dinosaur)A prob able color pattern for Cuvier’s Pterodactylus would be puffinlike. When the flying reptiles are portrayed in seabird tones, these Mesozoic fliers lose their malevolent aspect and become positively handsome.
Pterodactyls should evoke awe. But in the most commonly used twentieth-century paleontology textbook, these noble creatures were described as failures in everything they did. They couldn’t have flown because, it was asserted, their wing mem-branes weren’t stiff enough and were too crudely controlled by the reptile’s muscles. A single finger was deemed far less efficient as a support for the wings than the four fingers bats employ to stretch out their flying surface. It was postulated that pterodactyls couldn’t have flapped at all because their wing surface had been too flaccid. Furthermore, the experts decided that pterodactyls were accident-prone.
Since there existed no stiff anatomical structure within the wing to prevent a tear from running right across the entire surface, pterodactyls were supposed to have been vulnerable to snagging on branches or rocky outcroppings.(life like dinosaur) Even on the ground pterodactyls were portrayed as clumsy locomotor machines, incapable of walking normally either on two legs or four. All told, the mid-twentieth-century portrait of the pterosaur was wretched: a flying creature that managed to get into the air only when the wind was precisely right, permitting its underpowered, floppy wings to glide passively on updrafts.(realistic animatronic dinosaur) According to the orthodox theory, these flying reptiles survived only because there was no aerial competition. And when flying birds finally did evolve in the Cretaceous, their elegantly designed feathered wings were so manifestly superior to those of pterodactyls that the avian tribes quickly replaced the obsolete harpies of the Mesozoic.