This is just a glorified doodle really, but it wouldn’t leave me alone.
Everyone here knows I love folklore. And, odds are, you all know I love science… but I also love when science screws up. When we make leaps of the imagination, and are wrong.
So, folks, which seems more probable to you? Because one of these creatures was real.
That’s right. Sadly, the bottom one is fake… However, it is based upon scientific speculation for a prehistoric creature… pterodactyls.
That’s right. At one time, some folks humored the thought that pterosaurs might be a variety of bats, but not just bats-- marsupial bats! Don’t believe me? Then you may want to take a gander at Edward Newman’s 1843 Note on the Pterodactyl Tribe Considered as Marsupial Bats.
However, then we have the real creature, Sharovipteryx! This little fellow from the early Triassic just really caught my heart. Come on, it has canards for crying out loud! I mean, sure, we have flying squirrels and such today, but nothing quite like this!
It’s so cool to find out that reality is stranger than we could have imagined!
Like how early tetrapods had many digits… like seven or eight! Or Leiolepis ngovantrii, a lizard that reproduces by cloning, and is an all-female species, Or solenodons , which are mammals that inject prey with venom, Or how we have found bacteria that can use arsenic as a nutrient (and thus live in a phosphorus depleted environment), Or how there are whole ecosystems based on chemosynthesis. Or how the same gene that tells a caterpillar where to have gummy legs also determines where the spots will form once it’s an adult butterfly. Or how the stoplight loosejaw produces red bioluminescence, because its prey is designed to see blue light. Or… well, I’m sure you get the idea.
There is just no end to how awesome the world is, both in reality, and in speculation. And I can’t wait to learn more.