Bioluminescent Pterosaurs

Strange as it may sound, “bioluminescent pterosaurs” is the concept that explains many strange flying lights around the world. From the ropen of Papua New Guinea (also called kor, indava, seklo-bali, wawanar, and duwas) to the Marfa Lights of Texas, flying lights do not usually reveal their forms or features at night, but when they are seen in daylight (which is not every day), prepare for a shock: large or giant long-tailed pterosaurs.

That may also explain the many old legends of flying dragons, said to “breath fire.” To peoples living centuries ago, giant bioluminescent Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs would have been called “dragons.” Even the Biblical account of “fiery flying serpents” may have its origins in venomous long-tailed pterosaurs, for the glow would have been attributed to fire (what else could make light at night?) and with wings coiled up in repose the creatures would have resembled snakes.

But what creatures are recognized, by modern science, as capable of extremely brilliant bioluminescence? Well . . .  none, at least not yet, for bioluminescent organisms, like the firefly, give off a rather dim light, at least compared with what has been reported in some of the ghost lights or ropen lights. But real science is not a static regiment of recited facts; it is methodical progress in obtaining more information and coming to better understand it.

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