Pterodactyl Blamed for Car Crash
A 29-year old man has blamed a Pterodactyl, a common term used to describe flying reptiles or pterosaurs for causing his car to crash into a street lamp. The incident took place in Wenatchee, a small town in Washington state, USA, on Thursday evening around 11.30pm.
When asked by police officers who attended the incident the driver simply stated that he had been forced off the road by a Pterodactyl. It was not reported what the police officers thought of this reply, perhaps the most unusual excuse that any of them had heard. Not surprisingly the driver was tested for alcohol in his bloodstream, the police suspecting a drink-driving offence but a local source claimed only a “minimal” amount of alcohol was found in his system.
According to witness reports, the car drifted onto the wrong side of the highway before crashing into the street lamp. No one else reported seeing any sort of flying reptile so the young man’s story could not be corroborated.
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries and after a brief spell in hospital the man was released into the hands of the local law enforcement officers who have subsequently charged him with first degree negligent driving.
The town of Wenatchee in Chelan county in the south of Washington state nestles between two rivers, the Columbia and Wenatchee. At this time of year, temperatures rarely rise above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit), and although many scientists think pterosaurs were covered in fur they would have needed some heavy duty insulation to make them feel at home in such cold weather.
It is unlikely that cryptozoologists will be rushing up to the nearby Cascade Mountain range in the hope of finding an animal new to science, but at least the excuse provided by the driver is an original one.
Pterosaurs were not “flying Dinosaurs”, they were not members of the Dinosauria clade but reptiles, who like the dinosaurs evolved from the archosaurs. Pterosaurs evolved around the middle of the Triassic and they were the first back-boned animals to take up an aerial life style. The pterosaurs were around for 160 million years, with the last of their kind becoming extinct at the very end of the Cretaceous – 66 million years ago.
It is thought that the rapid expansion of the birds during the later stages of the Cretaceous hastened their decline, with only the likes of the Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus genera lasting until the very end of the Age of Reptiles.
To view a model of Pteranodon and other flying reptile figures: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.