More than a hundred years ago, Americans caught a pterosaur and took a photo. There is no trace of "PS"?

2021-04-02 | Flower planter on Star Sea Road Original |

Some time ago, a news broke on the Internet: In the 1950s, a strange photo was published in various media in the United States and caused a sensation. The photo was taken in 1864 and the location was near the city of Vicksburg.People dressed in civil war costumes are holding a huge "bird" that looks like a pterosaur. There are four people sitting in front, two of them holding guns, it seems that this is a prey that has just been hunted!

Didn't the pterosaurs have long been extinct? Why did they appear in photos during the American Civil War?

Pterosaurs are animals that lived from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous. They are neither dinosaurs nor birds. If you want to define them, you can only say that they are flying lizards. The wings areThe wing membrane is composed of bones, skin, and muscles, and it has a certain flying ability, but it cannot fly freely like a bird.

Pterosaurs have two suborders, namely Beak-billed Pterodactyl suborder and Pterodactyl suborder. Due to the lack of fossil records of pterosaurs, its pedigree is not particularly complete, and the pterosaurs are quite different in body shape.The dragon’s maximum wingspan was more than 10 meters, and it was as small as a human pterosaur. However, in the late Cretaceous, due to the rise of birds, the space of the pterosaur was squeezed. Only large pterosaurs continued to exist, and other small ones.The pterosaurs are all extinct.

From this old photo, it seems to be a kind of Pteranodon a toothless pterodactyl. This pteranodon is highly recognizable, with its skull swelling upwards. The pteranodon in "Jurassic Park"That's it. In "Jurassic World", it is Dsungaripterus Junggar pterosaur. The size of toothless pterosaur is larger, generally up to 20 feet 6 meters, and the Junggar pterosaur is only about 3 meters.

Atoothless pterosaurs lived in the Late Cretaceous from the Conyacian stage to the Campanian stage, about 88 million to 80 million years ago, only about 8 million years ago, that is to say, when the dinosaurs became extinctThey were extinct before the planetary impact, so how could these pterosaurs appear in photographs during the American Civil War?

The legend of the American Thunderbird, the doctor's verification process

Actually, the photos of similar pterosaurs appearing in the United States are far more than the photo taken near Vicksburg. In 2000, a picture of a suspected pterosaur was broadcast on the Freakylinks column of FOX TV.It shows a pterosaur crossing a field with seven people standing behind with rifles and wearing civil war clothes. One of them is still stepping on the poor animal with his left foot.


The picture below is said to be that during the Civil War in the United States in 1864, a team of soldiers shot down a "giant bird" flying in the air. This huge bird has a wingspan of close to 10 meters and looks similar to toothless wings.The dragon is relatively close, but the size is more similar to the Fengshen pterosaur.

Doctor's verification: These are all fake!

The famous American science writer and zoologist Dr. Carl Schuck is also very curious about this. After all, these are from the era without PS, and these creatures did live on the land of North America, but 65 millionIt is really doubtful that it will reappear more than a year ago.

So Dr. Shu Ke began to investigate the ins and outs of this photo. After some searching, the doctor found the original source. In the December issue of "True West" published in 2015, he found the original author based on the information on the page. It was from the United KingdomThe hand of the famous illustrator Chris Smith in Croydon, London!

Related picture information of Chris Smith on Flickr, EXIF ​​information on the right

Chris Smith also joked: "My version of the famous'lost' thunderbird photo allegedly published in the'Tombstone Gazette' in the late 19th Century."Published in the Tombstone newspaper at the end of the 19th century.

The picture of the Great God’s CG is really NB

There is also an interesting photo that proved to be obtained from the early post-processing of the negative. The characters and content in the above picture have been changed beyond recognition by post-production. Don’t think that you can’t have PS without a computer before. The early one is calledDarkroom technology is similar to modern PS, and photos of changing flowers and trees during World War II abound.

A photo processed by "darkroom technology"

This is based on the death photo of the desperado John Sontag 1893, and then added the pterodactyl corpse to the photo. It is impossible to confirm when it was made. It may be an April Fool’s gimmick.It could also be a commemorative postcard material in Tombstone, Arizona or elsewhere in the Southwest.

Extended reading: American Giant Bird

In addition to these pictures of pterosaurs, there are also the "Thunderbirds" that have been rumored in American history. This huge bird can directly grab people and take off into the air, and there are also many photos left:

Dr. Shuke also verified this. Some of the existing birds, such as marabou storks, were artistically processed, and some were made by humans, just like the famous Cardiff Giant incident in North American history..

This kind of giant eagle has indeed appeared in the Americas in geological history, such as the Argentine giant eagle in the late Miocene 6 million years ago. This giant eagle weighing 70 to 150 kilograms has a wingspan of 7 meters.A Cessna is about the same size!

But the flying ability is very poor. Generally, you need to take off with the airflow on the high mountains, and then return to the high mountains. Once you land on the plains, the takeoff will be very difficult. There is also a mulberry 15 million years ago.Pseudotooth, this bird is about the same size as the Argentine giant eagle, but slightly lighter in weight.

Sang's pseudo-tooth bird

However, they have long since become extinct. The largest flying bird in North America is the Andean vulture, with a wingspan of 3.2 meters and a weight of up to 15 kg. Of course, it is possible to pick up a young child, but it is obviously not for adults.


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