Old Pterosaur Story (France; 1856)

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Taken from About.com. Anyone ever heard of this?? If so, what happened to the Pterosaur??

Another fascinating tale of a pterosaur literally coming out of stone dates back to 1856 in France. Workmen were digging through Jurassic-era limestone for a railway tunnel between the St.-Dizier and Nancy lines. When a large bolder of limestone was split open, the workers were astonished to see a large winged creature come stumbling out. They said it fluttered its wings, let out a croaking noise and then dropped dead at their feet. The creature had thick black, leathery skin, a beak full of sharp teeth, long talons for feet, and membrane-like wings that spanned 10 feet, 7 inches, by their measure.

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Wookiee said:
Taken from About.com. Anyone ever heard of this?? If so, what happened to the Pterosaur??



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I've read about that in several different places and it fascinated me a few years back, but none seem to say what happened to it! I'd really like to know too...
 

EnolaGaia

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It appears this story is widely presumed to be a hoax.

Perhaps the earliest 'living pterosaur' account dates to 1856 when, according to the Illustrated London News, a live pterodactyl with a 3 m wingspan emerged alive from within a rock dislodged during the construction of a French railway tunnel. The emergence of live animals from 'within solid rock' was not an unfamiliar idea at the time, as various Victorian reports described the discovery of frogs, toads and other animals within rocks or stones. This story is clearly a hoax: the pterosaur allegedly represented a new species dubbed Pterodactylus anas. Anas means duck; in France (where the pterosaur was allegedly found), a duck is called a canard. Canard is another word for hoax.

SOURCE: https://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2007/12/23/pterosaurs-alive
 

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This account gives more details. This and other accounts trace the story back to a February 1856 issue of the Illustrated London News.*

Another fascinating tale of a pterosaur literally coming out of stone dates back to 1856 in France. Workmen were digging through Jurassic-era limestone for a railway tunnel between the St.-Dizier and Nancy lines. When a large boulder of limestone was split open, the workers were astonished to see a large winged creature come tumbling out. They said it fluttered its wings, let out a croaking noise and then dropped dead at their feet. The creature had thick black, leathery skin, a beak full of sharp teeth, long talons for feet, and membrane-like wings that spanned 10 feet, 7 inches, by their measure.

The body of the creature was taken to the nearby town of Gray, according to the story, where it was identified as a pterodactyl by a student of paleontology. As reported in the Illustrated London News of February 9, 1856, the rock in which the creature had apparently been entombed for millions of years, contained a precise mold of its body.

SOURCE: https://www.liveabout.com/did-pterosaurs-survive-extinction-2594566

* Edit: More specifically ... The (Saturday) February 9, 1856 edition, p. 166.
 
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