Fremont Culture Quetzalcoatlus (pterosaur)

Posted by Chris Parker
Jul 02 2006

Item 1

Indians of the Fremont culture are thought to have inhabited the “Swell” between 700 and 1250 A.D. The voluminous evidence of their tenure there includes, stone granaries, cooking utensils and cookfires; artwork (pictographs) or carved petroglyphs).

Black Dragon Canyon is named for one such pictograph (pictured bottom ) which resembles a large winged reptile or pterodactyl.

Item 2“  Fran Barnes, a recognized authority on rock art of the American South-West, (who “despises” creationists”) writes, ‘In the San Rafael Swell, there is a pictograph [picture symbol] that looks very much like a pterosaur a Cretaceous flying reptile’…” (Swift, Dennis, “Messages on Stone,” Creation Ex Nihilo, vol. 19, p. 20).

This figure, about 7 feet long from wing-tip to wing-tip, is actually painted with a dark-red pigment. Indians of the Fremont culture are thought to have inhabited the “Swell” between 700 and 1250 A.D. Black Dragon Canyon is named for the pictograph which resembles a large winged reptile with a headcrest.

Item 3

In 1971, Douglas Lawson, a masters candidate at the University of Texas in Austin, was performing geological field work in the park within the Javelina Formation.

He discovered a fossil bone eroding out of an arroyo bank. His professor, Dr. Wann Langston Jr., determined that this long, hollow, very thin-walled bone could only be from a pterosaur wing.

Subsequent excavations recovered more wing bones, but unfortunately the wing must have detached from the body before being buried and fossilized, because no body bones could be found. Lawson named his discovery Quetzalcoatlus (pictured top left) after the Aztec feathered snake deity Quetzalcoatl.

Dr. Langston continued to search and eventually found other specimens of Quetzalcoatlus in the park. Although these were smaller than the original, they were more complete and had a very impressive wingspan of at least 18 feet.

Comparison of these complete specimens with the huge bones of the original Quetzalcoatlus made it possible to calculate the body size of Lawson’s specimen. This enormous pterosaur had an estimated wingspan of 36-39 feet, making it the largest known flyer of all time….Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is about 900 miles from the San Rafael Swell.

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