An almost cursory glance at the literature of our ancestors should disabuse those interested (including paleontologists) that pterosaurs have been extinct at the very least through the medieval period. Pterosaurs as dragons should have been an obvious area of research for anyone who was actually interested in the truth.
Pterosaurs are flying creatures that have unique characteristics which should be readily identifiable in ancient literature. They are reptilian, serpentine, and have two legs with five toes.
They have bat-like wings and two Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“handsĂ˘â‚¬Âťwhich are attached to a long finger/arm under their wings. The long tailed versions (birds donĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t have long serpentine tails) also sometimes feature a “vane” at the end which aided in aerodynamics (so it it is believed).
Science would not expect to encounter clearly identifiable representations of the pterosaur in ancient history because paleontologists state that the last individuals died out at least 65,000,000 years ago. So how do they react when a representation turns up which could not be anything else?
Mostly, they ignore it.
Meanwhile, the reality of their existence was so ingrained in Medieval culture that their activity was obliquely described in a newspaper weather report from that era:
“In the end of November and beginning of December last, many of the country people observed dragons (probably Pterosaurs) appearing in the north and flying rapidly towards the east; from which they concluded, and their conjectures were right, that…boisterous weather would follow” ….1793 European Newspaper comment on the Weather”…