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|Top: Bird effigy pot from the Popol Vuh Museum in Guatemala. The tentative identification is a Heron, which is a perfectly acceptable guess-especially given the fact that science says pterosaurs were extinct at the time this piece was made.
On the other hand, a pterosaur is also a reasonble guess-assuming that they were alive for the artist to see. On the botton, left above is one of hundreds of different types of pterosaurs. On the bottom, right is a blue heron in flight. One can see why pterosaur sightings are very often ascribed to the heron. The feet are dragged behind in flight making them look like the tail of a pterosaur.
What strikes us as unheron like is the "spike" at the back of the head. You can decide for yourself whether the heron or a pterosaur is the best candidate for this ancient piece of art. Click and Drag Photo to resize. .