New evidence for the divine: a plastic pterosaur

by Matthew Cobb

Animals are very good coincidence detectors. It’s how we learn. Bell rings, food comes, dog salivates. Light comes on, floor is shocked, rat avoids light. Humans are particularly good at it, so much that we end up feeling spooked when banal coincidences happen. “I just thought of you, then you phoned/mailed/turned the corner”. (Of course, we’re never struck by all those times that we thought of someone and they didn’t immediately hove into view). This capacity is at the root of all religions.

So I now declare that I have had a deeply moving experience because, no sooner had I blogged about pterosaurs yesterday, than this completely unlifelike pterosaur glider arrived, stuck to the cover of my youngest daughter’s copy of NG Kids (highly recommended). HOW SPOOKY IS THAT?

But what deity is responsisble? How can we praise him/her/it/them? What new Church should I set up? And how much should I charge?

To be honest, the question that is really preoccupying me is – how could they make a Pteranodon glider that looks more like a flying fish than a flying reptile?


  1. Posted January 15, 2010 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Haha, awesome!

    And yeah, I know about that feeling. Happens every now and then. Creepy! But then I of course realize just what you wrote: what about those times you DON’T run into the person you think about?

    Selective memory ftw! \o/

    Or maybe not? :p

  2. Gary
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    You can check out all the other cool stuff at this website. I’m particularly impressed with the very real looking (sarcasm alert) Brotosaurus Ben wind up!

  3. Piero
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    My guess: it’s a Chinese manufacturer’s botched attempt at a flying dragon. Someone in the factory must have said: “This crap looks like a pteranodon”, and they took it from there.

  4. NewEnglandBob
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The body actually looks more like a whale than a fish in that picture.

  5. MadScientist
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    It’s obviously a transitional form somewhere between a fish and a reptile and a bird.

    Did you make a template so you could cut a sheet of balsa and make a whole squadron of ’em? Hmm … then again why cut by hand when a laser cutter can repeat the pattern so much quicker …

    • MadScientist
      Posted January 15, 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Oh, since it’s a transitional glider, make the religion Darwinism. 😛

  6. Darrell E
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I would like to second the plug for Nat Geo kids. I haven’t seen the pteranofish / ichthyodon glider yet though. That is awsome. My kids must be holding out on me.

  7. Notagod
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    That’s what you get when trying to bypass millions of years of evolutionary processes. Just additional evidence that none of the christian gods could have done it either.

  8. Sili
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    If it looks like a fish, it’s likely attributable to Dagon. May you and yours be eaten first.

  9. SaintStephen
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious, Matthew!

    It’s been a pleasure reading all your contributions to Jerry’s blog during his trip to The Galápagos Islands.

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