We told you last month about an academic in Long Beach warning about flying predators: snakes formally known asChrysopelea paradisi
to be exact. Now, another academic in Long Beach is illuminating the world about a different, much larger flying predator--and this one not only glows in the dark, it may be a modern pterodactyl.
You know, flying dinosaur. Living among us. Yikes!
First, it was Virginia Tech biologist Jake Socha who lead a presentation at an egghead convention in Long Beach on five related species of tree-dwelling, flying snakes found in Southeast and South Asia.
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Jonathan Whitcomb is actually based in Long Beach, where as a cryptozoology author he offers an explanation of the mystery lights of Marfa, Texas, and Papua New Guinea. Human inhabitants in both places have observed in the sky balls of light that seem to split into two, fly away from each other and then turn around and fly back together.
Such sights have produced legends about dancing devils or ghosts and scientific explanations involving lightning or earthlights. Whitcomb has a far different explanation: bioluminescent predators flying together until they notice an increased presence of insects.
The pterodactyls--which are actually known as pterosaurs--then split up because their meal of choice--big brown bats--feed on insects. When the brown bats, known as Eptesicus fuscus, start feeding on the insects, the pterosaurses bear down on the bats from opposite sides. With tummies full, they return to flying together again.
Hey, it's a theory, one that Whitcomb is sticking to based on eyewitness accounts from the American Southwest and the southwest Pacific. He's even written a book about it, Live Pterosaurs in America, whose second edition was recently published.