Yes, it’s true. As revealed by my most redoubtable friend and ally Nemo Ramjet, Amerindian people knew of giant flightless azhdarchids long before their possible existence was hypothesised about here at Tet Zoo (follow-ups here and here). Depicting these animals in their artwork, they symbolised them as the great bird Kaloo: this was the most terrifying of all creatures, a stork-headed, long-necked, quadrupedal, flightless bird with long, three-fingered arms and slim legs. Wow.
I am, of course, joking. Nemo discovered an illustrations of Kaloo in a book on mythology and thought that it looked uncannily (read: vaguely) similar to Shemhazai, the hypothetical flightless azhdarchid-that-might-have-been. The question remains: was Kaloo a real mythological entity (rather than just a random illustration that was given a bogus name by the book’s publishers) and, if so, what was it based on? Nemo has a longer discussion of this matter here, do visit. For previous thoughts on ‘modern’ pterosaurs so beloved of creationists and some cryptozoologists, see Pterosaurs alive in, like, the modern day!
Just received volume II of Evolution of Tertiary Mammals of North America to review. Awesome. The most surprising thing: a quote from my review of vol I appears on the back! Have also just been sent John Long and Peter Schouten’s Feathered Dinosaurs. Absolutely wonderful… but with some problems.