Although the word “dragon” does not usually come up, Australians sometimes see a giant long-tailed living pterosaur, regardless of the label put to it. The most famous sighting is probably the Perth creature, seen by a married couple who were taking a walk one evening in December of 1997, but similar flying creatures have been seen on the east coast and in the south.
“My husband and I both sighted a huge creature flying over a densely populated area, while we were out walking one night in Perth, Western Australia on the coastline around 10:30 pm . . . it had a ruddy reddish brown leathery skin . . . it had a long tail and a wingspan that we estimated at between 30-50 feet across. . . .” [correlates with Gideon Koro's account]
“This creature was huge and never in my life have I ever seen anything that remotely resembled it until I found a page on Pterosaurs . . . My husband works in a scientific field and he observed it and took in much more about it than I.
“What we saw did not appear to have a long neck, at least we could not see it from the angle . . . yes, we believe it did have a tail, and don’t believe they were feet, but actually a tail . . .”
“In the early 1990s I was living in . . . South Australia. . . . [I] drove . . . out to Western Australia . . . [to] see the outback. . . . stopped . . . set up the tent . . . [something] looked like an airplane, far away. . . . maybe a couple hundred feet [high]. . . . it got nearer to me, I noticed that the wings were actually flapping gently . . . no sound. It was getting closer . . . had a wingspan [of about] 15 or 20 feet. It got close . . . leathery . . . no feathers at all.”
Giant Pterosaurs in Australia – east coast, north of Brisbane
During his farm chores, between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., he [a boy of about twelve years old] forgot something and had to backtrack. . . . at the door of a shed, he saw a large creature with wings. It was on the roof of the shed, just above the door where he had recently been standing.
The boy had a brief view of the body and wings of the creature. It was larger than an average man six feet tall, with wings that folded to the side and back . . .
The giant pterosaur of Australia may be related to the long-tailed Kongamato of Africa or the long-tailed featherless flying creature seen in Sudan, Africa. It may also be related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, although it could be a different species, notwithstanding the ropen is sometimes described as being a giant.
Are all fictional stories based upon people or animals that never existed? Let’s be careful not to rush to conclusions about dragons, for fantasies, though fictional, are often based upon some truth. The story of Little Red Riding Hood is fictional, but grandmothers and wolves are both real.
What do dragons and pterosaurs have in common? Celtic dragons had arrows at the end of their tails, which may relate to pterosaur tails. What about Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur tails? Are not dragon tails also long? Perhaps most noteworthy are the wings: both pterosaurs and flying dragons have featherless wings.