Nahuel Huapi Pterosaur

Flying Reptile of South America.

Physical description: Leathery skin. Pelican-like. Habitat: Caves.

Distribution: Lago Nahuel Huapi, Neuquen Province, Argentina.

Significant sightings: In the nineteenth century, two hunters named Milacsek and Shirdos shot a pelican-like bird or reptile with leathery skin that flew away from a cave at Lago Nahuel Huapi, Argentina. Ulrich Dunkel claims the animal was left with the National Museum of Natural History in Santiago, Chile (founded in 1830), but was lost during one of the civil wars that Chile went through (in 1829-1830, 1851, 1859, 1891). Hans Krieg says only the head was retrieved, it was discarded after three days, and it belonged to a Flying steamerduck (Fachyeres patachonicus), though this bird is hardly pelican-like.

Sources: Hans Krieg, Als Zoologe in Steppen und Wäldern P-'atagoniens (Munich, Germany: J. F. Lehmann, 1940); Ulrich Dunkel, Abenteuer mit Seeschlangen (Stuttgart, Germany: Kreuz-Verlag, 1961).

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