Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Paranormal » Cryptozoology » Ropens

Ropens appear to be the variety of cryptid that is known to have been a real creature but believed to be extinct. Several species have been rediscovered long after they were thought to be extinct. However, pterosaurs are thought to have been extinct for about sixty million years or more.

The majority of the sightings have been from New Guinea but reports have come from the most remote corners of Africa, from Cuba, and the U.S. states of Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Late in 1999, William Gibbons, a cryptozoologist, reported the discovery of a new cryptid, called ropens, which was reported from parts of Melanesia. He based his report on information supplied by two missionaries in Papua New Guinea. The flying reptiles were said to frequent lakes and mountain caverns. In early 2001, Gibbons added that natives in the region recognized two different flying cryptids.

The first, which Gibbons identified as a true ropen, seems to be restricted to Rambutyo, a small island off the east coast of Papua New Guinea, and Umzoi, a larger island between Papua New Guinea and New Britain. The creature was described as reptilian, with a 3-4-foot wingspan, long jaws filled with teeth, and a slender tail tipped with a diamond-shaped flange. This description closely matches reconstructions of Rhamphorhynchus, a pterosaur presumed to have been extinct since the end of the Jurassic period. It is said to live in caves.

A larger species of ropen, called Duah by natives, has a 2o-foot wingspan and a bony crest on its head, a description that matches Pteranodon, a pterosaur of the Cretaceous period.

Although recent research suggests that pterosaurs may have had light feathers, most scientists believe that they developed the ability to fly along a different evolutionary path than birds. Scientists believe that pterosaurs did not fly easily and that they may have needed a cliff or a sloped runway in order to launch into a wind current, and contemporary reports are that the creatures they saw seemed to have a difficult time getting airborne.

David Whitcomb has been the most prolific author dedicated to writing about these cryptids, and he seems to have been the one who popularized the term "ropen" in reference to them. Whitcomb believes that there could be some small populations of pterosaurs that managed to survive the great dinosaur extinction, living today in well-hidden places. From his research, Whitcomb also believes that they have developed the ability to glow in the dark, a trait known as bioluminescence, basing this conclusion on eyewitness accounts.

Although the historic pterosaurs came in several configurations, those that are being reported have a hammer-shaped, crested head, flapping wings, and a long tail that ends in a heart-shaped pad, which is associated with the earliest pterosaurs, according to the archaeological record. However, some contemporary sightings are of a short tail or no tail.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on flying dinosaurs, generally believed to have been long extinct, by whatever names they might be known by. Online resources referencing these cryptids are appropriate topics for this category.



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