Old Photograph of Pteranodon Taken During Civil War: Fact Check

Old Photograph of Pteranodon Taken During Civil War
Old Photograph of Pteranodon Taken During Civil War


Old Photograph of Pteranodon During Civil War

Other Versions

1. Civil War Pterodactyl Photo

2. Original Civil War Pterosaur Photograph

Facts Analysis:

An old photograph surfacing online quite often is said to show the extinct creature Pteranodon shot by a group of soldiers during Civil War posing around it. There’s been wide skepticism about authenticity of the picture, but as explained below, the photograph is real, although the object/creature seen in it is not known well.

About Pteranodon

Pteranodon is a genus of pterosaurs (not dinosaurs) including some of the largest known flying reptiles with wingspans over 6 meters (20 ft). The extinct species pterosaurs lived during the late Cretaceous geological period of North America.

Civil War Pterodactyl Photograph

The photograph in question shows a group of civil war soldiers posing before camera around what appears like an enormous bird carcass (said to be pterodactyl) they apparently killed (or found). Over the years, many people questioned the authenticity of both the photograph and the creature (Pteranodon).

Another Similar Pteranodon Civil War Photograph

To add more to the mystery of the photograph, there is a second photograph floating on internet space that is very similar – a group of soldiers again standing over a different ‘carcass’.


In case of both the photographs, some people suggested the creature could be a Thunderbird – mentioning some such sightings. Thunderbird is a term in cryptozoology for describing large, bird-like creatures; generally identified as legendary creature of Native American tradition.

Facts about the Pteranodon Photographs

As mentioned in the Cryptomundo website cryptomundo.com, the second photograph in fact shows a Prop of Pteranodon and some guys dressed in Civil War costumes to enact and imitate the old photograph. It was Fox TV/Universal Studio prop used to promote a Television series called FreakyLinks, produced by Haxan Films at the beginning of the 21st century. This staged photograph of Pteranodon discredited the original one.

Reportedly, some people from the middle of the 20th century saw the first, original photograph; long before digital Photoshop/image processing was generally available. Website sfrfg.com reports extensive research on the apparent Pterosaur photograph. It reveals the 19th Century photograph is authentic one, and the animal/object is real. The refer the apparent ‘Pteranodon’ to ‘modern pterosaur’ and the photograph as Ptp.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of Hoax and Facts.

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Prashanth Damarla