This interesting subclass of reptiles first emerged some 200 million years ago in the Upper Triassic Period and later became extinct. All are reptiles, because they bear fundamental reptilian features: cold-blooded metabolisms (unable to produce their own heat), and bodies covered in scales. However, thanks to their powerful wings, they were able to fly.
Various popular evolutionist publications portray flying reptiles as a paleontological discovery that supports Darwinism—or at least, give such an impression. In fact, however, their origin constitutes a major dilemma for the theory of evolution: The flying reptiles emerge in the fossil record suddenly and fully formed, with no intermediate form between them and terrestrial reptiles. They have perfectly created powerful wings, which no land reptiles possess. Yet no fossil of a half-winged creature has ever been discovered.
In fact, it is impossible for half-winged creatures ever to have existed. Had such fictitious animals ever lived, they would have been at a disadvantage compared to other species, having lost the use of their front legs, but still being unable to fly. In that case, according to the logic of evolution itself, they would have swiftly gone extinct.
When examined, the wing structure of flying reptiles is seen that as too flawless and sophisticated to be explained in terms of evolution. Flying reptiles have five fingers on their wings, as do other reptiles do on their front limbs. However, the fourth finger is some 20 times longer than the others, and the wing stretches out from it as a membrane. Had terrestrial reptiles actually evolved into flying reptiles, then the fourth finger in question could only have lengthened gradually—and in stages. Not just the fourth finger but all structural wing changes must have come about through mutations, and the entire process must have constituted an advantage for these animals.
The very notion that a land reptile could have gradually been converted into a flying reptile is absurd. The incipient, part-way evolved structures, rather than conferring advantages to the intermediate stages, would have been a great disadvantage. For example, evolutionists suppose that, strange as it may seem, mutations occurred that affected only the fourth fingers a little bit at a time. Of course, other random mutations occurring concurrently, incredible as it may seem, were responsible for the gradual origin of the wing membrane, flight muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, and other structures necessary to form the wings. At some stage, the developing flying reptile would have had about 25 percent wings. This strange creature would never survive, however. What good are 25 percent wings? Obviously the creature could not fly, and he could no longer run.168
It is impossible to account for the origin of flying reptiles in terms of Darwinist evolutionary mechanisms. Indeed, the fossils make it clear that no such evolution ever took place. All that exists in the fossil record are perfect, flying reptiles, along with land-dwelling reptiles of the kind we are familiar with today.
Robert L. Carroll, an evolutionist himself and one of the most eminent figures in the world of vertebrate paleontology, makes this confession:
. . . all the Triassic pterosaurs were highly specialized for flight . . . They provide C9 no evidence of earlier stages in the origin of flight.169
None of the flying reptiles provides any evidence for evolution. However, since for most people the word reptile implies a land-dwelling vertebrate, evolutionist publications seek to lump the pterodactyls in with dinosaurs and write about “reptiles opening and closing their wings.” But in fact, land reptiles and flying reptiles emerged with no evolutionary links between them.
168 Duane T. Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No, ICR, San Diego, 1998, p. 103.
169 Robert L. Carroll, Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution. p. 336.