Friday, August 29, 2014

Research Essay || Pterosaurs: Facts & Fables

Several years ago I started this essay for a {home}school assignment. I revised it a couple times but wasn't completely happy with it and so it's been sitting on my computer until now! I just corrected a few things rather than completely re-writing it; not sure how much my writing style has changed over the years? Was it worth digging this out of my archives?


Pterosaurs have been, and still are, a topic of great fascination to people of all ages. Because of this, many children’s products and “educational” items feature them. Notice I wrote “educational”. Unfortunately much of the readily-available information about them isn’t factual.  And while nearly everyone has heard of pterodactyls, the term pterosaur is foreign to most. It is also common to mistakenly refer to pterosaurs as dinosaurs. And, did pterosaurs really exist, or are they purely mythical? Are there any alive today?

One mistake people commonly make when referring to pterosaurs is calling them pterodactyls. A pterodactyl is a pterosaur, but a pterosaur is not necessarily a pterodactyl. What do I mean? Let’s illustrate: a Labrador is a dog, but is every a dog a Labrador? No way! The term pterosaur refers to members of order Pterosauria. Pterodactyl, however, refers to members of the genus Pterodactylus, and more broadly, suborder Pterodactyloidea.

Another common myth about pterosaurs is that they are flying dinosaurs. However, the term dinosaur “terrible lizard” refers specifically to members of superorder Dinosauria, while pterosaur “winged lizard” refers specifically to members of order Pterosauria. Also, dinosaurs have solid bones, as do other land animals, but pterosaurs have mostly hollow bones, suitable for flight, similar those of birds. In fact, even if dinosaurs did have wings, their dense bones would have made them too heavy to leave the ground!

Some people think that pterosaurs themselves are merely fictional! Why then, do we have many fossils of them being found? In addition, why have people the world over passed down stories of them from generation to generation, since before long-distance communication became possible? Cave art, from ancient times, also depicts them. And, have you looked in the Bible? Isaiah 30:6 references a “fiery flying serpent.” Pterosaurs are the only reptiles known to have had the ability to fly.

Are they extinct? Well, that is their scientific status, although people worldwide have (recently) reported sightings of them, or creatures that sound much like them. Nevertheless, none have been captured, no bodies have been found, and no photos have been captured of them.

In summary, pterodactyls are just one type of pterosaur, and, despite common belief, pterosaurs are NOT dinosaurs. They really existed, and, while it seems unlikely, it is not impossible that there could be some alive today.


NB: This isn't an exhaustive list.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who Needs Toys Anyway?!

A new look at possible uses for 40-litre tubs. Courtesy of Maria (4yrs) and Laura (2yrs).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Diana's Birthday || Presents

:: Chocolate's always good!  : :
And dimensional stickers for card-making

: : Knitting's exciting! : :

: : So she can read at night without the main light on : :

: : I saw a cake like this on Pinterest a while back, and finally made it! : :

: : Her collection! : :

Monday, August 11, 2014

10 on 10

: : Envelope with her birthday card {from me} : :

: : {My} birthday card from Nana : :
{Thank you!!}

: : I took this {out the window!} of the neighbours' peach tree. : :
I played with the colours and exposure a bit in Picmonkey and this came out. Isn't it cool?

: : Orange season! : :

: : Mum's fav clock : :

: : And more Laura pics :P : :

: : Snuggled up watching Little Einsteins with her dolls : :

: : "Watch a mooovie!" : :

Monday, August 04, 2014


Happy 9th Birthday Diana!

Over the past year Diana has

  • played {recorder} in her first concert
  • begun cooking meals {alone} for the family occasionally
  • learned to knit

Leave her a message in the comments section below!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Gianna: Aborted, and Lived to Tell About It || Book Review

Gianna: Aborted, and Lived to Tell About It is an interesting biography of abortion survivor Gianna Jessen, authored by Jessica Shaver Renshaw and published by Focus on the Family. Focusing not on issues, but on Gianna’s story, Jessica relates the pain, fear, determination, hope, joy, and humour of this heroic woman’s life. I barely put this book down before finishing it!

Gianna entered the world crying, like most newborns. But she wasn't supposed to. Feeling alone and vulnerable, her 17-year-old mother listened when Planned Parenthood told her she couldn't raise a child because she lived with her mother, who was already on welfare. Remarkably, Gianna survived the saline abortion with only mild cerebral palsy.

Although Gianna’s determination served her well in learning to live with her disability, it didn't make life easy. Becoming frustrated one day as a 12-year-old, Gianna asked her adoptive mother the reason for her cerebral palsy. This wasn't the first time Gianna asked, but it was the first time she got the answer she was looking for. On finding out, Gianna thought for a few minutes before saying, “Well, at least I have cerebral palsy for an interesting reason!”

Soon after, Gianna filled her first speaking engagement, and shared her story at Crusade for Life’s Mother’s Day Banquet. And thus began her speaking career. Being an aspiring musician, Gianna’s answer when asked to speak was, “Yes, as long as I can sing!” She now travels the world, speaking (and singing!) at various pro-life events. Her music career also included singing for October Baby, a Christian film inspired by her story.

This book was written to share Gianna’s journey, and not to argue on issues. I think this purpose was achieved in this inspirational biography.