Antoinette
James
WORDWRIGHT
Could the Sioux Indian story about a hunting party encountering a large flying bird they  
call Thunderbird, in fact be an encounter with a pteranodon?  
Such stories are common place throughout North and South America by many  
indigenous peoples who live there.

‘One day, long long ago, before the white man came to America, a party of Sioux  
Indian warriors were out hunting. They had left their village far behind. Before they  
realized it, the group of braves found themselves alone in the bare and rocky badlands  
of the West.
‘Suddenly the sky darkened … There was a clap of thunder that shook the earth.  
Looking up in terror, the Indians thought they saw the shape of a giant bird falling to  
earth …
‘The band of hunters travelled over the badlands for days until they came at last to the  
spot where they thought the giant bird had fallen. Nothing was left of the terrible  
creature but its bones …
‘The Indians shuddered as they looked at the monster’s skeleton. The bird had fallen  
so hard they thought, that its bones were partly sunk in the rock. But the braves could  
see that its wingspread was as big as four tall men standing on top of one another. The  
strange creature had fierce claws on its wings, as well as on its feet, and the beak was  
long and sharp. There was a long, bony crest on its head. The Indians knew that they  
had never seen a bird like it before.’…1

‘The thunderbird appears in many Indian tales and Indian art work. Its description is  
very much like one of the prehistoric flying reptiles that flapped its way through the  
skies in the days of the dinosaurs.’2
Geis, D., Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, Grosset & Dunlap, New York, p. 9, 1972.
Geis, D., Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, Grosset & Dunlap, New York, p. 10, 1972.
      Lakota Thunderbird Story