Kongamato: An exclusive Pterosaurs of Africa

| 31. July 2020 |

The last pterosaurs are recorded to live 66 million years ago on earth. After that, the cretaceous period came to an end.  A myth about a pterosaurs-like cryptid exists in Africa which conquered much fame after its feature in the book “In Witch bound Africa” by the explorer Frank Welland.  It was given the name Kongamato which means “over turner of the boats” as they are said to knock over the boats and canoes and attack the people who come close to the waters.

It is described by the natives as dark orange or reddish lizards with leathery wings that lack feathers. Its wingspan is between 40 to 100 feet. Their beaks with a set of teeth are said to be large enough to puncture holes in the chest of humans.  A man was once hospitalized with a puncture wound in his chest and he claimed to have been attacked by the kongamato.

In the accounts of “Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors” Brian Irwin recently took a trip to the Jiundu Swamp whereof all the people only a very old man knew anything about kongamato that too based on the stories, he had been told in his childhood which led the author to conclude that the creature was most probably extinct.

 The interesting part is when the natives of Africa are shown the pictures of animals, both alive and extinct, they flip through the pages and identify the pictures of the pterodactyls as representations of kongamato. Many victims of the kongamato drew the illustrations of pterodactyls as kongamato and claimed them to be the attackers.

One of the most famous witnesses of Kongomatos described the wings to be Dracula-like. It is said that they sleep by hanging upside down from tree branches during the day and they are most active at dusk. Its color and all the above points make some people of the view that kongamato is a type of bat. However many disregard the theory owing to the factor that the kongamatos are said to have teeth inside their beaks.

The Kaonde people of Africa believed in the kongamato to such an extent that they used to carry amulets and charms called “muchi wa kongamato” to protect themselves at river crossings from the vicious creature. Conclusively, the natives of Africa choose to believe in this creature even when the world speaks otherwise.