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The independent state of Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands. It is somewhat larger than the state of California and is mostly mountainous and covered in rainforest. Papua New Guinea is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, at the point of collision of several tectonic plates causing a number of active volcanoes on the island. Many species of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects are found on the island including two reported species of flying prehistoric reptiles, the more well known Ropen and the larger, but less known, Duah.

The Duah, thought to be a form of presumed extinct pteranodon, is described as having leathery wings, a long, reportedly toothless beak and a large head crest. Renowned for its vicious attacks, which have reportedly ended in more than one human casualty, the Duah is both feared and respected in local communities, and with a wingspan that can reportedly reach lengths of 24 feet who wouldn’t be afraid? That having been stated, most natives believe that the Duah prefers a diet of fish over human flesh, a belief which seems to be backed up by paleontologists research which suggests that ancient pteranodon’s ate seafood as their primary source of nourishment.

One of the earliest reported sightings of the Duah took place in 1875 when a man named Mr. Smithburst, the engineer of a steamer, saw a giant bird with a wingspan of 16 feet while exploring a newly discovered river. He described the creature has having a dark brown leathery skin, a long straight beak and a long neck.

Some researchers, including forensic video analyst, Jonathan Whitcomb, who explored part of the Umboi Island in 2004, believe that the Duah is nothing more than the mature version of the considerably smaller Ropen. Whitcomb believes that someone may have heard the word duwas, another term for the Ropen, and mistook it for the plural form of Duah. It is true that the Ropen and the Duah share similar visual descriptions with each other, with the exception of their size, including their leathery wings and a reported bioluminescent glow, which in one sighting of the Duah reportedly lit up an entire village.

Others believe that the diverse ecology of Papua New Guinea may support two very different forms of flying prehistoric reptile. With both the Ropen and Duah receiving more and more scientific attention each year it may only be a matter of time before solid evidence of one of these 65 million year old reptiles is brought forth to a skeptical scientific community.

The Evidence There is currently no physical evidence to support the existence of either the Ropen or the Duah living along the coastal areas of Papua New Guinea.

The Sightings

In 1875, a man named Mr. Smithburst, an engineer of a steamer, saw a giant bird with a wingspan of 16 feet while exploring a newly discovered river. He described the creature has having a dark brown, a long straight beak and a long neck.

The Stats– (Where applicable)

• Classification: Avian
• Size: 16 to 24 foot wingspan
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Seafood
• Location: Papua New Guinea
• Movement: Flight
• Environment: Mountainous regions along coastal waters