Well, almost everyone of course, but that hasn’t stopped some people claiming that they couldn’t. Or at least that some of the Cretaceous giants like Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus couldn’t. The main ‘offender’ of late was a paper I took to task for commenting on pterosaur flight while clearly written by people who didn’t know much about them and was not refereed by pterosaur workers either. If you are going to go out on a limb and talk about pterosaurs in a paper, it might be an idea to learn a bit about them first. If not, you run the risk of making some big errors and wasting other people’s time correcting something that shouldn’t need correcting.
In this case, Mark Witton and Mike Habib have gone out there and made the case for big pterosaurs being flight capable. They also talk about the problems of scaling the giant pterosaurs from rather fragmentary remains and of comparing birds to pterosaurs. So, if you want proof (if it really were needed) that pterosaurs were flying animals, then hop over to the Pterosaur.net blog where posts are coming, or PLoS One where the paper is freely available. Enjoy.
Oh, and the media have been all over this already, though primarily focusing on the ‘pterosaurs could vault?’ bit, which of course was published in 2008 and got plenty of coverage in 2009 thanks to this. Still, if you want the media side of things then you can see here, here, and here among others (warning: this may include pterosaurs being called dinosaurs. Again).