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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lets move on

Now that we have the dragons basic behavior sorted out, lets look at the history that I and others say these creatures must have had (these are just guesses) if they existed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What is "dragonpedia"??

Hey guys!!
Welcome to Dragonpedia, where I will try my best to present everything that I know (and some things that I did not know) about dragons, wyverns, and everything that has anything to do with the dragon family (I call the dragon family Dracus) no matter if they are European or Asian, Ancient Greek or modern, from America to Japan and so on.
Of course I will probably miss some details but that wont matter, since you can add information, opinions and more, (And I sincerely hope you do).
This blog is for those that love everything that has to do with dragons, those that want to get inspired for a character of a book that you are writing or a film of any kind; for those that want to see the theoretical science behind the dragons. (I will call it "Dragonologie”).
Note that some of this information will be from “Dragonologists”, dedicated dragon fans that know a thing or two about Biology, Paleontology and Chemistry. Other things will come from my own guesses about these creatures. And then there is the information that you and all the other readers will supply in your comments, even if it’s an “I do/do not agree”.
I hope you like this Blog and I hope I can hear your opinion soon.
Now, lets get started!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is a dragon??

During this blog, we will encounter several different creatures and many of them will look nothing like a dragon.
So, you will probably be asking the obvious question: “What is a dragon?? How can I/we tell??”
A dragon (from the Latin word Draco and that word from the Greek Drakon, witch means “viper” or “snake”) is a creature that appears in different cultures and time shapes and sizes, but they have some things in common:
At first glance, all dragons have a reptilian description (as the name mentions), to be more specific, the descriptions are always going to look like this: A creature that is covered in scales (except for the Amphitere, witch has feathers) with a lizard and/or snake like body and a long, reptilian tail. Another thing that makes a dragon a dragon is the fact that all of them can fly, with the exception of the Hydra. They also have big eyes (the source of the name of the dragon in some cultures), and can have from 0 to 5 legs, and sometimes, even more in early European literature; with 3 to 5 fingers and/or toes in each.
The dragon can vary in size, being from the size of a butterfly to the size of a blue wale.
Dragons always have some sort of mouth attack. The most common attack is to spit out fire, but it can also be things like venomous teeth, shooting out lightning, freezing with ice cold breath, spiting out acid, steam or poison and the list can go on for a long time.
The third characteristic is that dragons are a representation of power, strength and is the representation of what human’s darker side would be like in the body of something more animal, primitive and destructive (ever noticed that dragons of Europe are greedy creatures, being raging animals that steal treasures and are basically all that we try to avoid being). In other cases, the dragon is divine and like all good divinities, represents the good side of the human race again embodied in a different body.
The dragon is an enemy of the sun and the moon in many cultures and is responsible for creating eclipses and is a daring creature that only was reported in myth to fear elephants. They can also control the universe around them in small degrees. (Sorce:http://dragonia.110mb.com/p1.html).
To tell you more would be ridiculous, since a dragon’s specific characteristics change so much from culture to culture.
Now, let’s start with the first ever European dragon.
(Note: the following dragons are not all the dragons that there are, they are the most famous and well know. Practically every culture has its own dragon.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Hydra



There are some dragons that appear as only a individual in myth, but for some reason, appear as a species in more modern tales.
One of these is the Hydra (Dracus Centum capita(By the way, I will make scientific names for every one of the dracos family for the fun of it.)) (witch according to Wikipedia means “water serpent”) is one of those creatures that you look at and you wonder “Why do they say that this creature is a dragon?”, and I can understand why. No wings, a body that looks more like one of the long neck dinosaurs that you see in a paleontology book (by the way, the dinos technical name is Sauropod) and it has no mouth  attack.

But, if you look closer, the Hydra has the basic descriptions of a dragon: reptilian skin, a long, reptilian tail, a head of a snake, a mouth attack (Ill get to that later) and the representation of some problem that assaults humans.
The Hydra is first mentioned in the Greek myth of Hercules, in the golden age of the culture (500 to 300 BC) when the hero, as one of many jobs, had to kill the Lernaean Hydra The most famous of the Hydra species.
The descriptions vary, but they always mention an aquatic serpent like creature that lives in a subterranean cave in Lernea Lake in Greece. It is described to have many heads (the number can vary from 3 or 5 to 10 to 100 to 1.000 and even to 10.000); the reason fore this is that when you decapitate one head of a Hydra, two will grow in its place.
Most of the descriptions say that it is a quadruple creature and sometimes a Hydra is said to have small wings. Its mouth attack is that of poison, since its breath and teeth are poisonous. In some versions of the myth it is said that even its tracks are poisonous. It could not fly, since its wings are too small.
Its size is simply described as enormous, but if I had to make a guess, I would say that its shoulder height is 3 meters, that from tail tip to chest it has a length of 15 meters and from its nose tip to the end of its neck it spans at about 10 meters. Truly a big monster.
My interpretation of what it means is that if you solve one branch (or head) of a problem, it will not solve or kill, if you want, the problem, and that will eventually consume you if you are not careful.
The psychology of the Hydra is that of an animal. It acts on instincts and impulses instead of intelligent, well planed actions. To make it even worse, the Hydra has an aggressive personality.
This dragon, I’m sorry to say, is not possible biologically. The body I can agree with and the same goes for its poisonous attitude. The problem is that to be able to regenerate so much tissue, especially if it’s the neck and head (the brain most of all) in time to avoid the death of the organism is just not possible. The system dose exist in some animals, like lizards, but the process takes several days and it only works in the legs and tails.
Since it lived in mountainous Greece at that size, the number of Hydras would have been (if they existed) some 400 Hydras all over the Mediterane, most of them living near the Greek colonies and the rest in small abandond islands in the sea. They would have lived of fish, livestock, wild animals, other Hydras (if they found one sneecking about) and humans, and must have been the target of many warriors.
There is not much more I can say about the Hydra, but I’m going to get back to the Hydra when I start to talk about famous dragons.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The European dragons: Basic characteristics

The next couple dragons all have been described in similar ways and this model has been the basic inspiration for both THE European dragon model and the modern dragon.
So, before we move on to the Nidhogg, we must first cover the biggest branch of the dracus family, the European branch.
If you look at the film “How to train your dragon” you'll see that the dragons come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have the same basic body structure: A large, lizard like creature with bat wings, a fiery breath, scales and a medium intelligence. 

The same goes for the European dragon and the modern dragon.
The European dragon, is the creature that lives in caves, likes to terrorize villages, collects treasure and for some strange reason, likes virgins.
The case of the modern dragon is much more diverse as you go from story to story.


Of course, there are also the tales of the same dragons having magical abilities over the land and there possessions and that all that kill a dragon will gain some sort of knowledge. These abilities (when the dragon is alive), is to create small hills, move rivers, manipulate fire and wind and even use lightening, light, cold and darkness to protect themselves. The human that kills a dragon can (depending to the culture) listen to birds talk to him or her, understand knowledge that only wizards would normally know (if they existed), use the blood to forge a sword that can kill a dragon (this being the only weapon that can penetrate the scales in most myths (how the first of these weapons was made is anyones guess) one of which, some say, was the sword Excalibur) and use the scales of the dragon to make better armor. Some myths also say that the person that steals something from a dragons treasure will turn in to a dragon.
As its name says, this dragon is mostly found in Europe. But some of them live in Asia and America.
This model, if you tweak with the myths a bit, has been accepted by most dragonologists to be biologically possible. (I will get to that when I talk about the modern dragon).
The next dragons will all have the same basic descriptions, with some different details, so it might get a bit redundant. Sorry.
Now, for those of you that are still willing to see these dragons, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Nordic dragons.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Nordic dragons: NIdhogg

Nidhogg (belonging to the Draco Borealis (Nordic dragons) species) was the dragon that gnawed the roots of the world tree in Nordic myth (the best known Nordics being the vikings).
To understand this, the world, according to the Nordics, was a giant tree called Yggdrasil. There are several levels to this tree, but at its roots you'll (as the myth goes) find a dragon named Nidhogg gnawing its roots in an attempt to destroy the world.
Nidhogg Is described as a European dragon of massive size. He is never described completely by anybody, but the people from “Age of mythology” depict him as a dragon with short front legs and back legs that are ridiculously small from a biological point of view. The one thing that sets his dragon apart is that he had (according to “Age of mythology”) antlers like the ones of a deer. Here is the pic:

His size is as hidden as the rest of his description, but since his described as a big dragon (even in the terms of the Nordic myths) I would say that hes size is about 10 meters in shoulder hight, 40 meters from nose tip to tail tip and a wingspan of about 70 meters.
He is, according to myth, a intelligent creature. He was described to be just as (and even more) intelligent than a human. He is an evil dragon according to the Christians that heard the myth, but then again, when has the Christian religion ever thought that a dragon is good?
As with all European dragons, his body structure is possible, but his size is ridiculously big.

Since Nidhogg is a individual, and not a race, ill talk about him in detail when I get to the famous dragons section.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fafnir

Ive already told you in the blog that in some myths to take a dragons treasure is going to turn you in to a dragon. In other words, a dragons treasure is cursed (or blessed if you want to become a dragon).
One clear example of this part of the dragon world is the Nordic myth of the dwarf Fafnir.
For all of you that do not know what a dwarf is, here is a image of a dwarf:



Just to be clear, a dwarf likes treasure (especially metals, since they are supposedly the best metal-workers that you can find anywhere) and, as the name says, they are smaller than the common man.
Just like with Nidhogg, the full myth will be described in the “famous dragons” section later on, but basically, the myth is about the dwarf Fafnir steeling cursed gold and running away with the treasure, hiding in a cave where he turned in to a dragon. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fafnir)
Fafnir (the dragon), unlike Nidhogg, is a normal sized dragon, and even though hes size is never described, id guess that he was about 15 meters in length, 3 meters in hight and 10 meters in wingspan.
He is not described either, so we must presume that he would be a normal European dragon.
Fafnir is getting close to my description of a modern dragon.
But don't get your hopes up, we still have a way to go before we can actually get started on the modern dragon.
 Biologically, Fafnir is possible if you overlook the fact that he used to be a different organism.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jormungand and the fire drake

By now, we are all getting tired of the Nordic dragons. But there are only 2 remaining so pleas be patient, since Ill try to finish the descriptions as quickly as possible. (We will have to see these dragons in the famous dragons section anyway).


Jormungand, the Midgard serpent (Midgard is the ancient Norse word for world) is at the edge of the dragon race, since he dose not breath fire, he dose not fly and is only considered a dragon because the Nordic cultures say so. To describe him, all we have to say is that he is a overgrown snake. He is so big that he can go around the world and actually eat his tail.

Here are some some pics of him:

The fire drake is thedragon from the poem "Beowulf".
The most acurate description of this dragon is that he was the same as Fafnir: a european dragon. A very common one.
If you can still not picture the nothern dragons, they are the same as the modern ice dragon model, so you can check it out when I get to the modern dragons, or, if I have alredy writen that setion, just go looking for it right now.
Some pics of the fire drake of Beowulf:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The dragon in the Christian world

What is to some of us an animal of ethics and crime, was to the Christian world (and still is sometimes) a creature loyal to Satan.
Recently I talked to the school religion teacher about the topic of dragons and he (I admire him for being so {I am atheist, so don’t be surprised if I’m a bit aggressive about religion, do not take it personally}) was open minded about the dragon story.
He told me that in Christianity dragon=demon. And based on medieval stories, that’s more than obvious.
One well known story of Saint Jorge and the dragon. In the story, a dragon terrorizes a city by making a nest in the city well and forces them to give a human sacrifice every day.
One day, the princess was chosen to be the sacrifice.
In most versions, the king pleas for help, and at the last second, when the princes is about to be eaten, saint Jorge appears on horse back and kills the dragon.
As a recommence, the people change to the Christian faith. Sound familiar? Many think that this is the base for all other dragon-knight-princes stories.
There are 2 kinds of dragons in these stories: the dragon and the wyvern.
Lets check them out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Christian Wyvern

We all know about dragons, but the dragon has a smaller, more aggressive cousin. The wyvern (dracus duae alaeis) a dragon with a couple of differences:
  1. A wyvern has 2 legs and his arms are also his wings.
  2. The wyvern has a more snake like body and is better at hiding in small caves and cracks.
  3. The tail of a wyvern is longer and thinner than that of a dragon.
  4. The scales a weaker and in some species non existent, replaced by harder and more resistant skin.
  5. The wyvern is a lot more aggressive than a dragon, is more agile, is a faster runner and has more horns, plus a poisonous tail spike and teeth. They are also a lot more stupid, possessing the intelligence of an over intelligent chimp.
When you look at the pics of the dragons that knights kill, they are always wyverns.
That’s because wyverns where a lot more aggressive than the dragons and looked for more fights.
Dragons weren’t innocent in the stories but they had les offensive encounters with humans because they where smart enough to get out of the way (at least, that’s my theory if they existed).
Here are some pics:
There where probably some 5000 wyverns befour the "war" and some 1500 to 0 after.


They probably ate just about any kind of meat they could get there hands (or wings) on.

Since wyverns play a important role in he modern dragon history, we shall take a better look at them in that section.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Christian dragon

The dragon is boringly similar to any other standard European dragon.
They where about the same amount of them as there where wyverns in Europe and they probably ate the same things as wyverns.
Heres one:








One dragon in these criteria, how ever, is more exiting and a massive hit.
We are talking about the dragon that appears in the book “Revelations” in the Bible has a apocalyptic red dragon of 7 heads that eats some kind of holy child being given birth by a holy woman. (If I made a mistake, I have all ready told you I’m atheist and do not know much about the subject).
Here is a pic:
 

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Asian dragon

Finally we can move on to other dragons!!!
No mater if you call them Lóng or Ryū, we all know them from anime like “Dragon Ball”.
In Asia, unlike in Europe, dragons are divine creatures, not a destructive monster.
So, let’s see what makes an Asian dragon an Asian dragon:
  1. For starters, Asian dragons have the body of a snake (a very long body at that) not that of a lizard with wings.
    They have scales, very small legs with legs and sharp claws. The face has small horns, big eyes with
    bushy eyebrows, nostrils that are curved outward, long mustache and sharp teeth. (http://www.dragones.us/category/dragones-orientales/).
  2. They are divinities, gods of water, rivers, lakes and oceans. They are also protectors of men and guardians of families.
    So if you are a Asian that is very traditionalist, you should believe that a dragon is protecting you from misfortune as best he/she can.
  3. Some myths say that there is a dragon gate that if you jump over it, you turn into a dragon. (Again, I’m sorry if I made a mistake, but I read this myth a while ago and do not remember where I read it).
  4.  These dragons can fly, but they do not have wings. They fly using magic (supposedly).
    Biologically these dragons are possible as long as overlook the fact that they are divinities.
    Here are some pics:



    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    The Chinese dragon:Lóng

    In Asian dragons, there are a lot of similarities and only one or two differences.
    The Chinese dragons (dracus asiatica continente (known to the Chinese as Lóng)) has 4 toes on 4 short legs.
    The population of the Chinese dragons probably would have bean about 3000 to 4000 of them all over the Asian continent, living from the Himalayas and the Mongolian plains to Chorea and China.
    That about the only thing that sets them apart from the other dragon of this shape, the Ryū.
    The Chinese dragon is identical to the Cornea dragon and has been the icon of the imperial family of China.
    Here are the pics:


    Saturday, August 20, 2011

    The Japanese dragon:Ryū

    As I said, there are not a lot of differences in the Asian dragons.
    The Japanese dragon(dracus asiatica insulae(known to the people of Japan as Ryū)) has three toes instead of the four that the Chinese dragons possessed.
    The population of the Japanese dragons probably would have bean about 1000 to 2000 of them all over the Japanese islands.
    Unlike the Chinese dragons, the Japanese dragons did have some black sheep (we will look at the in the famous dragons sections).
    Here are the pics:

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    The dragons of America

    We all know now of the dragons in Europe and Asia, now we are going to look at a different dragon: the American dragon.
    No, I’m not talking about that animated series by Disney about a teen that turns into a dragon. I’m talking about the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl and the species known as the Amphitere.
    The common characteristic of this branch of dragons is that they are feathered snakes with wings.
    Lets check them out:

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    The Amphitere

    The Amphitere (dracus pinnarum more) is the dragon that reigned in the skies of Central America.

    As my description said in the last entry, the Amphitere is a big, feathered snake that has wings to fly with. The most famous of this species is the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. 

    Here is a pic of him:

    A clear example of the image that the Aztec (or was it the Mayan) pyramid of El Caracol, at the “hand rail” of the pyramid.

    Here is the pic:


    In modern terms, this dragon is biologicaly posible and would have been some 2500 of them living in the rain forests.

    They would have been divinities to the native (human) population and protectors of the forest. But they also (like eny Mayan and Aztec god) demanded sacrifice. What a strange guardian, don’t you think?

    They would probably have fead of these sacrifices and the aniamls of the rain forest.

    Here are the pics:

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    The modern dragon

    Now that we have the most famous of the dragons of history, we can move on to the modern dragons.
    This part of the blog will be the biggest, since ill not only describe the modern view on dragons, but also give a detailed biological description of the models, hypothetical evolutionary line (you heard me), kinds of modern dragons, possible habitats and much more.

    The modern dragon is mostly based on the European dragon model, since it is the most biologically likely, but also has some American and Asian species that you can recognize in the blog.
    A lot of my information is based on the National Geographic documentary “Dragons: a fantasy made real” and the series “Beast legends”.
    I also have the move “How to train your dragon to help me with some of the examples”, and if I find the time and energy, I might create some 3D dragon images to help you get the idea of what I'm talking about.
    The modern dragon, thanks to the scientific world we live in, is biologically possible and even makes you wonder if they existed and if they did, if they still do. They come in all different sizes and shapes, are based on both science and modern literature.
    So, lets get cracking with the different theories on why there are dragons in almost every culture.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Theories on how the myth began.

    Before, how ever, we can check out the dragons, we must understand the theories on how the dragons got in to mythology.
    One of the most accepted theories is that primitive men found dinosaur bones and, since they did not know they belonged creatures that died millions of years ago, thought that the bones belonged to a creature that existed.
    The other theory that is accepted by a big percentage of people, is that the dragon did exists and might still exist. Thats the theory that ill base most of this section of the blog on.
    Other theories say that ancient cultures observed comets and meteors, and then described them as big serpents of fire.
    An other theory says that the dragons where a machine created by a forgotten culture (lets just guess it would have been the people of Atlantis).
    Criptozoologists say that the dragon might have been a Megalania sighting (if you want to know what a Megalania is you are going to look it up here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalania).

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    The modern dragon: Scientific anatomy of a beast. (Part 1)

    The scientific modern dragon is the product of scientists trying to find out if the dragon could exist.
    The next few pages are dedicated to conclusions both they and I have made about the anatomy of a dragon. (note: the following sizes is for a medium sized dragon, ignore them).

    Body structure: The dragon is a quadruped animal which looks at first impressions like a big lizard with bat wings. It has scales, a long, thick neck, muscular body, 4 powerful legs with 4 sharp claws at the end of each foot, horns and other adornments and it lays eggs. But if you look closer, you’ll find that the dragon posses a mammal like body that reminds you of a feline, since its legs go straight down under the belly rather than first going out and then down, like in a lizard or turtle. Its feet remind you of those of a bird. Its eyes have are similar to the eyes of a cat,  since they have rumbas shaped pupils in the form of slits.
    Sometimes they have ears, and when they do, you can barely recognize them because they look a lot like the horns and adornments. But they move a lot when the dragon is active, just like with a cat.
    If they do not have external ears, you’ll find a small hole in the back of the head protected by a membrane. This is the inner ear.
    The dragon has a strong bite, having enough muscle power to break the trunk of a young pine in half. Its teeth are composed of:
    • Four canine teeth. The top two canines are about 15 cm in length, are serrated (that means that there are small hooks on the side of the tooth, kina like a saw), curved back and are hollow. That’s because there are electricity producing glands in the tooth that emit electricity out of the holes at the bottom of the tooth (http://www.syfy.com/beastlegends/evolution.php?gallery=firelizard) (dragons have two uses for this ability: 1- to stun pray
                                       2-The electricity works like a spark (ill get to that later)). The lower canines are similar to those of a snake (this is my theory by the way) and contain electrical receivers that receive the electrical current from the upper canines to complete the circuit. These teeth contain a neurotoxin (poison that paralyzes the neural system of the pray and causes heart attacks) producing glands. These teeth can be moved backward by muscles until they are lying flat on the bottom part of the mouth. If you cant picture a snakes tooth, here is the pick of one:

    • Immediately in front of the canines you’ll find the incisors. They are usually oval and have serrated edges at the tip. When a dragon bites pray, these teeth cut a large chunk out of the pray.
    • Behind the canines in each jaw, a dragon has a row of hook-like molars, which help to hold prey. There are also 4 pairs of molars made for plants (yes, if they where starving they would eat plants) (my theory by the way).
    The dragon could chew, but sometimes just swallowed big chunks howl. (The dragon wants the gases of indigestion (Ill get to that later).
    The dragons always have horns. They can be for protection or intimidation or even sex-appeal. All dragons have two horns of about a meter at the back of the head meant to protect the neck. They also always have little spikes going from the base of the neck to the tip of the tail.
    The skin of a dragon is lathery like and semi fireproof, and are connected by closely interconnected scales. In the back, these scales are plates of strong armor like that of a snake. In the armpits the scales are smaller, softer and more mobile, and sometimes non existent. But in every case, the scales can stop a sword dead.
    Getting back to the legs, they are positioned like the legs of a mammal, and have 4 toes with 10 cm claws. The front legs are manual enough to pick up and carry pray. The hind legs are made to launch the dragon in to the air.
    The tail of a dragon is long and muscular, and is made to help maneuver the dragon in flight. It often has two peaces of membrane at the base (me again) and a triangle or fin made of skin at the end of the tail to help balance (me all over again).
    The wings are the same as those of a bat: a modified hand that has got a membrane in-between the fingers. The middle, ring and little fingers are larger than the other two, and when folded in reach from the end of the neck to the tip of the tail. The other two fingers (the pointing finger and the thumb) are relatively small compared with the dragons other fingers. Those fingers have sharp sickle like claws made for scratching when in combat and holding on to cliff faces.
    The wings are connected to the thorax by two things: a strong muscle system (to flap and move the wings) and the fact that the wing membrane is an extended part of the skin of the dragon’s thorax.
    (all the info exept for those things that I said where different come from:http://dragonesdefaerun.blogspot.com/2009/03/el-cuerpo-del-dragon.html)

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    The modern dragon:Scientific anatomy of a beast (part 2)


    A fire-spitter: We all know that one of the fundamentals of the dragon’s characteristics is that it spit out fire. So, to quote the series "How do they do it?” how do they do it??? :-)


    It’s actually very simple (anybody that can’t tolerate gas of the organic kind should not read this part, trust me) but it can seem hard to understand at first.
    Did you know that in you digestive system you have bacteria that help you digest your food? At the same time they produce gas that is then expelled from the mouth or the south in a sound that we all know. These bacteria and in sequence, these gases are the key to a dragons ability to fly and to spit out fire. You see, the bacteria in a dragons belly have evolved to produce hydrogen gas that is recollected by the dragon’s organism and then is placed in lung like organs that run all the way up and down the chest. Since hydrogen is less dense than air (if you don't speak geek, this means that hydrogen is lighter than air and therefore goes up, like a balloon that has been filled with this gas) it make the dragon lighter and lets him fly.
    If the dragon wants to spit out fire, he lets some of the gas escape in the form of a burp. The amount is regulated by a organic flap that keeps the gas from escaping. There is another flan made of bone similar to a flap in the throat of crocs (the crocs use them to not choke on water when underwater). The dragons use them to not get there insides burnt. The dragon, therefore, has a certain amount of shots before he can not fly and some more if he continues until he is all out of gas (this is seen clearly in the move "how to train your dragon").
    Remember the hollow canines with electrical glands?? (this info is from: http://www.syfy.com/beastlegends/evolution.php?gallery=firelizard) The spark is to ignite the hydrogen as it flies out (in burp form of course (the sound that we all know would always be hidden by the fire itself burning)).
    So, next time that someone asks you what is the rudest animal (excepting that stinky uncle of yours that can kill with his body gas) your answer would have to be the dragon. 

    The wing and flight: We have cleared one factor of the dragon’s anatomy, which is how a thing that big got of the ground with wings to small to do so. But dragons do not float in mid air. It has wings. So, let’s check them out:
    All European dragons have the same wing structure: The wing of a bat.
    The wing is a curios thing. If you look at the wings of a pterosaur (a flying dinosaur (technically not a dinosaur)), they remind you of a hand. You can see the arm, and the pointing, middle and ring fingers as claws and the little finger is large and forms the rest of the wing. In a bird, the fingers have merged together, but you can still see something.
    In a bat, the fingers (except for the thumb) are enlarged to form the wing. The pointing finger sometimes is merged with the middle finger for some reason.
    Here is the pic:

    In a dragon, at firs glance, there is not much difference from that of a bat. The differences lie in the fact that the claw in some cases consist of the thumb and the pointing finger; and that at the elbow a large bone has evolve to help support the membrane.
    The different fingers on the dragon sill preserved there fingernails in the form of claws. In the front claws, they re shaped like sickles. They are built to hang on to a cliff and are sharp enough to be used as a weapon by simply swinging he wing foreword and down to cut the flesh of its opponent and in the case of dragon, seriously damage the scales and even creating  wound. As for the claws of he lengthened fingers they are straight. They function as a protective attack to any rear attack.
    The wing muscles are those you’d find in any hand or hand like limb, but they are not to flap the wing. They are built to move the wing and fingers. In its hole, the wing sizes would look like this (note: these measurements are when the wing is folded up): the claws reach the base of the neck. The other end of the wing (the “finger tips”) reaches the tip of the tail. That would be (when the wing is open in an average middle sized dragon) some 10 square meters more or less.
    The membrane is, as I said, an extended peace of skin from the thorax that raps around the bones and the muscles of the wing structure. That means that the membrane is like leather, but it is so thin that you can see the vanes in the membrane. And no, the membrane has no scales. Some dragons do have scales covering the bone and muscle systems in the wing to protect them. These scales are small and soft, like the ones on the armpits. (F.Y.I: The membrane starts just in front of the wing and ends at the base of the tail).
    Here is the pick of the wing itself:

    The flapping motion is done by a group of muscles behind the “elbow” of the front leg.
    As you can see in the pic below, these muscles are huge and little weird looking. These muscles give the wings the ability to knock any human just under the wings, as the dragon rises to 5 meters, to be knocked over.
    Here is the pic: (The ones labeled 1 to 4)

    The fight itself has some common traits amongst all dragon races. They will be listed in the following texts:
    • Takeoff: Despite the power of the wings and the size of these well engineered limbs, they do not back enough punch by themselves to lift a dragon of the ground and in to takeoff. To get the dragon to fly, the dragon has 3 wais to take to the skies: The first is to simply have a nest high in a cliff and to simply jump of the cliff, open the wings and catch warm currents of air to lift them up. The second option is for the claws on the wings to grab the edge of the cliff face and to push the dragon forewords with help from the back legs into the air, giving it enough propulsion to fly. The third technique is for when you’re not on cliff. The back legs and the tail function like a spring, launching the dragon in to the air, and then the wings start flapping like crazy until the dragon is in a stable flight. This technique is for bringing the dragon of the ground after killing pray. The technique is ideal for taking pray; let’s say a deer, to his cave. When the front legs are free, they use these legs to propel the dragon forward. (Its the same system that Beast legends used in the monster bird: http://www.syfy.com/beastlegends/evolution.php)

    • Flight info: Any pilot will tell you that you can’t fly without info on the air conditions, weather, and air speed and so on. In bugs, birds and bats, they can “feel” these conditions. If the air is rough, they will feel it using their skin. In the case of the pterosaur, they are too big to judge the wind with their guts, since they are too heavy to confront rough airs that take them to the limit. They needed precise info, and for that, they had sensory glands in the membrane in the wing that gives them the info the need. This info is then sent to the brain, which makes the necessary adjustments and maneuvers. In a dragon, they have the same system in the wings, but they also have some glands in a membrane structure that shields the ear from the wind. Here is the pic:



    • Flight stile: The dragon flies like an eagle, only flapping its wings when necessary and gliding the rest of the time. Of course, they are not as agile or fast, but they are still the kings of the sky.

    • Speeds: most dragons fly at about the same speeds as a car can drive. And that’s the truth. It depends highly on how the dragon flies at the moment.

    All in all, the dragon flies like a tank, but it can fly.
    In the case of the Asian dragon, these dragons have a flap of skin that allows the dragon to glide. It’s the same system that a flying squirrel uses. (note: The takeoff techniques do not apply here), and then move their long body's up and down, moving the wind in the same way as if the dragon had wings and where flapping.
    The pic of the flying squirel:
    • Maneuvering: A air plane has the two wings that lift it,but, ever wondered what the wings in the back are fore? They are fore stabilization and to help turn the plane in flight. Its the same fore all fling creatures: they can fly but they also need some sort of “back wing”. In the bird its the feathers in the tail. In the peterosaur, you'll find that they had a membrane in their legs that did the job. The same goes for the bats. In the insect world, the bugs have 2 sets of wings. The dragon has his tail to do the job. They also use a membranous flap supported by small bones that starts at the base of the tail (after the wing) and ends half a meter in to the tail structure. Some dragons also have tail flaps at the end of the tail that, just like the flaps at the beginning of the tail, are made of a membrane and supported by some bones. The best example is the character from the move “How to train your dragon”, “Toothless”. Here is his pick:






    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    The modern dragon: Scientific Anatomy of a beast (part 3)

    • got my eye on you: The dragon is famous for its sight. And there is a biological answer to that to. Ever noticed that cat’s eyes seem to shine in the dark? That’s because they have a kind of mirror in there eyes. It’s a membrane near (and sometimes inside) the retina (the inner skin of the eye (sensitive to light)) named Tapetum Lucidum. The job of this membrane is to sends light that passes through the retina back into the eye. The dragon also has this membrane, and suffers the effects of it like any other animal with that membrane. You see, the Tapetum Lucidum works very well at night, but in the day it reduces the capacity of sight. Not by that much that a cat or a dragon where blinder than a bat, but it means that they cant see as well as we can during the day. But they do get very close to our visual capacity. To protect these eyes from a light overdose, the pupil (black part of the eye) is a slit. But there is a difference in the cat’s pupils and those of a dragon. In a cat, they are in the shape of ovals, but the dragon pupils are diamond shaped. But this is not the only feature in the dragon’s eye. The eye is shaped differently from that of a human, it is shaped like the eye of a eagle: The back is flatter and larger than the back of our eye, giving the dragon a much larger image than we can see. Plus, they have a massive concentration of sight cells (about a MILLION of them per millimeter, compared to the 200,000 per millimeter in the human eye) in an area in the eye where most sight cells are placed called fovea. (F.Y.I: (and this is from: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/eagle/VisionA.html#Eyes ) "That's about the same number of visual cells as the finest computer monitor has on its entire screen when set at its highest resolution. The resolution for a person would be similar to setting a computer's screen at a much lower resolution".)) The dragon has a second eyelid called “nictitating membrane” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nictitating_membrane ) that is a transparent membrane that still lets the dragon see what’s in front of them. It works like a water proof barrier for when the dragon is swimming, as a protection from stones during a dive during flight (stones in the air can become bullets when you drop down at more than 200 kilometers per hour) and as a protection from fire during a fight.There is one other thing about dragon eyes in specific that make them dragon eyes: They have a second eye lens that magnifies the image in such a way that the dragon can see the whiskers of a rat in the grass from 5 kilometers away. It is small enough to not bother if the object is close by and still be large enough to do its job. Here is the end result:


    Friday, August 12, 2011

    The modern dragon: Anatomy of a beast (part 4)


    • Horns, spines and claws: The spines, claws and horns play an important role in the dragon’s day to day life. They have functions like protect week points in the dragons body, to give the dragon extra hunting tools, work as weapons in combat and sometimes as collection areas for special detection and attack cells, like electricity producing cells (only some dragons have these, they work exactly like the ones in the teeth and give the dragon the ability to shoot a thunderbolt). The biggest spines in the dragon’s body are the horns that surge from the base of the head and go down until the cover about half the neck. Here is the pic of a dragon head sculpture for you to picture the horns:

    • As all bones in a dragon’s body, the horns, spines and claws seem strong but are hollow to lower the weight of the dragon so that he can fly (they are still strong enough to not brake when the dragon falls on them). Some of the most protective spines are those that protect the back of the neck. They are long, and strong, and an implanted in the dragons neck in such a way that the dragon dose not loose neck movement. The claws are razor sharp, but their shape is different as you go from race to race. The position of these different horns and spikes do differ from one dragon race to another. They can serve as a warning (“Oh Oh! Dragon with a lot of spines, lets get out of here before he burns us alive” for example) in some races.
    • Scales: A dragons scales are shaped in different shapes for different parts of the body, but they a have the same function: protection from fire and attack. They are so efficient that they are like shields strong enough to stop most swords from harming them. They are interlaying; one placed over the other, and they are made from the same material as bones. Under the scales there is a very leathery skin. This combo makes the dragon fireproof and very difficult to harm. Here is a listing of the different kinds of scales: 
    1.  Back scales: They are the toughest of the scales and are found in the back of the dragon (except for the back of the neck for mobility reasons), the upper part of the head from base of the head to tip of the snout and all the way a down the top of the tail. They are not very movable. They are large and thick, and look like crocodile back scales, and are made to break the teeth and or sword of the attacker. They are also fireproof. Here is the pic of a croc back scales: 



    • 2-Belly scales: They are found everywhere else. They are netted together so tightly that a sword attack has only a 1% chance of getting past the skin. They are very movable. They can be weaker or stronger depending on their post. Scales near the armpits a weaker and those at the neck are virtually impenetrable and they are also fireproof. The closest thing are the scales of the Garfish (you can stab the fish with a dagger and it will harm the fish) (http://www.syfy.com/beastlegends/evolution.php?gallery=firelizard). Here is the pic:



    •   3-Underbelly scales: The myths say that the weakest point in the dragon’s body is its soft underbelly. As true as this might be, the difference is small. Where it would need two strong men to launch a spear in to the flanks of a dragon (and practically need a canon to launch a spear in to the back of a dragon), one very strong man can, with some difficulty, stab a dragon with a sword in the underbelly.
      These scales are still thought, and are found in the throat, underbelly and tail. They have to be fireproof, resistant, and be able to be all tearing withought loosing movability. To do this, they look like the underbelly scales of a snake. Here I a pick:


    All in all, the dragons armor is the toughest armor in the natural world, and have given the dragon race the ability to survive longer than humanity existed (if they existed).

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    The modern dragon: Scientific Anatomy of a beast (part 5)

    Intelligence:The myths all say that the dragon was a intelligent animal, and sometimes even as smart as the most intelligent and wise of humans. It has even gone as far as saying that dragons are smarter than humans.
    An the evolutionary line of the dragon makes this trait make sense. They come from the intelligent raptor's and have evolved for more than 65 million years,eating meat and therefore,making there brains bigger. The brain of a dragon is a little more complex than ours because it has to worry about flight, fire spiting, sight and so on. If you ever where to find a dragon scull,the brain cavity would be big enough for you to stick your howl arm in.

    Treasure hunter:One of the well know characteristics of dragons is its insistence on gathering treasure. The reason for this,many dragonologist think, is that the gold calls the attention of both the dragon gathering the treasure an potential mates. The dragon knows exactly where it puts its stuff,and if you where to take just one rusty old coin from the lair,the dragon would see that one coin is missing and go crazy,until the dragon finds the coin and kills the one that took it,not to mention anybody that helps the poor guy that took the coin.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    The result


    I know that the last few posts are a little intimidating, but the end result is something that you can believe in, and that makes me convinced that we can create a dragon with time in a lab. The end result should look a bit like the dragon modeled by AndersSeim: http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/marketplace/modeling/polygon/c/dragon--2

    As for the next few posts, they will be dedicated to show you the behavior that I propose for these creatures, and if you want, you can ignore them.

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Dragon psychology, behavior and customs: Introduction

    Now that we have that we know the anatomy of a dragon, we need to understand how they lived, before we can look at the evolution of the dragon. The next few posts will be about they way myth, legend and theoretical science (Dragonology) tell us about the behavior and customs of the dragons.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Lifeline: How long do dragons live??

    Dragons in myth and legend, not to mention literature, are known for a incredibly long life. To give you an idea, some modern literate dragons are described to be so old that they remember seeing the birth of mankind. We are talking about dragons that are more than 250 000 years old!!!
    Normally, dragons are said to live several hundred years.
    Young dragons are famed for, just like the young in our race, hyperactive, all for anything they agree with, quick to enter a fight, some say arrogant and unwise, causing more problems than they solve. In time, they would become the front line when the hypothetical “Human-Dragon” war happened. (Don't worry, I will get to this war when we talk about dragon evolution and history, and if my theory is right, one of the biggest and most important wars in human and dragon history is now a bunch of myths and legends).
    The older dragons are like the older members of our race, except for one crucial difference: the elderly dragons are still fiscally capable of fighting. Old dragons are, supposedly, wise, careful, mediative dragons that in this supposed war where generals, and later, as the dragon race began to loose this war, they would hide themselves and there families in remote places.
    Apparently, in some tales, when an old dragon is near death, it has some choices to make about its fate:
    1. It could just die and let that be the end of the story.
    2. He can place his vital energies in a mountain, turning the mountain in to a safer place for dragon families to raise a family. These mountains also become “schools”, as the dragons knowledge still lives in the rocks soaked with vital energy.
    3. The dragon can go to a “dragon cemetery”. These places are supposedly well hidden, and nobody has seemed to find one or even know why these places exist. Some theorize that if you where to find one of these places, you would find specter's all over the place. And not friendlily ones either. We are talking about shades that feed of your soul, kinda like the dementors in “Harry Potter”. You would never get out alive.
    4. The final choice is the least favored by dragons in literature. This option is all about necromancy, and is favored by the more evil and desperate dragons. When they are near death, the dragon either drinks a potion or receives a spell that will revive its bones once all the flesh and guts have dissolved. These dragons are called “dracoliches”, and are real nasty creatures.
    Another thing that you should know about dragons age behavior, is that, at least in literature (and I guess this can apply scientifically), dragons get bigger as they get older. We are talking about very old dragons being as big as hills!! of course, scientifically speaking, a organism of any kind can not get that big, but the concept still applies.
    We know that turtles can grow to be 300 years old, and the fact that the mythology tells us that these dragons lived several hundred years, teaching several generations of humans tells us that it is likely that dragons lived to be very old. I would put my money on between 150 to 250 years. So we might have some dragons that have lived to be even older than 250. The knowledge they might pose could be revolutionary for humans philosophically.
    Now that we know more or less how old dragons can get, lets learn about their life cicle.

        Friday, July 8, 2011

        Early life:from egg to adolescence

        I will skip the mating process until later, because it is more relevant in a different stage of a dragons life.
        A dragon egg might be one of the most imprecise cells on earth (a egg is considered a cell, for those of you that do not know much biology), not just because it is the biggest egg youll find, but because its fireproof and very resistant to trauma to.The reason for this is simple: if the nest has to be defended or warmed up, you can expect fire and stones flying everywhere. The egg is so strong that in some races, if a human found one, they could hit it with a hammer and it would not even make a dent. But the inside of the egg is a different story. The inside is less dense, and a baby dragon, commonly known as a “hatchling”, will be able to get out on its own. To do that, like many other animals, the hatchling has a specially designed tooth. Once used, the tooth brakes of.
         The hatchling, after hatching, has already got its teeth, and all ready knows how to walk,run and jump. The mother dragon, therefore, leaves some of its pray for the hatchling to eat, and then dose not have to worry about it anymore. The hatchlings life will be the same for several months: Sleep, play with its brothers and sisters, eat whatever mom or dad brings them to eat, play some more, investigate the nest or cave, and then sleep.
        After 4 months of this kind of lifestyle, however, the hatchling begins to experience some changes in life. The thing that triggers the change is when the hatchling learns to spit out fire. At this point, the hatchling is referred to as a “Drake”, and has doubled in size since it hatched. The drake, after learning how to spit out fire, has some changes in life that fall in to two categories:
        1. The solitary life: In these cases, the drake is kicked out of the nest and is forced to live alone. That means that the drake has to learn to hunt, fly and live by itself.
        2. The family life: The drake is not kicked out, and will receive instructions from its family.
        Whatever the case for the drake, the teachings it must learn are simple: how to hunt and how to fly.
        The hunting part comes first. At first, the drake learns to hunt like any other ground animal. How to pounce, how to run, when to give chase, where to bite and so on. As the control over the wings is improved, the drake learns first how to jump farther, then how to glide and finally, how to fly. This process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years, depending on the drakes understanding capacities, and the race.

          Wednesday, June 8, 2011

          Adult life

          A dragon will leave the nest at the age of 2 years at the latest, and immediately has a choice to make:
          • If the dragon should travel the world, being free and enjoy its independence. We shall call them “rascals”.
          • If it should settle down and form a territory and a family. We shall call them “family guys”
          Usually, the dragon will choose the life of a rascal, because, well, I do not have to give the reasons, because the same happens to us humans. These dragons fly around the world, looking for adventure, incredible sites, knowledge, you name it. They have no land that they call home, but rather take what they can get from the land, even if it means stealing an risking confrontation.These confrontations can be deadly, and it is common for one of the dragons to end up with a broken bone or worse. These confrontations are always going to be between a rascal and the dragon that lives there, which is usually older, wiser, bigger, stronger and slower than the fast and agile youngsters that they fight.
          As the years go by, more and more of the rascals will become family guys, and they will start to fight for territory or a place in a pack, and then look for a mate and form a family. For those rascals that do not change lifestyles, the world, as per usual, is at their grasp. Some of these rascals will actually go somewhere in between the life of a rascal and that of a family guy, forming nomadic packs. Adult hood will last until the dragon reaches its 130 years.

          Sunday, May 8, 2011

          The mating season

          Many things can influence a dragons whereabouts, but the mating season is one of the, if not the biggest of these factors.
          The mating season (note:this is all my theory based on nothing at all, so you may want to ignore this part) happens every two years, and it truly is one of the most complex social events in a dragons life, since it means that hundreds of dragons come to the mounts where they where hatched. In some places, you can find thousands of dragons all in the same mountain, looking for a mate, or a place to create a nest, or even a small cave for a home. During these times, things can get very bloody, and can even lead to fatalities of diverse types.
          The selection process depends highly on the race of dragon, but once selected, the bond, at lest for a few days, is very strong in most of the cases.
          When a dragon (em............lets just use the technical word for it) has intercourse, it can be very difficult, since the wings ans spikes, not to mention horns, get in the way. Most dragons are careful, for one, but the other thing they do is quite spectacular: They do it in flight. Yes, I said flight. It is a dangerous procedure, but if the dragons get out of it alive (something that happens 95% of the times) the female will have eggs on the way and the male will feel complied to help the female as long as she lets him.

          For some dragons, the mating season ends after the mating has finished and the male has helped for one or two days, but in other cases, it ends with the young drakes leaving the nest. It can even be in any of the stages in between, like until the eggs are laid (4 weeks) or until they hatch (two months).

          Friday, April 8, 2011

          Lets move on

          Now that we have the dragons basic behavior sorted out, lets look at the history that I and others say these creatures must have had (these are just guesses) if they existed.

          Wednesday, March 9, 2011

          Dragon evolution: Predecessors

          Ok. The first thing we have to look for is the creature the dracus family evolved from. The documentary made by discovery about dragons, “Dragons, a fantasy made real”, suggest that dragons are the evolution of the little dinos known as deinonychosauria, better known as raptors.The reason why dragonologists chose the raptors is because they have one evolutionary feature that make them the ideal predecessors of the dragons: they are the ancestors of birds.
          That means that their body structure is all ready correct.
          Once we have located the dino that was likely to evolve in to a dragon, we have to find the species that would be the most suitable to evolve in to th creatures we know today. So, we put “the biggest known raptor” in google and after a quick search, you will find Utahraptor Ostrommaysorum. This dino lived some 124 million years ago. It is described in Wikipedia like this:
          "The largest described specimens are estimated to have reached up to 7 m (23 ft) long and somewhat less than 500 kg (1,100 lb) in weight, comparable to a grizzly bear in size. Some undescribed specimens in the BYU collections may have reached up to 11 m (36 ft) long, though these await more detailed study." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utahraptor)
          To add to the size, the Utahraptor is thought to have feathers, hollow bones, and is closely related to the raptors that would evolve in to birds.
          The Utahraptor, as the name says, is found mostly,if not only, in Utah, USA. So technically speaking, the dragon I am proposing started as a raptor in North america (another thing you Americans can brag about).
          here are some pics on Utahraptor, one with feathers, one without and size comparison to a human:



          Tuesday, February 8, 2011

          The beginning

          The thing you should know is that the first thing to evolve was not the raptor, but the bacteria in its gut. You see, we have bacteria in our digestive system that help us digest our food, producing gas that we expel in such a rude and comical way.
          In the Utahraptor, its bacteria evolved to create hydrogen. This happened due to a mutation, and should have disappeared shortly afterwards when the mutation had no use in the organism. But that was not the case. Utahraptors with the mutated bacteria where lighter, faster, better jumpers and climbers, and more maneuverable than those that did not have this mutation.
          Evolution did several things to take advantage of this:
          • A specially designed system was created to store the gas was created.
          • The arms of the raptors evolved to become wings, so that the raptor could hunt using ambush techniques.
          • The already very good eyes of the raptor evolved to become even better, to help the raptor select pray from father away, since the raptor could now outrun its predecessors, the Utahraptors.
          This creature would, as a result of all the extra meat it has bean eating during its evolutionary stage, got a byproduct: Its brain, slowly, was getting bigger and better. The raptor-dragons where getting smarter.
          The first true member of the dracus branch was a wyvern. Lets just call it the prehistoric wyvern.