Webster's Dictionary: drag.on \'drag-en\ n dracon-,draco serpent,dragon, [fr.GK drakon;akin to OE torht bright,Gk derkesthai to see,look at] 1 archaic: a huge serpent
2:a fabulous animal usually represented as a monstrous winged and scaly serpent or saurian with a crested head and enormous claws.
b. A figure or other representation of this creature. 2. Archaic. A large snake or serpent [Middle English drago(u)n, from Old French dragon, from Latin draco (stem dracon-), dragon, serpent, from Greek drakon, serpent.
What are dragons? Where do they come from? What is their history?
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Name : pronunciation
PHYSIOLOGY: These dragons have four legs, and two wings. They have smooth, leathery skin without scales. The dragons eyes are compound and faceted like a fly's that can change color depending on the mood of the dragon. They have a telepathic abilities with other dragons, and their rider. Pernese dragons can also teleport into "between", which is a void, to escape danger. Gold and green dragons are Female. Bronze, brown and blue are Male. They can breath fire by first swallowing a certain type of flammable rock known as Firestone. Read more about Pernese Dragons.
HISTORY: The colonists of Pern (A world created from the stories by Anne McCaffrey) genetically engineered these huge dragons from their small cousins, Firelizards. Pernese dragons and their riders have a life-long relationship, this is started at the Impression. This is when the dragons hatch and choose their human partner. If the human partner dies without the dragon, the dragon will go between permanently. If the dragon dies, the human usually wastes away until they pass on.
Drake : Drayk
PHYSIOLOGY: This is a Western-type dragon with only legs and no wings. There are two types of drakes, Fire and Cold. FireDrakes have the breath of flame, and are usually reddish in color. ColdDrakes have the breath of snow and hail, and are usually white or light bluish in color. These types of dragons do not fly, they look like large lizards being about 4' - 40' long.
HISTORY: This dragon has links to the Western dragon in history, but no solid history has been produced. Sometimes young western dragons are mistaken for drakes because of the lack of wings until they reach maturity. In Europe there are many cities named after this dragon: Drakeford, Drakeshill, etc.
Amphiptere : Am-fih-teer
PHYSIOLOGY: These are dragons with only wings.
HISTORY: The most famous amphiptere is Quetzalcoatl (kwet-zah-coat-al), the winged and feathered serpent god from Mexican history. Scientists think that the myth of Quetzalcoatl started with a bird, the Quetzal. This bright green bird has tail feathers of over two feet long, and when it flies, the bird looks like a shimmering serpent.
PHYSIOLOGY: These are dragons which have no legs or wings; Or sometimes referred to as a very ancient dragon. Also known as The Guivre (Gy-veer).
HISTORY: These dragons seem to have originated in England, and are said to live in forests and wells. They love any place near water.There are many famous worms in England's history, the most famous perhaps is the Lambton Worm. This is about an Heir to Lambton Hall in England who caught the small worm, but thought it too ugly to eat, so he thew it in the local well. Over the years the worm grew to enormous proportions and left the well to harass the locals. When Lambton came back from a war to see the horror he had created, and was told by witch he must slay the worm, but also must kill the next creature he saw. He slayed the worm, but unfortunately, the next living creature he saw was his own father, of whom he could not kill. It was said that the Lambton family was cursed for the next nine generations, and doomed to die abroad, and never at home.
PHYSIOLOGY: These are dragons which have two legs, and no wings. They usually have very long tails, and short legs.
HISTORY: Lindworms were apparently discovered by Marco Polo while crossing Central Asia. He described them as, "Swifter than it looks. Easily able to take down a man on a galloping horse." These types of dragons (along with the Oroboros) are frequently represented as "prima materia" in the first stage of the Alchelmy process.
Sea Serpent : See-Sur-pent
PHYSIOLOGY: These are dragons that live in water, fresh or salt.
HISTORY: Since man has been sailing on boats, sea serpents have been in history. These creatures were shown on maps early in European history, where unknown territory was marked "HERE BE DRAGONS". Some scientists believe in what these sea serpents sailors saw were actually gigantic squids, large masses of sea kelp, or even seafaring dinosaurs. The Basilosaurus had a very long body, and short neck, its mouth filled with long sharp teeth. If it came out of the water near a boat, it could very much be thought of as a sea serpent. "Nessie" the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, is one famous "sea serpent".
Learn more about The Legend Of Nessie and Sea Serpents
Ouroboros : or-oh-bor-us
PHYSIOLOGY: This is a dragon who holds its tail it its mouth.
HISTORY: First discovered in Egypt, and later in Greece,it is the symbol of the universe. It also is sometimes referred to being the symbol of "eternity" or "never ending". The name Ouroboros means "tail eater".
A similar dragon is his Norse cousin the Midgard Serpent whose huge body circles the entire world. He was also known for biting his tail, when he was not trying to bite the Norse god Thor, whom was eventually killed by the gigantic dragon.
Find out more about the Ouroboros
Amphisbaena : Am-fiz-bee-nah
PHYSIOLOGY: This is a dragon that has two heads, one in the front of the body, and one at the tip of its tail. With one head holding the "tail-neck" it can roll around in any direction in a hoop. It is usually portrayed as having a scaly body, feathered wings, and feet of a rooster. It's name means "one that goes in both directions".
HISTORY: This dragon originates from Africa. Stories say when the female amphisbaena was looking over her eggs, she could keep one head awake at all times. Today, there is a lizard named after this dragon which has markings on its tail that look like a head. When threatened, it lifts its tail and scatters back and forth to confuse its attacker.
Naga : nah-gah
PHYSIOLOGY: These are pseudo-dragons who are usually portrayed as having a human head and serpentine body, and no wings.
HISTORY: The history of these creatures seem to come from India, which the Nagas worked with the gods. Nagas were patrons of water and clouds, but could cause flooding or drought if disturbed. In some stories, the naga can shape-change at will from human to snake form. It's been told that their race was very magical, and were scholars to those who met their interest. More info can be obtained here: Nagas or Naga: The Serpent
DRAGONS OF YESTERDAY & TODAY
Dragons have been in mythology and legend for thousands of years. Almost every country in the world as some sort of dragon story. Where did they originate from? Did people actually SEE dragons? By some strange chance, were their dinosaurs still roaming the earth only a few thousand years ago? Were some of the dragons people saw actually lizards that have extra skin, and can glide such as the Kuehneosaurus,or the flying dinosaurs the
Maybe, but these are questions no one can answer. Dragons will always live on the Earth, we do have real dragons here! There is even a genus of lizard called draco. Two "dragon" lizards are water dragons, and
http://www.bagheera.com/Komodo dragons. The water dragon is a popular small lizard to keep as pets. The Komodo dragon (not discovered until 1912!) is the largest known lizard today, reaching lengths of 10 feet, and 150 pounds. The bright yellow tongue could be mistaken for a flame, and its vicious nature would scare anyone away.
Some other "dragons" are the Dragonfly, and the Snapdragon flower. The Dragonfly could have been mistaken for a small flying dragon in the past, although, in Jurassic times, Dragonflies were as big as a seagull. The Snapdragon flower looks like a red mouth with a gaping yellow throat, which could be where it's name came from. Humans have even named one of the Constellations in the sky Draco for the shape of the constellation is that of a dragon.
Here Be Dragons! hopes that this study has opened your eyes to what dragons are, or what they could be. We also hope that this encourages you to write a dragon story, draw a dragon picture, or create your own dragon web site.
All of this is what a dragon is.
MORE ABOUT DRAGONS
History of dragons around the World
Physiology Of A Dragon
How do YOU say Dragon?
LINKS TO LEARN MORE!
Worm original artwork by Michael Whelan. Pernese dragon art by Dee Dreslough. Faerie Dragons by Jennifer Walker.
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