A huge snake body covered with scales, bat wings, sharp claws and a breath capable of igniting everything within its reach: the dragon is omnipresent in all cultures of the world. But could such an animal have existed? From a scientific point of view, it is hard to believe it. here the reason Are Dragons Real 2020
Are Dragons Real 2020 ?
The dragon is a fantastic animal that transcends cultures. It can be found in Chinese New Year parades, in Greek mythology, in medieval Viking mythology, and even today in literature and science fiction films. Represented as a snake, lizard or dinosaur, sometimes winged and sometimes aquatic, the dragon lives in a cave or in the clouds. Evil and destructive in Western culture, it is on the contrary powerful and protective in Asian culture and Japan.
Fire-Breathing Dragon Canvas
The myth of the dragon from dinosaur fossils?
But where does the myth of the dragon come from and did it ever really populate the Earth? The first explanation is the discovery by our ancestors of dinosaur bones. Skeletons that resemble those of giant reptiles, but with a basin similar to that of birds. ” The result is clear: it meant that these giant creatures could fly! “, according to Richard Muller, professor of physics at the University of Berkeley (USA). Since their bones were made of stone (fossilized), humans also deduced that these animals must have been the source of the fire that fell from the sky, and therefore that they spat fire. Many dragons were also inspired by characters from real animals, such as the scaled body of a snake, the head of a tiger, or the claws of an eagle. All that remained was to imagine a mix between all this.
Four legs and two wings, a compromise difficult to reconcile
However, an animal with four or more legs and two wings, such as dragons are often depicted, has never been found in prehistoric or present-day species. In the course of evolution, flying vertebrates have thus seen their forelimbs become wings. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine wings powerful enough to launch a dragon weighing several tons. “A bird can reach a maximum weight of 80 kg to be able to fly,” Mark Witton, a researcher at the University of Portsmouth, told the BBC. “The enormous pterosaurs, capable of lifting four times as heavy, had to have relatively small legs and rib cages. »
Another myth that has been shattered is that of the supposed intelligence of dragons, capable of using cunning or diabolical traps to destroy knights, or else of showing infinite wisdom, cognitive abilities that far exceed those of reptiles or other animals. Finally, the legend of the fire-breathing dragon is not based on scientific possibility either. In the animal kingdom, there are indeed cobras that spit venom, or eels that produce electrical discharges that can produce sparks. The bomber beetle throws a boiling corrosive liquid at its victims. But nothing that can cause the ignition of a hypothetical gas exhaled from a dragon’s mouth.
The famous mythical dragons… and the very real dragons
But these arguments have not prevented the dragon from continuing to survive in popular culture, as in the case of Scatha and Smaug, guardians of the treasure of Erebor in Middle-earth, of the spiky Magyar that Harry Potter faces in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, or of Toothless, Harold’s inseparable friend in the cartoon Dragons.
Several animals are also known as dragons, such as the Komodo dragon (actually a varan), the dragon lizard, which has pointed scales and large backbones, or the leafy sea dragon, which resembles a seahorse. Not to mention Nessie, the famous Loch Ness monster, which was recently discovered to be a giant eel.