Since the dawn of time, dragons have always reigned as masters across different cultures. They are indeed fantastic reptiles found in many myths.
Sometimes they were protectors of humans, divine forces, evil forces and others. All in all, these mythical creatures had several natures.
This is what gives us the opportunity to talk about the dragon serpent today.
Indeed, there has always been a close link between the dragon and the snake, which is why it was sometimes difficult to distinguish between these two predators.
In which culture has the Dragon Serpent been encountered? Which dragon serpent have existed in mythology? Does a dragon serpent really exist?
These are some of the questions we will answer in this article. You will have the opportunity to have a clearer idea about this reptile.
Important considerations for the Dragon Serpent
The Xenodermus javanicus, or Dragon Serpent, is a unique species of snake known for its unusual but fascinating appearance.
Also known as the Javan Tuberous Snake, Java Mud Snake and Rough-backed Litter Snake, the reptile sometimes exhibits particularly interesting behavior when handled.
It will stiffen its entire body, as if it were instantly frozen. They are naturally fascinating to watch when they come out at night to hunt and explore.
The Sex of the Dragon Serpent
Determining the sex of dragon serpent is relatively simple if you know what to look for. You can’t probe these snakes because they are very thin and fragile and the risk of injuring them is too great.
However, by looking closely at the tail, it can be a much easier and less invasive method of determining the sex of your snake.
Females can be distinguished from males because they are heavier, have a thinner tail and do not have a hemipenial bulge. Males, on the other hand, are thinner, have a thicker tail and a distinct hemipenial bulge.
The Ideal Living Environment for the Dragon Serpent
Dragon serpents need a constantly high humidity. They often spend the majority of their time underground.
In order to satisfy their semi-fossorial nature and maintain humidity levels of 90%, it is best to use organic potting soil as a substrate.
However, it is not recommended to use a substrate that will have to be constantly modified by adding water to maintain humidity levels. In fact, it would be best to have a reduced interaction with this species.
Dragon serpents are more vulnerable to skin diseases. It is therefore important to keep the environment as hygienic as possible.
Adding a drainage layer to allow for a more even distribution of moisture throughout the substrate is highly recommended to help maintain humidity.
If you want to domesticate dragon serpents, you should know that they do not need external heat. They should ideally be kept in a temperature-controlled room between 23.9 and 25.0 °C (75–77°F). High temperatures are detrimental to this species.
The Diet of the Dragon Serpent
The diet of dragon serpents is very simple as long as they are well established. In the wild, their diet consists mainly of tadpoles, frogs and small fish. Smaller snakes will prey more on medium to large tree frog tadpoles or small nurse fish.
Origin of the Dragon Serpent Myth
As we said above, the dragon serpent is a race that has long existed in several mythologies and cultures. However, it must be recognized that it was not always a question of friendship with man.
It should be noted that for centuries there has always been a close relationship between snakes and dragons. Let’s start by pointing out that the word dragon comes from the Latin word Draco, as well as from the Greek term Drâkon.
In ancient Rome, when people spoke of Draco, they were referring to a fantastic animal with the body of a snake and the head of a wolf.
It should be noted that the image of this beast was used in several Roman emblems. In Greek mythology, the Drâkon was related to giant snakes. It is in this wake that since that time, dragons are represented in some cultures with serpentine bodies with elongated necks.
All in all, there was a very close resemblance to snakes as we see them today. According to legends, snakes would have given birth to these rather scary monstrous creatures with sharp fangs.
In many cultures around the world, the myth of the dragon serpent has been very well developed. Here are some cultures that have known this mythical animal.
The Western Dragon
If it is true that in all cultures, the dragon has been inspired by the snake, there are cultures in which this mythical animal came closest to these reptiles.
This is for example the case of the Western dragon. It is true that the Western dragon is almost similar to that of the East, but with some differences:
- It is a dragon with wings that look like those of a bat.
- This dragon has the shape of a reptile, but not necessarily the snake. It could be more like a dinosaur.
- It can use its tail to strangle large animals.
- It also has the ability to breathe fire, as well as a breath that can poison.
- This one also has 4 legs. When you find one with two legs in this crop, it is more like a Vouivre.
- This dragon has large claws, horns on its head and sharp fangs.
- Finally, its scales are impenetrable.
This Dragon Serpent was mean, powerful and extremely dangerous. Their basic element was fire and that’s why they could spit fire without any harm.
Some of these mythological animals lived in caves, while others had to guard treasures or young princesses that they captured.
The Oriental Dragon
The second major type of dragon serpent is the oriental dragon, also known as the Chinese dragon. Unlike the one in western mythology, this one has a very long body which is similar to that of the snake. It also has 4 legs, fangs, sharp claws, and a very powerful tail.
The biggest difference here is that the oriental dragon has no wings, but it also moves in the air. In this legend, these mammals reside in the seabed, lakes, rivers, in short, they were always close to the water. The image of a dragon of this kind dates back to about 5 millennia before Christ.
This animal is quite powerful and represented the supremacy of the emperor in the Eastern culture. It also has an important power on the phenomena related to water. It has for example the capacity to make rain fall in the middle of a drought. So their main element is water.
So you understand that in this culture, the Dragon Serpent is rather good and lucky. So they have nothing to do with the mood of the fire-breathing dragons.
This does not mean that they are harmless at all, because they can become very fearsome when they feel threatened.
What are the Dragon Serpents in Mythology?
You already have an idea about the cultures that had to worship the dragon serpent; now it’s time to have a look at the most famous and monstrous mythological creatures.
You’ve probably already heard about Leviathan in the Bible. It was indeed one of the most fearsome and titanic monsters of the legend. It had primacy over all other sea creatures. As for its origins, there are several theories about it.
Only one thing is common in all these theories, the Leviathan was able to sow destruction in its path. This monstrous marine being was classified in the order of deities. It is sometimes represented in several forms, but the most popular one is that of a very large legendary snake. It is also a fearsome predator.
The Lernean Hydra: A Mythological Creature
It is in Greek legend that we speak of the Hydra of Lerna. It was indeed the fruit of Typhon and Echidna. It was indeed a gigantic monster that was similar to a water snake with many heads, precisely nine heads.
One of its peculiarities was to be immortal. Every time we tried to cut off a head, we soon found that two others grew back.
It was Hercules who managed to take the life of this great legendary monster during one of his 12 labors. This dragon was one of the most dangerous legendary monsters that mythology has known.
The Basilisk Serpent
Here is another dragon serpent that has made a name for itself in mythology. It is much more in European history that we hear about this gigantic monster.
According to legend, this dragon was born from the corpse of the Gorgon Medusa. For many authors of fantasy stories, it is the king of snakes.
Still according to the legend, this Dragon Serpent was able to kill its prey by its only look, in the case of a bite, it injects you a venom of which only the tear of phoenix could be the antidote.
The Jormungand belongs to the Norse mythology that lives in the depths of the ocean. It is indeed the biggest monster you can find in the Norse mythology. It is said that even the god Thor could not defeat this snake.
Its name means “necklace of earth.” This is because it is so big that it can wrap the whole earth with its whole body. In its mouth, there are full of teeth full of venom. The latter is big enough to swallow a giant.
This dragon serpent is titanic, and it is the one that surrounds the trees of the Garden of the Hesperides. Its main role is to protect the golden apples.
It is a serpent dragon that you will find in ancient Greek mythology. It has a reptile body that has 100 snake heads. Each head speaks a different language.
It is one of the fruits of Typhon and Echidna. This explains its gigantic size. This fantastic creature is accompanied in its task by nymphs of the Hesperides.
It is not a creature of evil, but it can be dangerous and evil when it senses danger. It would be better not to antagonize him.
Does a Dragon Serpent exist in Reality?
This is an important question to ask. Indeed, there are legendary creatures similar to those described in these mythologies, even if they do not correspond to these exaggerated descriptions of mythical monsters. Here are some real dragon serpents that differ from mythical animals.
The Dragon Serpent
There is a dragon serpent that is known as the dragon snake which is a snake that is not venomous at all. Its appearance is quite strange, which allows it to be related to a dragon. It is found in Southeast Asia. You find it in several countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Brunei and Indonesia.
You usually find it in areas near water. That is, forests, swamps, rice fields and marshes. It is also important to know that it is a semi-fossorial snake. That is, it digs galleries to live in. In other words, this snake spends most of its time in the ground.
The Serpent With Dragon Scales
Here is another Dragon Serpent that really exists. Their unusual skin is what makes them special. Indeed, it has three rows of keel scales on its back. When you look at it, you can believe in a cross between the crocodile and the snake.
So you understand that if they are called dragon serpents, it is because of these scales that are similar to those of these mythical beasts. This dragon serpent also has a particularity. When you touch it, it becomes as stiff as a board. But in addition to that, this snake has a strange look.
It is very difficult to raise them at home, because they can’t stand captivity. When they don’t live in their natural environment, they die quite quickly. It is therefore better to leave them in the wild.
What to remember about the Dragon Serpent?
After seeing all the cultures that have relayed a myth about the Dragon Serpent, we have seen some of the most popular ones.
You can agree with us that no mortal would have liked to meet one of them. On the other hand, it turns out that there really is a dragon serpent somewhere in the world.
The ones that have been studied so far are not endowed with mystical power as described in Western and Eastern mythologies, but they still arouse admiration.
It was Johannes T. Reinharts who was the first to discover dragon serpents, in 1836. These are snakes of which we can’t say much today, because they are quite rare because they are victims of extinction like most snake species.
The good news is that they are not venomous, but nobody knows anything about their way of defending themselves when they feel threatened. One thing is certain, they are rare and protected species that are best preserved. Which dragon serpent scared you the most?