I think you, like many others, have heard about “Dragons” at least once in their lives. Virtually every culture in the world refers to these supernatural monsters in their popular stories. Some of these creatures take the form of winged, fire-breathing reptiles. The best known are the European (or Western) Dragons and the Asian Dragons. In Europe, they are described as huge, dangerous and fiercely hostile. While in Asia, they are seen as positive and benevolent symbols. ?
Dinosaurs and Dragons: the Ultimate Guide
We all know stories where dragons almost always end up being killed by a valiant knight in shining armor at the end of a grueling quest. That said, one question remains unanswered: Who inspired the Dragons? And what are the Origins of the Dragons? The most likely hypothesis would be that Dinosaur Bones inspired the various Dragon Myths in the first place. If you love them, get your Dinosaur Comforter now. ?
Before exploring the link between dragons and dinosaurs, it is important to know what a dragon is. In short, the word “dragon” comes from the Greek “drákōn”, which means “snake” or “water snake”. In fact, the first mythological dragons look more like snakes than dinosaurs ? or pterosaurs (flying reptiles). It is also important to recognize that dragons are not unique to Western tradition. The Dragon in Asian Mythology is omnipresent, it bears the Chinese name of “lóng”. ?
Are Dinosaurs the Ancestors of Dragons ?
Detecting the exact origin of the Myths about Dragons is an almost impossible task in any culture. After all, we were absent some 5,000 years ago. It’s hard to find a witness who knew about the conversations or folk tales of that time, passed down through countless generations about the Beast.
That said, there are three probable possibilities that link the existence between Dragons and Dinosaurs.
1) The Dragons are descended from the scariest predators of prehistoric (Jurassic) times, the Dinosaurs.
Until only a few hundred years ago, human life was cruel, brutal and short. Many adults and children were victims of vicious and wild animals. The anatomical details of dragons vary from culture to culture. It is likely that these monsters were imagined piecemeal from familiar and fearsome predators. For example, the head of a crocodile, the scales of a snake, the skin of a tiger and the wings of an eagle.
2) The Dragons were inspired by the discovery of giant fossils.
Ancient civilizations could easily have come across the bones of long-extinct dinosaurs or the mammalian mega-fauna of the Cenozoic. Like modern paleontologists, these accidental fossil hunters may have been inspired to make visual reconstructions of “dragons” by reconstructing bleached skulls and spines. As with the above theory, this would explain why so many dragons are chimeras that appear to have been assembled from the body parts of various animals.
3) Dragons have been loosely based on recently extinct mammals and reptiles.
This is the most flawed, but most romanticized, of all the theories about dragons. If the very first humans were spreading the rumors, they may well have passed on stories of creatures that became extinct 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age. If this theory proves to be true, the legend of the dragon may have been inspired by dozens of creatures, such as the giant sloth and saber-toothed tiger in America, or the giant Megalania lizard in Australia (a varan similar to the Komodo Dragon), which, with its 10 meters long and two tons, was certainly the size of a dragon.
Dinosaur and Dragons in Modern Times
Few, if any, paleontologists believe in the various legends about dragons. The hypothesis is that these myths were invented by ancient human beings who saw a dinosaur in their own lifetime. The distorted history was passed on to countless generations. However, this hasn’t stopped scientists from having a little fun with the dragon myth, which explains recent dinosaur names such as “Dracorex“, “Dracopelta“, “Dilong” and “Guanlong“, which incorporate the “lóng” root corresponding to the Chinese word for “dragon”. Dragons may never have existed, but they can always be resurrected, at least in part, as dinosaurs.
Is the Komodo Dragon a Dinosaur
No. Komodo dragons are not dinosaurs, they are lizards. In fact, birds are closer to dinosaurs than lizards. It is often said that Komodo dragons have toxic saliva or a “poisonous bite” “but their prey usually dies from being torn apart”.
Adrienne Mayor, in her book “Fossil Legends of the First Americans”, states that “many images of dragons around the world are based on popular knowledge or exaggerations of living reptiles, such as Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, iguanas, alligators or, in California, alligator lizards”.
Difference Between Dragons and Dinosaurs
I think it is very safe to say that dinosaurs inspired the myth, stories and legend of dragons. However, there are always reasons why dragons cannot be dinosaurs. Let’s look at the very clear differences and similarities between a dragon and a dinosaur. Here are the main differences between Dragons and Dinosaurs:
▪️ Dinosaurs are real (fossils)
▪️ Dinosaurs can fly (Pterodactyl)
▪️ Dinosaurs don’t breathe fire
▪️ Dinosaurs don’t talk
▪️ Dinosaurs do not hoard gold in caves.
▪️ Dinosaurs are not pets (Jurassic Park)
After the dissimilarities, here are the main similarities between Dragons and Dinosaurs:
Dragons Vs Dinosaurs
According to you, let’s imagine that these two species meet, who would be the prey or the predator? Difficult to judge, I grant you. There are many parameters to take into account, such as the size or the aggressiveness and instinct of the animal in question.
A dragon, be it Smaug or Drogon, would have no chance. I will explain why. First of all, the images and sizes of dragons found on the Internet may be exaggerated, especially that of Ancalagon the black. Keep in mind that if they existed in the Mesozoic era or if they were already on Earth before then, it would be physically impossible for even the largest wyvern or wyrm to reach the size of Balerion the black dread shown in Game of Thrones or Smaug in Lord of the Rings. Otherwise the bones and skeletal structure would probably collapse under their own weight, the effect or influence of gravity preventing it.
In the end, there are far too many variables to determine the winner if a fight between these two creatures takes place. Dragon versus Dinosaur, you must choose the species beforehand with the size and weight of each. Let’s take the case of the T-Rex against Drogon, while remaining realistic to the maximum and always steeped in fiction.
Certainly, Drogon will have the advantage in the air, he could use his flames to try to grill the T-Rex which cannot fly in the air. However, we do not know the resistance of the T-Rex’s muscle tissue to the flames, nor its pugnacity. Hypothetically, T-Rex could take several flame jets, delay and wait for Drogon to land before attempting to attack it. A fight on the ground would be of a completely different scope. The titanic power of T-Rex’s jaw and its sharp claws would leave little change to Dragon, who is slower on the ground.
If you prefer this kind of creature but cuter, you can take a look at our Dragon Plush below. What do you think about them? Feel free to share your opinion with us about what you think about Dragons and Dinosaurs.
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