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Do you think that dragons existed?

  1. Apr 13, 2007 #1
    This is a general opinion comment.

    But do you think that dragons existed?

    We have fossil evidence of large reptiles (dinosaurs)
    there are some theories that they evolved into birds.

    Could there have been some giant winged reptile in existence in early human times that survived as legend in so many cultures, and was perhaps hunted to extinction?

    Sure, there is currently no fossil record of them, but that doesn't mean much as I am sure the majority of species in history have disappeared without leaving any fossil trace. And I don't think we can completely ignore human history and legends as sketchy as they can sometimes be.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2007 #2
    like a cross between a terradactyl and a lizard? sure
     
  4. Apr 13, 2007 #3

    J77

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    Fire-breathing? No.
     
  5. Apr 13, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    One interesting bit of speculation has been that in the days of old, dinosaur bones were sometimes found, and lacking any other explanation, these eventually led to the dragon myth. Others argue that it is hard to explain how different cultures such as those in early England and China evolved nearly identical myths.
     
  6. Apr 13, 2007 #5

    arildno

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    While dinosaur may have BOLSTERED myths about dragons already existing, they would not at all, by themselves, have led to the idea of large FLYING reptiles (where were the wings). It could equally well, or better, led to ideas of large slithering serpents, or other huge land animals.

    I believe that humans are primed to regard the power of flight as something "wondrous" whether or not they find any bones in the ground.

    Thus, the idea of spectacular, large fliers is something that might predictably create awe in a story-teller's audience (if the story-teller is good, that is).

    In essence, the dragon idea is as much dependent on wishful thinking (that we would like there to have existed such awesome creatures once) as on material remains of dinosaurs.

    It is implausible that a dinosaur like the pterodactyl would have survived into human times.
     
  7. Apr 13, 2007 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Teradachtyl bones could have accounted for the winged dragon myth.

    I think the real qustions are: How similar are the descriptions of European and Asian dragons. Next, is there any way to account for this similarity?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  8. Apr 13, 2007 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Something else that comes to mind are the hobbits - homoflorensis - who did battle with Komodo dragons that were twenty times their weight. Also, did travellers happen upon these beasts from time to time, and did these encounters evolve into myths?
     
  9. Apr 13, 2007 #8

    arildno

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    The large, slithering European/Germanic serpents, like Fafnir, have in common with the Chinese dragons that they are wingless, whereas the Chinese dragon has in common the ability to fly with the Romanic batwing dragon.

    I'm not sure if the Chinese dragon breathes fire, but neither did the adderwurms like Fafnir.

    Now, apart from the wonderment that all people, wherever they live has felt about birds, another animal that is shrouded in myths, legends and tales in almost all cultures, is the serpent. (which can be found anywhere)

    Thus, that roughly similar tales of huge serpentine, possibly flying, animals have sprung up in many different parts of the world might as well be because humans are humans and the same types of animals arise the same type of fascination in all humans, and thus prepares the ground for adept story-tellers to weave great tales about wondrous creatures to pay for his next meal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  10. Apr 13, 2007 #9

    wolram

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    The one i knew could not fly, was rather large and could breath fire
    in buckets.
     
  11. Apr 13, 2007 #10

    baywax

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    There's the possibility that some of the dinosaurs survived the bolide event of 65 million years ago. During the following 65 m years these remaining dinos may have evolved in many different ways with features like wings or gemlike hides on the underbelly.

    It was speculated that the "breathing fire" illusion may have come from the fact that something as large as a dinosaur's digestive system would be constantly appearing to "smoke" out of the mouth because of the heat generated by digesting and fermenting food in the stomach.

    The tales of humans challenging Dragons/dinos and/or befriending them could come from any age in our past. Then passed along and written in the timeframe of any age.

    Encounters with these sometimes crafty, swift (mososaurus) and violent creatures would have spawned several inquiries into technologies that would rid humans of the menace once and for all. Doing so may have required some very interesting technologies that today are seen only as myths, like the dragons themselves.
     
  12. Apr 14, 2007 #11

    matthyaouw

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    Where are the remains?
     
  13. Apr 14, 2007 #12

    arildno

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    Again, fire is one of the most spectacular sights we know of from our natural surroundings. It is majestic, beautiful and terribly destructive when uncontrolled.

    That command of fire would arouse awe and excitement in listeners is quite probable on this basis.
     
  14. Apr 14, 2007 #13

    baywax

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    Spontanieous combustion.
     
  15. Apr 17, 2007 #14

    SGT

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    Narwal incisives gave origin to the mith of unicorns.
     
  16. Apr 18, 2007 #15
    I remember watching a show about dragons existing - completely theoretical but it was very interesting. I don't know why it would be so awesome if a dinosaur could fly because in my opinion a lizard like that is the perfect human. They existed for millions of years independently of cars, concrete, and town hall meetings. I wish I was a dinosaur.
     
  17. Apr 19, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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    It's also not unreasonable to expect that someone finding dinosaur bones, even if it were not something with wings, may have embellished the story of their discovery as it was retold. We all know how modern day urban legends evolve to have different details and variants, so it's not unreasonable to think a story talking about this monster's bones would eventually be distorted to be about seeing the actual monster, and add more and more details about fangs, claws, wings, things to make it sound more exciting as it's retold over and again.
     
  18. Apr 19, 2007 #17

    baywax

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    Give it a few more years:rolleyes:
     
  19. Apr 19, 2007 #18
    It's a commonly known fact that Dragons are territorial and will consume their fellow dragon-kin to gain their strength. Thus no remains, except for the last dragon. And he's probably still hiding somewhere.
     
  20. Apr 20, 2007 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    It was once suggested by some scientist speaking to Omni Magazine [very pop-sci stuff] that the fire breathing resulted from the spontaneous or other combustion of hydrogen or methane [both naturally occuring] produced by the digestion systems of dragons. I don't remember many details, but the idea was that these were cave dwellers that filled the cave with gases while sleeping. This might account for a means of combustion. Next, many descriptions of dragons suggest that the wings were far too small for flight when compared to the size of the animal, so it was suggested that the protrusions often described on their backs were part of natural storage system for hydrogen, and that essentially dragons were big blimps. It was also suggested that an excess of HCl [commonly found in digestive systems and ultimately the source of the hydrogen for flight] might destroy all remains when the dragon died.

    Okay, I know... It's not my idea but it is too fun to not mention! :biggrin:

    very late edits
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  21. Apr 20, 2007 #20

    arildno

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    Indeed. Dragons are cool, and we love stories about them, irrespective of any physical "remains" of them.
     
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