Dragon is a term used to describe a number of mythological creatures which share at least some of the following features...
- reptilian attributes (scales, short ratio of leg length to body length, tail, etc.)
- large size (while dragons as small as a songbird are known, most are bigger than an elephant)
- flight (possibly, but not necessarily, with wings)
- ability to expel fire from their mouths or other such attacks
Mythology about dragons differs. For example, Asiatic dragons tend to be long and more serpentine in appearance, while European dragons are more reptillian with larger torsos.
Dragons in fiction are often sapient and have some degree of magical ability. The term is also used to refer to several categories of real-life reptiles (Komodo Dragons, Bearded Dragons, and so forth). Dragons are often depicted as being evil, although many instances exist of dragons being morally neutral, benign, or sympathetic.
Dragons in Fiction
- In JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth, western dragons exist, notable among them being Smaug.
- In Avatar, Asiatic dragons exist, and from these creatures was learned fire bending.
- In Star Wars, the planet Tatooine is home to Krayt Dragons; the skeleton of one can be seen in ANH.
- Various Dragons in Dreamwork's How to Train you Dragon
- Swamp Dragons and Noble Dragons in Discworld
- Reign of Fire (if you want to laugh)
- Dinosaurs: It is believed that part of the reason why the myth of dragons emerged was because primitive peoples found the fossilized remains of Dinosaurs.