Anatomy of the Western Dragon
In this article, we will study the anatomy of the western dragon. 🐲
You ever wonder how a dragon works? How does it fly through the air? How does it breathe fire?
We're going to go into all that in detail. From wings to eyes, scales to horns, breeding to eggs, you'll learn all about the anatomy and functioning of the western dragon.
And take our word for it, this is no ordinary creature! Hang on, it's going to get messy! 😉
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1. Global anatomy of the dragon
The skeletal structure of the dragon has a large head, long neck, broad shoulders, thick legs, a powerful tail and large wings. Unlike human bones, dragon bones are very strong, hollow and light. It's true that having hollow and light bones helps a dragon fly. The western dragon has very powerful muscles.
With its powerful masseter muscle into the jaw, the dragon can easily crush bones.
Two huge muscles (Supraspinatus and Flexor alae major), located near the chest, allow the dragon to fly. The imposing wings of the western dragon strongly resemble those of a bat.
Anatomy of the dragon
2. Eye of the Dragon
Usually, the western dragon has a bright yellow eye with a serpentine slit as a pupil.
However, the dragon's eyes change depending on the race. Some have no pupils, while others have purple eyes and pupils.
Most of the draconian wings are inspired by those of bats. They have four attachment points on the dragon's body. By comparison, a bird has only two. The wing is generally larger than the body of the dragon itself in order to be able to lift its imposing mass. These wings have the capacity to support a high weight, since they are able to hold the dragon in the air. The dragon manages to fly by "taking" the air with its wings.
The baby dragon learns to fly like a small bird. That is, it jumps from relatively high places and tries to control its flight. On the contrary, the oriental dragon (Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese...), which has no wings, manages to fly thanks to magic powers.
B. Bone structure similar to that of humans
The bone structure of the wing is similar to that of a human arm. It has a humerus, an elbow joint, a wrist and phalanges.
C. Wings are also weapons
Wings can also be used as weapons.
However, since they are not as strong and resistant as the rest of the body, the dragon only does this as a last resort.
Indeed, if the wing membranes are cut, the dragon may never fly again. This is very damaging for a dragon!
4. Dragon scales
A. The evolution of scales
A dragon is covered in scales.
When it is born, its scales are soft like tissue paper.
As he grows older, they harden. From hatching, this process takes a year to complete.
B. The defensive role
A vulnerable young dragon spreads its large, scale-covered wings to deter predators from attacking it. In this way, the scales can be used as a repellent.
However, if this strategy fails, the dragon's heavy-duty scales prove to be an effective bulwark against attack. They're as hard as steel. So his body, which is vulnerable, is well protected.
These scales have the ability to withstand terrible affronts, such as a direct sword blow.
C. Scale properties
- The scales, claws and horns of a dragon are composed of densely packed cells of a protein called keratin.
- Overall, the draconic scales are shaped like tear drops.
- They are staggered and overlapping.
- The largest scales are found on the dragon's chest.
- The overlapping scales make a slight noise when the dragon moves.
- When the dragon wants to wash or cool down, it can lift its scales.
- Some breeds even change the color of their scales to camouflage themselves. Some kinds of chameleon dragons, in short.
- The scales can also change color when they are agitated or during the mating season. This is made possible by the pigment cells in the scales.
D. An indicator of the state of health
Thanks to the scales, we can determine whether a dragon is healthy or not.
Indeed, when it is sick, its scales become lifeless and dull. A healthy dragon, on the other hand, has radiant, shiny scales.
Some dragons have horns or spikes on their heads, which run down the spine.
6. Senses of the Dragon
The dragon's senses are quite comparable to those of humans (sight, hearing, smell, touch/balance and taste). However, they are much more "refined" than ours. Indeed, their five senses are extremely sensitive.
Their sharpest senses are sight, smell and touch. Almost all western dragons manage to perceive the entire color palette. Some dragons even possess a sixth sense. This gives them the ability to perceive the emotions of another being. This sense is very sharp, especially when the dragon is close to the individual in question.
In addition, the night varieties have increased night vision, thanks to eyes that are way more sensitive to light.
A sublime dragon
Food is broken down into organic matter, such as methane.
This gas is stored by the dragon in a kind of "lung" designed for this purpose.
8. Breath of fire
The dragon has a hydrogen gland which, combined with a spark of powdered platinum (from the sedimentary rock it ingests), produces fire.
To spit out this fire, the dragon must then mix its methane with a small amount of phosphorus. This phosphorus has the property of igniting in the fire when the fire is in contact with air.
According to some myths, other dragons have the ability to breathe acid, gel and toxic gases.
And contrary to popular belief, there are not only fire-breathing dragons. Indeed, many other varieties of dragons exist.
As far as the colors of the scales are concerned, dragons receive them as an inheritance from their parents (a bit like humans for hair color).
A dragon's scales are never one color. For example, if a dragon is blue, it will have several shades of blue: light, medium, dark, blue-black...
Usually, a dragon mates with another dragon that has scales of the same color.
That said, there can be crossbreeding. For example, a golden dragon and a green dragon can give birth to a bronze colored creature.
It would take far too long to make a complete inventory of all the shades of color of the dragons. But, we can still list the three main ones:
a green dragon
To be able to frolic serenely, two dragons in love fly high in the sky. You'll agree that it's a lot classier than going to a hotel!
At the fateful moment, they wrap themselves in their wings and dive in free fall. When they reach less than thirty meters above the ground, they open their wings and land softly, like with a parachute. What a lot of emotions!
This process is due to the fact that dragons are passionate about speed and danger. This spices up their love relationship.
two dragons in love, just before breeding.
11. The Eggs
The western dragon lays eggs, in the manner of reptiles and birds. These eggs have tough shells that protect them from the outside world.
The incubation period varies from breed to breed. Overall, it can be estimated at about one to five years. This is much faster, by the way, than the 1000 years required for Asian dragons.
12. Recognizing a male and female dragon
The dragon's reproductive apparatus is internal, unlike humans. Knowing this, it is quite complicated to know whether a dragon is a male or a female.
We can know this by observing its general behavior, or its physical appearance a little more closely:
- A male dragon has slightly more muscular limbs and thicker wings,
- A female dragon has a thinner snout (including jaws, mouth and nose),
- A female's eyes are often slightly larger,
- The male dragon has larger horns and a wider arrowhead tail,
- The male is generally more violent, impulsive and appears more bossy. That doesn't mean that the female is the opposite of all that,
- The female has a more mystical side. Indeed, she exudes more mystery and artistic wonder when observed.
We just learn a lot about the shape and functioning of the western dragon. These creatures appears a lot in many myths and legends of the European culture. Some of them can be quite old, like the Greek mythology, the Bible, or the legend of Saint-George, others are more contemporary, like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, or Skyrim.
If you are passionate about the anatomy and skeleton of dragons, we offer you our Skeletal Dragon Products.