What is a Dragon:
Dragon \'drag-en\ 1. a huge serpent 2. a fabulous animal usually represented as a monstrous
winged and scaly serpent or saurian with a crested head and enormous claws.
Types of Dragons found in Myths:
Serpent Dragons are believed to be the first "dragons"
that motivated the beginnings of later myths, legends, and stories. They are big, limbless, and wing-less. They are snake-like
and live in oceans and other bodies of water. They were often noted for having multiple heads, like the hydra. Read Perseus
and the Dragon of Posdeidon in the Myths section.
The Western Dragon, or the one we all know, the four-legged, winged (most of the time), fire-breathing
dragon. These are the dragons that are mostly greedy and gold loving. Some dragons, called dragonlets, were small in stature,
but were no less deadly. Read St. George and the Dragon, Tristan and the Fire Dragon, Rustam and the Dragon,
and The Dragonet of Mt. Pilatus in the Myths section.
|The Eastern Dragon is also the Oriental dragon. These dragons are mostly
portrayed as wing-less, but still able to fly. They are mostly four-legged. Often they were able shape-shift to help the human
- Famous are the Chinese dragons. They have a snake-like body and bearded face. Wang Fu gave a detailed account of the dragon's
features. It's features are actually a complex combination of many animals. To mature, it takes about 3,000 years. Fifteen
thousand to become a full grown dragon (lung), five hundred more to grow horns, out of which they hear, and a thousand more
to grow wings if there are any. There are many types of Chinese dragons, mainly four. The celestial dragon (called t'ien lung)
is a protector of heaven and guardian of gods. The spiritual dragon (the shen-lung) brings rain. The ti-lung was the dragon
of the land and rivers. The final main dragon is the treasure dragon (fu-ts-ang lung). Obviously, it holds jewels and metals.
Read The Chinese Dragon's Pearl in the Myths section.
- The Vietnamese dragon "Long" is a fabulous beast with the head of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a fish, ears of a
buffalo, body and neck of a snake, scales of a carp, claws of an eagle, and feet of a tiger. It can live in the sky, the water,
or underground. It is immortal and does not reproduce. The "Giao Long", which are half lizard half snakes automatically become
dragons after a thousand years. The dragon is a symbol of power and nobility to the Vietnamese. A five clawed dragon was found
on the official dress of the emperor.
What about those things in-between? The wyverns are have a one pair of hind legs and a pair
of wings. Lindorms can also be two-legged, often in the front. They are wing-less, and resemble
serpent dragons. These could also be called wyrms (sometimes spelled worms or wurms). Read The Curse of the Lambton Worm
in the Myths section.
There are real dragons! The Komodo dragon lives in Indonesia. They're an endangered species,
and the largest lizard in the world. They can weigh up to 310 pounds.