There be dragons

There be dragons

dracorex by cisio purple

The skull of a dinosaur is currently on show in London[1], discovered in South Dakota nearly twenty years ago, is covered in ornate spikes and looks like a dragon, The scientists called it Dracorex, but it is probably a juvenile Pachycephalosaurus from the Late Cretaceous, 66 Ma. However, the strict rules of scientific nomenclature mean nothing else can ever be called Dracorex.

Eastern Water Dragon, Coffs Botanic Garden

‘Water Dragons are completely insectivorous as juveniles, however as they grow they become more omnivorous with vegetable matter gradually making up to almost half of the diet. The Water Dragon is more often heard than seen as it dives into the water when disturbed. It can remain submerged for around one hour . . . Water Dragons can be found in large numbers in areas of suitable habitat. These groups are usually comprised of several females, juveniles of various ages and a dominant male who will defend as much of the territory as possible from other males.’[2]

Water Dragon, Blue Pools, Angourie, NSW

‘Two males are engaging in a fight for territory. Using their powerful jaws they lock heads, leaving a lot of our dragons with facial injuries. . . Mating can be quite violent in this species, with the males biting on to the back of the females’ neck while tightly wrapping themselves around them.’[3]

Water Dragon, Blue Pools, Angourie, NSW

‘Fossils resembling extant Water Dragons have been discovered in Miocene deposits in Riversleigh, Queensland, indicating that this genus has existed in Australia for at least 20 million years.’ [4]

The Komodo dragon is the largest survivor, and lives on Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands for millions of years. The largest ever recorded was over 3 metres long and weighed 166 kg. Dragons bite down with serrated teeth and pull back with powerful neck muscles, resulting in huge gaping wounds. Their venom glands produce toxins that prevent clotting and lower blood pressure causing massive bleeding, induce shock.  The dragon is not endangered, but is listed vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Dragons, Valla Beach, Dec 8 2020

Dragons are intelligent, more intelligent than men according to some maesters. They have affection for their friends and fury for their enemies. Tyrion Lannister[5]

[1] Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature Exhibition, Natural History Museum, London, Dec 2020


[3] Celine Frere,



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