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Make Dragons Great Again

Submitted by: Goshin @ 01:26 PM | Friday, September 30, 2016 | (url: http://www.bbc.co...)


"Reptiles can master many problems that mammals can," says Gordon Burghardt of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. "Complex problem-solving, reversal learning, social learning, complex sociality, tool use and individual recognition have all been discovered."

Some of the more intelligent reptiles are the larger species with correspondingly large brains, such as crocodiles and monitor lizards. Another potential contributor to intelligence is longevity, which has also been associated with bigger brains. Dragons are certainly not lacking in size, but what about lifespan?

Many dragons of legend are eternal, ageless creatures, whose lives can only be ended at the hands of a burly hero with a big sword. While actual immortality is unlikely, reptiles like giant tortoises and tuataras can clock up well over a century. The key to such extended lives could be a slow pace and a correspondingly slow metabolism.


Bowerbirds are a different matter. To attract females, male bowerbirds line the floors of their "bowers" with all sorts of treasures, albeit humbler ones than those found in a dragon's lair. Instead of jewels and coins, bowerbirds hoard berries and pieces of broken glass.

Our dragons are shaping up nicely. So far we have prehistoric reptiles, maybe a sister group to the giant pterosaurs or giant snakes, with advanced cognitive abilities to match their size and longevity, and a complex mating system based on the procurement of shiny, metallic objects.

Imagine an evolutionary convergence that bestows analogous chemical weaponry on an enormous reptile. Two glands in this creature's neck secrete the necessary solution, and when they mix in the back of its throat, a jet of gas and scalding liquid is expelled from its mouth.

Such a creature is highly implausible, of course, but then so are bombardier beetles.


lets speed up evolution on dragons


09-30-16 - 01:35 PM
[img]https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/115415/image331.jpg[/img]
09-30-16 - 01:37 PM
Some of the more intelligent reptiles are the larger species with correspondingly large brains,


This can't be right. Eggi has told me on multiple occasions that brain size has nothing to do with intellect, so even though nigger brains are smaller, it can't lead to niggers having lower IQs. Oh wait, is this another case of hominid evolution stopping at the neck? You know, how basic biology doesn't apply in humanoids, except to say that niggers run faster?
09-30-16 - 02:11 PM
The similarities between dinosaurs and dragons are well documented. There is a long history in China of identifying fossilised dinosaur bones as those of dragons.

Palaeontologists have also playfully nodded to dragons when naming their new discoveries. In the dinosaur pantheon we have everything from the "dragon king of Hogwarts" (Dracorex hogwartsia, a spiky-headed pachycephalosaur) to the "dragon of Qijiang" (Qijianglong guokr, a 50-foot long sauropod).

Based on their appearance, as well as their taste for large prey like knights and fair maidens, any real-life dragons would have filled a similar niche to that occupied by apex predators like Tyrannosaurus rex.

However, a closer look at dragon anatomy suggests it would be wrong to group them with such creatures taxonomically. Instead, the two distinct dragon body forms hint at two alternative evolutionary scenarios.

The first group of dragons contains the lóng of China, the drakon of Ancient Greece and the Old English wyrm. These are all dragons with elongated bodies and small legs, or no legs at all. In appearance these creatures are essentially snakes, so we should look at the snake family tree.

There is fossil evidence to suggest that the first snakes evolved from burrowing lizards, whose legs shrank and eventually disappeared as they adapted to an underground lifestyle. This fits with many classic depictions of subterranean dragons, such as the Nidhogg of Norse legend or the Greek "earth-dragon" Python, which gave its name to the real-life genus of large, constricting snakes.

What sets these creatures apart from your average snake is their size. However, that is not a major problem: we only need to look at the fossil record to find some truly dragon-sized snakes.

At 40ft (12m) long, with a body as thick as a man's waist, the mighty Titanoboa was a true monster. It could easily have been the ancestor of a lineage of gigantic, serpentine dragons.

But when you think "dragon", chances are you are not thinking of a giant snake. You are imagining the other type of dragon: a creature with large, leathery wings bursting from its shoulders. In short, you are imagining a creature that – from an anatomical perspective – should not exist.


Body plans are highly conserved, so while it is not impossible to imagine a six-limbed vertebrate, the evolutionary leap required is huge. When extra limbs do occur, they tend not to be adaptive. Instead, they are the result of birth defects or, in the case of some unfortunate frogs, parasitic infections.

Perhaps this is why in so many modern fantasy films, from Harry Potter to The Hobbit, the classic six-limbed dragon has been ditched in favour of a sleeker four-limbed model. Such a creature is more accurately called a "wyvern", and it is at least anatomically more realistic.

There is still the not-insignificant problem of how to get these enormous creatures off the ground. Fortunately for dragons, another group of prehistoric reptiles give their ambitions for flight some hope.


An image by palaeoartist and pterosaur researcher Mark Witton of the University of Portsmouth in the UK makes this clear. It shows one species of azhdarchid, Arambourgiania philadelphiae, standing as tall as a giraffe. The largest azhdarchids had wingspans of around 36ft (11m).

These enormous animals could fly, but doing so required a set of specific adaptations. These included a hollow skeleton, to minimise weight, and sturdy upper arm bones on which to anchor massive flight muscles.

Our hypothetical dragons would need the same adaptations. They would also have to make certain anatomical sacrifices.

Pterosaurs, on the other hand, relied on their already considerable front-limb/wing strength to launch themselves into the sky. "They don't need to worry about carrying all their leg muscles into the air with them after they've taken off," says Witton. "That of course means that they can get much bigger."

In other words, the largest pterosaurs only got that big by having relatively small torsos and legs. "Birds get to about 80kg [176lb] and that's as heavy as they can ever get and still fly, whereas a [flying] pterosaur can get to four times that weight," says Witton.

Our dragons would have to make the same trade-off. It does not diminish them too much, but it does confine the more bulky, lumbering depictions of them to the scrapheap.
09-30-16 - 02:19 PM
Originally posted by absent  
This can't be right. Eggi has told me on multiple occasions that brain size has nothing to do with intellect, so even though nigger brains are smaller, it can't lead to niggers having lower IQs. Oh wait, is this another case of hominid evolution stopping at the neck? You know, how basic biology doesn't apply in humanoids, except to say that niggers run faster?


here you go
Neuroscience and intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Race and intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brain size - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

u are spot on, sperm whales are much smarter than modern humans & so are neanderthals thx for ur great points

bye felicia
09-30-16 - 02:36 PM
But those are Wikipedia links: that's not a source!
09-30-16 - 02:50 PM
why would dragons b reptiles
09-30-16 - 02:50 PM
Originally posted by Scud411  
why would dragons b reptiles

because they are?
09-30-16 - 02:53 PM
dragons aren't real.
and if someone wants to take the dinosaur route i dunno wouldn't they be diff than reptiles we know?

there are a lot of ancient animals that are not dinosaurs or reptiles that are reptilian/dinosaur-like.
09-30-16 - 03:24 PM
you're a fucking reptilian dinosaur like
:weird:
09-30-16 - 04:13 PM
When did dragons stop being great?
09-30-16 - 04:14 PM
Originally posted by T-Dawg  
When did dragons stop being great?


When they invented Puff the Magic dragon. Dragons became cucks who were giant pussies instead of fire breathing awesomeness.
09-30-16 - 07:54 PM
puff the magic dragon was a baby boomer
09-30-16 - 09:20 PM
Originally posted by JoMo  
When they invented Puff the Magic dragon. Dragons became cucks who were giant pussies instead of fire breathing awesomeness.


Originally posted by JoMo  
During the Vietnam War the AC-47 Spooky gunship was nicknamed the "Dragon" or "Dragon ship" by the Americans because of its armament and firepower – the nickname soon caught on, and one website without primary citations indicates that the American troops began to call the AC-47 "Puff the Magic Dragon".


Again Jomo don't know everything.
09-30-16 - 09:30 PM
Originally posted by GreyGhost  
Again Jomo don't know everything.


[youtube]0FyhTBvLu4w[/youtube]
09-30-16 - 09:46 PM
[youtube]Wq4Y7ztznKc[/youtube]

please blizz, you have billions, just make a fucking movie like your cinematics
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