Special Sub-Topic: Dragons Around the World
|The first image that comes to mind when the word 'dragon' is spoken is usually that of the fire-breathing European dragon. What would this type of dragon typically look like?|
Scaled with four legs and two wings. The classic heraldic dragon found in Europe is usually depicted with two wings, four legs, a long tail and covered in scales. They usually breathe fire and are reputed to hoard gold and jewels.
|If you met a dragon in Japan, how many claws would it have on each foot?|
Three. The Japanese dragon, Ryu, is depicted with three claws. They are typically benevolent and reputed to grant wishes. Most oriental dragons, such as the Chinese Lung and Korean Yong, have four claws. The Imperial dragon of China is always shown with five claws. He is the symbol of the Emperor.
|Quetzalcoatl is a deity found in Mesoamerican myth and is often confused with or called a dragon. What does the name "Quetzalcoatl" literally mean?|
Quetzal-bird snake. Quetzalcoatl is also referred to as the 'feathered serpent'. He is an Aztec and Toltec deity credited with the discovery of science and the arts. He can be found with different names across the cultures of ancient Central America.
|A little known dragon is the Tazelworm. It has the body of a worm and the head and forelimbs of what animal?|
Cat. A native of the Swiss Alps, the most recent reported sighting of the Tazelworm was in 1954 in Italy. They have fierce personalities, armour thick scales and can jump many metres in a single leap.
|We're all familiar with the word 'dragon', but what word do the Germans use to say dragon?|
Drache. Smok is Polish, Drago Italian and Draak is Dutch. They all mean 'dragon'.
|Which of the following is not a type of dragon?|
Manticore. Wyverns are dragons with wings and two legs. A lóng is a Chinese dragon. A drake, or fire-drake is an old word for dragon.
|In the Chinese zodiac, which of the following was a Year of the Dragon? (Hint: The next one after is 2012.)|
2000. The Chinese zodiac has a twelve year cycle, so each animal represented in the zodiac has a 'year' once every twelve years. People born in the Year of the Dragon are supposed to be the most eccentric of all.
|Fans of the T.V. show "Stargate SG-1" will be familiar with the name 'Apophis'. Apophis was a real figure in ancient Egyptian myth. What was he and what did he do?|
Apophis was a giant serpent who attacked the sun each night. Apophis (also known as Apep, Apepi and Aapep) was an evil demon in Egyptian myth. Apophis is the Greek spelling of the name. Every night before dawn he was said to ambush and battle the sun god Ra. Should he win, there would be no dawn.
|Dragons are famous for breathing fire, but there is a real life creature in documented science that can perform this feat. What is this amazing creature?|
Bombardier beetle. These little beetles store hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone in chambers in their stomachs. When confronted with an enemy, the beetles eject these chemicals, creating an explosive combination.
|Let's assume that dragons really do exist. From which type of animal would they most likely have evolved?|
dinosaurs. It's now widely accepted that birds evolved from certain species of dinosaur. It is not all that great of a leap to theorize that some dinosaurs learned to fly while retaining more reptilian qualities, thus creating the dragon. It is less likely that dragons evolved from birds as there are less features common to birds and dragons as there are between dinosaurs and dragons.
In reference to question nine, Dr. Duane Gish suggests in the book "Dinosaurs by Design" that the nasal cavities of the Hadrosaurs could have been used to eject a chemical combination, allowing the dinosaur to 'breathe fire'.
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