Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Western Dragons: The European Dragon

Illustration of a winged dragon from a 1658 edition of Edward Topsell's The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents.

The European Dragon is the dragon that is commonly thought of when someone talks of Dragons. You know the flying and fire-breathing sort of dragon. This type of dragon is the stuff of legends and folklore. 

The European Dragon’s former range was throughout Western Europe. It commonly made its lair or nest in mountain or sea caves in remote regions.

The European Dragon could grow up to 45 feet long and 13 to 17 feet high. It was one of largest and one of the most feared of all species. This species of dragon could red, green, black, or sometimes gold. It had two great bat-like wings and did breathe fire. This attribute worked well for destroying its enemies as well as roasting its food.

This species only mated every few years and would fly great distances to attract and lure prospective suitors by leaving their spore and markings at intervals along the path toward their lairs.

Other prominent characteristics of the European Dragon are:

  • Arrowhead tail
  • Thick spines
  • Clawed talons
  • Scales
  • Horns
  • Fanged teeth
  • Large eyes that offered phenomenal sight.

As you can imagine; seeing a dragon with these attributes would put the fear into anyone. Yet there were those who for financial gain or just for the glory of it would attempt to slay the mighty dragon. See the story of Beowulf for instance. 

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