As a devout fanatic of dragons, I developed a wide range of theories about their biology. For instance, even though dragons are reptiles, they may have been warm blooded due to their affinity of fire. This would allow them to move faster and more freely than the more sluggish cold blooded reptiles.
In some cases, dragons were known to dwell in volcanic environments and in order to survive the extreme heat, dragons would develop thick hides. This would protect them from not only the heat of their environment but also conventional weapons such as swords, spears, and arrows. However, in order for their bodies to retain moisture, their eyes and mouths would be soft and wet, which would make them their only vulnerable spots.
In addition to having thick hides, dragons would be able to fly like the legends, but it would require certain qualifications. Like birds dragons would need bones that were hollow and light enough to lift them from the ground yet sturdy enough to support their massive girth. In order to fly, dragons would need a wingspan that is about twice their body length. For example, if a dragon was the size of a Boeing 747 plane (which is over 230 feet in length) then their wingspan would have to be between 400 to 500 feet in length and have sufficient muscle structure to power the wings. In order to survive high altitudes, dragons would need a larger amount of red blood cells to absorb more oxygen, which is similar to certain species of llamas in South America. To navigate through the air, dragons would need a fin on their tails that would act like a rudder or the fluke of a fish. When in flight, a dragon’s eyesight would probably be like an eagle’s in that it could see from high altitudes.
I do not like the idea of dragons with four legs and two wings because there is no such vertebrate in the fossil record with six limbs. Therefore, I agree more with the idea of the wyvern dragon, which has two wings and two legs, because it would be more physically more plausible like a bat’s body. Also, due to being reptiles dragons would probably have long lifespans like tortoises, which can live up to 150 years. Because of their larger size, it would be possible for dragons to live twice as long assuming they are not killed by either human warriors or rival dragons.
In terms of diet, a dragon would need an abundant supply of calories to sustain their massive size. Therefore, dragons would need to eat large prey such as whales and elephants. Whale flesh and blubber is full of calories that can sustain large predators. In order to capture prey, a dragon’s legs would need to be structured like a eagle’s, which would allow them to snatch prey like a bald eagle catching fish out of the water. To devour prey, a dragon’s jaws would need to be structured like either a Tyrannosaurus Rex or eagle or a combination of the two. A Tyrannosaurus Rex’s jaws had a bite force of around 13,000 pounds per square inch and have thick teeth that were designed for crushing bone. This would allow a dragon to crush a knight in armor like a tin can.
With reproduction, a komodo dragon lays around 20 eggs at a time and since dragons are considerably larger, it would make sense that they would lay two or three times as many eggs. In order to attract a mate, dragons would have big horns that would be designed to attract mates and discourage rivals. However, like some species of dinosaurs, it would be possible for female dragons to be larger and more dangerous than males.
As for fire breathing, I believe that dragons would have separate glands in their mouths that would contain combustible chemicals or gases. The end result would be like a natural flamethrower or napalm. This would be similar to the bombardier beetle, which was able to combine chemicals in order to launch a burning spray from their bodies. In addition, even though the inside of their mouths would be soft to retain moisture, it would make sense that a dragon’s mouth would be durable enough to protect against their own flamethrowers.
There have been several cases in which dragons would form bonds with humans. In multiple cases, dragons were either sentient or semi-sentient. As for how dragons would bond with humans, it make sense that their cognitive functions would be more developed than normal animals, which would make dragons as smart or smarter than dolphins, whales, or primates. Either this or they could possess a form of extrasensory perception or telepathy.
In ancient times, large animals such as elephants were used as beasts of war, which allowed them to cause massive destruction to enemy armies. If dragons existed and were mastered as beasts of war, their strength and power could be used to great effect.
Overall, I love dragons with complete passion since childhood and I plan to include them in my fantasy project.