by Kate Pfeilschiefter
This is a fairly boring design, and is meant to serve as a base with which to form wilder and more exaggerated creatures. This example is based equal parts on a lion, eagle, pterosaur and velociraptor. I took creative liberties with some of the anatomy to serve my own purposes, unlike in birds, the dragons back is not made up entirely of the fused thoracic vertebrae as he still has some lumbar vertebrae in the back for flexibility. I want the dragon to be able to run effectively and hunt both aerially and terrestrially. I also left out any kind of stabilizing device fan or tail feathers to keep the dragon extremely rudimentary in design.
HeadThe dragons head is based on both a lions and a dromeosaurs, I gave him more of a jaw than a raptors for added bite power. He also has some optional facial musculature for the purposes of expression. If I wanted to be extremely realistic, he would have neither teeth nor the bulkier jaw because of the excess weight, but what fun is a toothless dragon?
About the Pulmonary SASSSome of this may be quoting John Conway's pterosaur research: The Pulmonary SASS (Subcutaneous air sac system) are a complex system of air sacs located beneath the skin that act as bellows for the lungs as well as to pneumatisize bones -filling them with air, meaning the bones can be bigger without being heavier or weaker. To be specific, they have post-cranial skeletal and soft-tissue pneumaticity; meaning there are hexagonal (honeycomb structured) spaces and pneumatic foramina filled with air within the bone and some tissue. The pneumatisation in the wings perhaps being fueled by the SASS. The air sacs may have have played a structural role in holding wing shape and posture, as they do in some birds. This feature aids in the oxygenation of the muscles, and unidirectional flow of oxygen in the lungs. Their large lungs, coupled with their efficiency of exacting oxygen from the air serve to support their size and powerful flight muscles. The SASS would also allow the animal to control the mechanical properties of the wing, perhaps even allowing the inflation to be used in display as it does in some birds. Also from pterosaurs- the top layer of the wing is the actinofibrils, which help give shape and support to the wing.
About necks((Knut Schmidt-Nielsen's “How animals work”, page 49 (1972))
Long necks developed in dragons as well as in some birds and pterosaurs to allow ease of breath. Most dragons had long to mid-length wings for efficient flight and powerful downward thrust, but low wing beat frequency. And as wing-beat frequency determines respiratory frequency, this calls for bigger longer breaths, so a longer trachea and therefore longer neck is required to breath deeply without hyperventilating in flight. This creates the right dead space to tidal volume proportion to create the correct mixture of dead space air and fresh air upon inhalation and co2 concentration. Smaller dragons with shorter wings, higher wing beat frequency and shorter breath do not require this, and so have shorter necks.
About Spines/SpikesI see a lot of anatomical dragon sheets in which the spikes are made of bone, aka extremely long spinous processes. This could work for terrestrial creatures, but for flying animals its additional and unessential weight. The spikey bones have the potential to provide a very easy way for the animal to injure itself and more specifically its spine. Not to mention greatly reducing flexibility, (though this doesn't matter too much as a flying creature would be stiff backed to begin with). Spikes found on reptiles today are made of flesh and scale, a good example being the Thorny Devil. This lizard when calm can be very soft, but is able to make its spikes rigid and sharp when threatened. This is the kind of spike I'd imagine a dragon utilizing.
Tail musclesThe most important muscle in the tail for dragons as well as dinosaurs and crocodiles is the Caudofemoralis. As this illustration shows only the surface musculature, the caudofemoralis which is a deep muscle doesn't show up much. But it's one of the largest muscles in the dragons body, as it affects the abduction of the hindlegs. The bigger the caudofemoralis, the faster the dragon/dino. Birds whose main source of locomotion is flying, and don't spend as much time moving on the ground as dragons do have short tails and small caudofemoralis.
TeethThe dragon possesses incisors and canines similar to a lion and carnassials/molars for sheering and crushing. The other teeth (don't know the technical term) have strongly serrated backs and curve backwards like a raptors for holding onto prey.
The crushing back molars are useful for chewing bone as well as the minerals needed to spark their hydrogen and breathe fire. The hydrogen is produced by the dragons corrosive gut as a digestive byproduct and is stored in two long lung-like bladders that keep the dragon lightweight.
| #dragon #dragons #westerndragon #anatomy #anatomie #drache #drawing #illustration #conceptual #fantasy
Saulė (Lithuanian: Saulė, Latvian: Saule) is a solar goddess, the common Baltic solar deity in the Lithuanian and Latvian mythologies. The noun Saulė/Saule in the Lithuanian and Latvian languages is also the conventional name for the Sun and originates from the Proto-Baltic name *Sauliā > *Saulē.
Saulė is one of the most powerful deities, the goddess of life and fertility, warmth and health. She is patroness of the unfortunate, especially orphans. The Lithuanian and Latvian words for "the world" (pasaulis and pasaule) are translated as "[a place] under the Sun".
Saulė is mentioned in one of the earliest written sources on Lithuanian mythology. According to Slavic translation of the Chronicle by John Malalas (1261), a powerful smith Teliavelis made the Sun and threw it into the sky. Missionary Jeronim Jan Silvanus Prazsky (ca. 1369–1440) spent three years attempting to Christianize Lithuania and later recounted a myth about kidnapped Saulė. She was held in a tower by powerful king and rescued by the zodiac using a giant sledgehammer. Jeronim Prazsky swore that he personally witnessed the hammer, venerated by the locals.
Saulė and Mėnuo/Mēness (the Moon) were wife and husband. Mėnuo fell in love with Aušrinė (the morning star or Venus). For his infidelity, Perkūnas (thunder god) punished Mėnuo. There are different accounts of the punishment. One version has it that Mėnuo was cut into two pieces, but he did not learn from his mistakes and thus the punishment is repeated every month. Another version claims that Mėnuo and Saulė divorced, but both wanted to see their daughter Žemyna (earth). That is why the Sun shines during the day, while the Moon visits at night. A third version claims that the face of Mėnuo was disfigured by either Dievas (the supreme god) or Saulė.