The dragon is one of the most iconic mythological figures, appearing frequently in books, movies, video games and other media sources. These creatures have often been depicted both positively and negatively throughout history.
Twinkl Originals stories featuring dragons provide engaging learning experiences for children aged 0-11. Each comes complete with teaching resources.
There is no simple answer as to why dragons have appeared across cultures, but their fluid form suggests they adapted their appearance according to cultural expectations at any given point in history. Fear of reptiles or snakes, an interest in fossils from particular time periods or simply looking reminiscent of dinosaurs all contributed in some way towards shaping this mythological beast’s mythic status.
European dragons derive their names from Middle English dragon365 and Latin draconem, both borrowings from Ancient Greek (drakon), which itself derives from Old English dragons from draca, which is an abbreviated form of draugr (“serpent”). Other potential origins for the term include its use by Babylonia’s serpent god as well as in Acts of Philip as an epithet for leviathans with spikey bodies known as ketos.
Dragon people are natural leaders who won’t stop until their goals have been accomplished. Naturally confident and charismatic individuals, these charismatic individuals know exactly how to attract attention and make waves in any environment they enter. Not letting anything stand in their way either!
Dragons possess an imposing physique and can grow to be quite large. Their front slim legs allow them to climb objects easily, while their muscular back provides support. When scared or threatened, their tail can also be whipping in response. Dragons tend to be diurnal creatures who remain active throughout the day by moving among plants, trees or water sources.
Male dragons typically sport broad heads with two large pores on their thighs that exude waxy substances used to mark their territory, while females possess slimmer bodies.
People born in the Year of the Dragon tend to be charismatic leaders with an ability to command others’ respect and inspire trust. They set lofty goals for themselves and demonstrate an unyielding dedication in seeing projects through to completion.
Self-absorption may come across as arrogance to those unfamiliar with their way of seeing themselves as rulers of all they survey; however, Dragons possess a sensitive side which they only share with trusted allies.
Dragons are intelligent animals capable of rapidly adapting to new circumstances; though communication methods between species may differ. In the wild, dragons hunt large animals such as mammals and may live over 50 years before retiring to their lairs unless hunting or finding food becomes necessary.
Captive dragons require a large enclosure with plenty of hiding spaces and suitable plants to increase humidity, create an atmosphere of security, and add visual interest in their habitat. Plants such as dracaena, hibiscus or ficus benjamina should not be toxic; similarly their substrate must not contain toxic material – though for most reptiles peat moss would suffice; bearded dragons prefer loose and porous substrate such as reptile mix or potting soil with vermiculite for their needs.
Dragons in the wild tend to be solitary animals; males compete among themselves for breeding rights with females that show interest. Once mating occurs, males typically stay nearby the female in order to prevent other males from interfering in her reproduction process. Once pregnant, dragons typically lay one clutch of eggs which hatch after eight-nine months.
Dragons living in the wild tend to live solitary lifestyles. Their days typically revolve around searching for food, resting during the hottest parts of the day and basking in the sunlight to regulate their body temperatures.
They use their scaly skin and the scent of carrion to track prey up to 2.5 miles (4 kilometers away), and when their tails are erect they signal readiness for hunting.
Though protected within Komodo National Park (KNP), dragons remain endangered due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Isolated island distribution makes these iconic species particularly sensitive to global change, while their solitary lifestyle renders them susceptible to human-caused diseases and parasites. Although KNP has implemented a conservation program, their future remains uncertain.