Dragons and Dinosaurs

There are two views about dragons. One idea about dragon stories around the world is that primitive people commonly make up stories about monsters. I guess that's possible, but there are also reasons not to believe that. After all, primitive people lived in proximity to so many real dangers, it hardly seems they would resort to made-up monsters to frighten themselves. There is also the question of why they would pick giant reptiles as their monster of choice unless they were inspired by real creatures. Modern reptiles just aren't big enough to inspire giant reptile legends. Finally, there is the question of why these dragon stories are so pervasive, appearing in many cultures around the world.  The most credible explanation is that dragons are based on real experience.

Saedracan to Plesiosaur

Among the dragons were creatures that were known to the Saxons and Danes as giant saedracan (sea-drakes or sea-dragons). They were lying in the sun when Beowulf's men first saw them, but at the sound of the battle-horn they scurried back to the water and slithered beneath the waves. The saedracans immediately bring to mind the monster of Loch Ness in Scotland. Their counterpart in the dinosaur kingdom is something like the plesiosaurs,

Leviathan to Tylosaur

Leviathan is described in chapter 41 of the Book of Job as an aquatic monster that can't be captured with a hook. He is completely untamable and has double jaws containing horrible teeth and an armored body. Verse 22 asserts, "On earth there is none like him." His counterpart among the dinosaurs may well be tylosaurus. This marine reptile from the mosasaur family would have been a dominant predator.

European Dragon to Pterodactyl

European dragons were typically described as being able to fly, but also often were depicted walking on four legs. Perhaps these were two different monster creatures whose descriptions were blended into one due to the panic of terrified observers. But let's go with giant pterosaurs as the probable dinosaurian. A Pterodactyl had a wingspan of anywhere from a few inches up to over 40 feet. Pterodactyls are believed to have flown long distances using large wings, and they probably had above average eyesight to help them catch their prey. Paleontologists classify Pterodactyls as flying reptiles and not dinosaurs. According to old earth scientists, Pterodactyls lived in the late Mesozoic period, about 251 to 65 million years ago. Their diet was carnivorous.
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