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Terrasaurus; Parallel earth were diapsod dragons rule
Topic Started: Oct 7 2009, 08:20 PM (2,156 Views)
ItHasTeeth
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Holbenilord
Oct 11 2009, 02:55 AM
Ok... dragon flight physics.

It is possible for a dragon like creature to fly but there are several problems.

1) Your standard dragon wing is essentially membranous flaps stretched between extended ribs or fingers. There is not enough in an arm to haul a 8m dragon into the air like this.

2) Your typical dragon wing is about 15m squared, so could only produce an upward thrust of about 120kg/m, enough to pull a rhino or hippo into the air.

3) Most dragons seen have tiny wings to body size.

But there are solutions.
The dragon's muscles are much denser and more powerful than terran ones.
The bones are hollow and with air spaces, like a birds.
The wings could be more rigid and have increased surface area.
The dragon should not be over 12m long, about T-rex size.
Helium sacs could be inside cells.
The scales are aerodynamic and lightweight, though strong.

And fire breathing? Possible, i've heard several explanations:
The dragon eats phosphate rocks, which dissolve in a special stomach to create a gas which is flammable on contact with air.
The dragon uses flammable venom, which it sparks with it's teeth.
And my favourite:
Inside the dragon their is nuclear fusion going on.

And, as with all megafauna, there won't be very many, and it uses a lot of fuel to make the fire, so we won't have to worry about them burning the planet.
I'm delighted this has received as much attention as it has. :D

The erectus dragons are a keeper and I'm not changing them. In fact I'm tempted to try and illustrate them communicating with human explorers.

Flight: Interestingly, most dragons don't fly. I kind of like this too. There are numerous small eudraconians that do either fly or glide and most of the wyverns can as well (their arms are reduced or gone, increasing the area for wing muscles to attach to). but almost all other one's you've seen cannot get off the ground. Wings are used primarily by large animals for communication (male displays or threats to would be predators by making the animal look bigger then it really is) and for thermo-regulation (like the sails of dimetrodon, but collapsible.)

Dragon bones are hollow.

On a side note, I dunno how their respirator system is shaped.

Yeah, and there's still not fire breathing. XD
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Venatosaurus
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Well this is just too cool to pass up ;)
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sam999
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Holbenilord
Oct 11 2009, 02:55 AM
And, as with all megafauna, there won't be very many, and it uses a lot of fuel to make the fire, so we won't have to worry about them burning the planet.
This is why you shold have them breath fire.
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sam999
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ItHasTeeth
Oct 11 2009, 10:27 AM
Yeah, and there's still not fire breathing. XD
I still think they should.
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Venatosaurus
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Well remember, it's his project ! If he wishes not to have them breath fire, then let it be...oh and don't double post, use the edit button.
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JohnFaa
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For hollow bones you need an airsac respiratory system akin to that of birds and our beloved flying drepanosaurid relatives the pterosaurs.

As for fire breathing, it still doesn't make sense because an animal with talons and teeth and etc like a dragon doesn't need a super weapon. It would be used by smaller species at most, but larger ones likely would loose the need to have fire breathing
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ItHasTeeth
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JohnFaa
Oct 11 2009, 01:12 PM
For hollow bones you need an airsac respiratory system akin to that of birds and our beloved flying drepanosaurid relatives the pterosaurs.

As for fire breathing, it still doesn't make sense because an animal with talons and teeth and etc like a dragon doesn't need a super weapon. It would be used by smaller species at most, but larger ones likely would loose the need to have fire breathing
http://dipbsf.uninsubria.it/paleo/drepanosaurus2.htm
Apparently Drepanosaurids may have had this as well.

Which is great because the dragons are suppose to be descendants of an avicephalin-like animal.
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JohnFaa
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Then again Avicephala is now cosidered polyphyletic, with drepanosaurs closer to archosaurs than to things like Coelurosauravus
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Venatosaurus
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Cool, so this is actually turning out to be quite plausible...hopefully we will dig up a 'dragon'-like animal from the Mesozoic, maybe even being a drepanosaur itself !
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Venatosaurus
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Hmm... I have new suggestion, what about a 'four-winged' dragon, it retains its rib-derived wings, but has also evolved a wing membrane on its fore-limbs, this adaptation allows the animals to maintain flight longer, and more efficiently, as well as appearing larger compared to other animals.
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Holbenilord
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Sounds nifty.
Fire breathing could well be a production of random genetic fluctuation, like how the cuttlefish shell turned inside-out.
I think a Mesozoic dragon would be out competed, because it would have to start out small, where pterosaurs and birds would win.
And all large reptiles got kerthwunked at KT, so a Cenozoic one is pretty much out of the question.
How about an interstellar Dragon Empire?
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ItHasTeeth
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Dragons first started their evolution during the Permian, much like mammals and dinosaurs.
As far as Avicephalia being polyphyletic, I again, did not realize this (though it makes more sense now).

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No dragon empires. XD
The mesozoic dragon-ancestors were probably small, Lagosuchus-like animals...
the mesozoic would be when the dragons, drakes (the herbivorous quadrupeds), and wurms diverged from the common ancestors.
Edited by ItHasTeeth, Oct 12 2009, 02:34 PM.
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Holbenilord
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What about the 96% extinction?
Sorry, just scientific curiosity. I like the idea of a dragon empire, i've had it fopr a long time.
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ItHasTeeth
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Holbenilord
Oct 12 2009, 02:28 PM
What about the 96% extinction?
Sorry, just scientific curiosity. I like the idea of a dragon empire, i've had it fopr a long time.
This would imply that the extinction may have been slightly less dramatic as in our time line. Yes this might change out comes slightly, but probably not by any real significant level (I doubt that a change of 1-2% would change very much in the long term...)
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Canis Lupis
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Not all dictators were horrible. Unfortunately for spambots, I am.

That's what they said about stepping on a butterfly...
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