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Dragon's World
Greg
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:43 pm
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Dragon's World
A Fantasy Made Real

I watched a CD of a 2004 Animal Planet special Dragon's World. It's really fascinating stuff, and an intriguing story, too.



They put together the ideas from dragon myths in cultures spread around the world and in time to develop the premise that these myths were based on something real.


Mountain Dragon in Flight
Vidcap pilfered from Animal Planet


They reverse-engineered the dragon to determine how it might have evolved, how it might have been able to fly, and how it could have breathed fire. They even addressed how dragons might have co-existed with dinosaurs and then survived the KT Event as sea creatures.


Then they wrote an intriguing story to present the whole idea. There's the misfit scientist who finds a T-rex skull that has been raked by talons and badly burned.


Frozen carcass of a baby female dragon. Wait 'til you see MOM!
Vidcap pilfered from Animal Planet

His career is ruined when he suggests that a dragon might have killed the T-rex. But of course he is redeemed when a dragon carcass is discovered in Rumania, with compelling evidence that the dragon was killed by humans in the 15th century AD.

It's just not possible to do this one justice with vicaps--ya gotta see the video! Really fun stuff! Grin

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Kaylyn
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:46 am
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Oh, I saw this when it aired! Animal Planet repeats a 2 or 3 hour block of programming at night a couple of times, so I actually saw it in bits and pieces over a couple of airings. It was kinda cool! I always thought that if so many cultures that never had contact with each other could have a similar "mythological" animal such as a dragon in their stories, drawings, whatever, that there had to be a little truth behind it!

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Hedge Witch
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:30 pm
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always have believed in dragons, will have to check it out!
it honestly isn't as far fetched as some people may think, after all (and I mean no offense to anyone) there are in fact people classified as Dwarves or Giants, who's to say that there wasn't once an entire races? and look back even as far as the victorians, dinosaurs would have been a myth too!

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Greg
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:54 pm
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Until I saw that show I had assumed that dragon stories were based on finding fossils of dinosaur bones. Now I wonder. It got me to thinking about how I assumed that we know just about everything about all the large surface animals that exist on the planet; but maybe we don't!

That reminds me of seeing the Earth from high altitude and realizing just how puny are the works of man. From 40,000 feet you can barely make out the line of a superhighway, mostly by how they tend to create edges to the local terrain. And from orbit, no human artifacts are visible at all. (Nope, not even the Great Wall of China.)

My best guess about dwarves and giants is that they were based on just seeing real humans. I've also wondered if stories about trolls and such came from contact with Neanderthals and the stories got passed down through the ages.

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miros1
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:19 pm
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I remember a series of "origins of mythological beasties" articles by Avram Davidson which attempted to trace various myths.

For example, he decided that the unicorn was not based on the rhinocerous, but on Egyptian paintings of the ibex, because the tomb painters didn't use any sort of perspective, causing the ibex to seem to have one horn.

The articles were collected in a book, Improbable Beastiary, which is probably out of print. The ones I read were a very good read!

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Greg
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:40 pm
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I'm thinking that it would take some serious historical sleuthing to draw conclusions about the origins of most mythological beasties. For instance, do tales of the unicorn predate contact between the Greeks and the Egyptians?

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Dragon's World
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