Mythical reality: 9 real earth dragons

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Mythical reality: 9 real earth dragons
Mythical reality: 9 real earth dragons
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This spring, a new, sixth season of "Game of Thrones" started on TV screens. Deadly dangers, a web of intrigue, betrayal, a little violence and, of course, dragons.

dragons

One of the main storylines of the series is dedicated to Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons: Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion - the last of their kind in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. In real life, with dragons, everything is much more complicated, however, if you delve into the fauna, you can find quite real terrestrial "dragons", the rating of which is offered to readers of Live Science.

Sea Dragon

And the first, with whom we start, will be olm, or European Proteus (Proteus anguinus). Blind (the development of his eyes stops in the early stages of development), the pale salamander lives in caves in the former territory of Yugoslavia and in the foothills of the Venetian Alps. It should be noted that olm is still able to perceive light thanks to the special cells of its skin. In length, this dragon reaches no more than 40 cm. For its unusual color and rather strange appearance, the olm received nicknames from the local population "sea dragon" and "human fish". In ancient times, people took these little pink creatures for the cubs of real mythical dragons - the rains sometimes washed the olms out of the caves where they hide.

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Dinosaur Bat

This strange flying dinosaur lived in the territory of modern China about 160 million years ago. After the evidence of its existence was discovered by archaeologists, it was named Yi qi. Scientists found that the body of the creature was covered with feathers during life, but it was distinguished from birds by its membranous, bat-like wings, which ended in phalanges. The researchers suggested that Yi Chi moved by jumping and gliding like a flying squirrel. Scientists have not decided in the end who is in front of them: a bird or a dinosaur. Perhaps it was a dragon.

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Flying dragons

The genus of the subfamily of Afro-Arabian agamas (Agaminae) - woody insectivorous lizards - is well known to people. They do not have real wings, but they can plan quite gracefully: their elongated ribs deviate outward, tightly stretching the folds of the skin, which are transformed into a bright panel. Thus, they can cover distances of up to 20 m. Many of these "dragons" live in the jungles of South India and Southeast Asia.

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Bearded dragon

The bearded dragon Pogona vitticeps is a popular pet, despite the fact that it is not at all harmless to humans. The head and neck of the lizard is surrounded by a leather bag with thorns, which swells up in moments of danger or mating flirting, acquiring a dark color. Native bearded agamas from Australia, but today they are successfully bred in captivity. This "dragon" feeds mainly on insects, but does not disdain small mice.

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Dragon Avatar

For its similarity with the creatures from the famous film by James Cameron, this pterosaur (or basal pteradontoid, as scientists later dubbed it) received the nickname Ikrandraco avatar from paleontologists. The dragon-avatar lived on the territory of modern China about 120 million years ago and hunted, flying over freshwater lakes and snatching fish from the water. On the lower jaw of the creature there was an unusual ridge with a hooked process. Scientists do not exclude that this hook also somehow helped the dragon avatar to hunt.

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Frilled Lizard

This Australian lizard Chlamydosaurus kingii, in case of danger, demonstrates to the enemy a formidable and terrible thing - a brightly colored frill around its neck. In addition, it stands on its hind legs, makes hissing sounds and hits the ground with its tail. If such a sight does not frighten the predator, then it certainly leads to confusion. These moments are enough for the lizard to escape.By the way, another purpose of the colorful lizard collar is to regulate body temperature. In the morning, she catches the sun's rays with them, and with strong overheating, the frill helps her to cool down.

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Welsh dragon

Fossils of this predatory tyrannosaurus cousin were found in Wales in 2014. The age of the find was 201 Ma, which dates back to the early Jurassic period. And apparently, these are the earliest dinosaur remains found in the UK. The predator was named Dracoraptor hanigani, the first part of which means "dragon". The fact is that the dragon is the national symbol of Wales, depicted on its flag. The red dragon, or I-Draig Goh, is mentioned in the Welsh epic Mabinogion.

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Dragon of Komodo Island

Perhaps the most famous of the modern "dragons" is the giant monitor lizard Varanus komodoensis, which can reach three meters in length and weigh up to 100 kg. The lizard skin is a real armor: it is reinforced with small ossifications, osteoderms. It is believed that the first dragon appeared on the island of Komodo 40 million years ago. At the same time, the natives of the Indonesian islands do not consider it a dragon at all, calling it a "land crocodile", or buyya darat.

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Forest lizard

These colorful creatures with impressive dragon-like spines on their backs were discovered in the northeast of the Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru in 2013. They belong to the group of forest lizards, and their bright color helps them hide from predators in tropical thickets.

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