Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dragon Anatomy 101

by Catherine Giordano

A dragon has the characteristics of many other animals.


The head is fierce-some with a very strong jaw and long sharp teeth. It looks something like a crocodile. The dragon has two fangs in its upper jaw and two fangs in its lower jaw.

A dragon has two horns at the top of its head.  On some dragons, the horns point backwards which makes them useful for grooming.  With other dragons, the horns point forward and can be used to attack.
Dragon Skull Trinket Chest
Dragon Skull Trinket Box

It has a long massive neck that allows the head to be upright even when the dragon walks on all four legs. It is somewhat like a horse in this regard, but the neck is longer relative to the body size. The neck often has a sort of ruff going down from the back of the head to the body.  This ruff has sharp spikes protruding from it.

Dragons have huge brains which accounts for their intelligence and cunning.


Dragons have the massive body and legs of a large land beast, similar to a lion, although they are much larger than any of the jungle cats.

A dragon’s body is covered with hard scales like a snake. The scales overlap protecting the body like a suit of armor. The scales increase in number and grow in size as a dragon gets larger; a dragon does not shed its skin like a snake.  A dragon’s skin is very thick and tough.

The body of some types of dragons has regularly-spaced spikes that protrude from the body.


to look inside

A dragon has huge wings that spring from its back. The wings are like those of a bat. The wings have a skeletal frame like fingers. The finger tips end sharp claws.

A dragon’s bones are hollow and thus very light and its muscles are very strong, so it can fly with ease.  Dragons can soar for hours with little effort.


A dragon has a long tail similar to that of a lizard. It uses its tail to steady itself in flight or to propel itself in water. The tail like the body has regularly-placed spikes making the tail ideal to be used as a weapon.


A dragon’s feet have three or four toes facing forward. One toe faces outward to the side allowing it to operate like a human thumb. It can use its foot to perch as a bird does, but it can also grasp objects with its toes. The toe nails are sharp claws. 
A dragon’s bones are very light and its muscles are very strong so it can fly with ease.  Dragons can soar for hours with little effort.


Dragons have exceptionally good sight. They can see in the dark. They even have “blind-sight” which means they can see with their eyes closed. They also have exception good sense of smell. Their sense of hearing and taste is similar to that of humans. Their sense of touch is poor because of their thick skin, scales and clawed feet. 

Dragons can speak.  They have no difficulty speaking human languages, although among themselves, they prefer to speak Latin or the local dragon language.


The most amazing body organ of a dragon is its fundamentum.  It is located just below the heart. The dragon’s blood passes through this organ before going to the other organs.  Chemicals made in this organ pass to the lungs which is what allows the dragon to breathe fire. 

Unlike reptiles dragons are warm-blooded and can control their internal body temperatures.  This allows them to survive in many climates and be active both day and night.


Some dragons can shape-shift into human form, but dragon biologists do not yet understand how they do this.

Here are some more posts about dragons that I think you will like.