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We’ve had a number of very interesting articles on this, mostly focusing on the comparisons between dragons and the most only reasonably clever flying carnivores we have around today (birds of prey), but I came across an article today on pterosaurs and thought I’d share it with you, and maybe we can get a discussion going on how to make realistic dragons in general.
What Would Life Be Like If Pterosaurs Were Alive Today?
Upshot of the article: pterosaurs were probably a lot like birds and fairly intelligent, with a long maturation period. They also could be seriously enormous by modern animal standards, with wingspans of up to 10 meters across (30+ feet!) for the largest species (although even then, they had quite tiny bodies). And yes, a small person could theoretically ride one, although not for very long, as they probably flew mostly by gliding, which requires a great deal of altitude… and humans don’t deal well with altitude, something even Paolini remembered (although he failed to consider that Saphira might be able to withstand it better than Eragon).
Anyway, just thought that was very cool, and could be interesting to anybody wanting to write dragon fiction.
Just as with anything else, don’t add dragons to a story with the sole purpose of making it more ‘cool’ or because one likes dragons.
And whatever you do, don’t do what Mr. Eng did here:
Well, personally, I like to use eastern dragons if I use dragons at all as opposed to ones like Saphira. So, realism doesn’t really play into my fantasy (eastern dragons don’t usually even have wings). I think it’s more original than the usual kind, but I see your kind of doing the same thing as me.
It’s interesting, I’ll keep it in mind if I ever decide to change from my usual pattern.
I thought we already had that thread.