Ages ago, I did a short post on Dragons of the World, where I whizzed around the globe, highlighting the different dragons which lived in various parts of the world. This month, I’m going to delve into more depth on the subject. Starting in my home continent of Europe, and travelling east, we shall look, in more detail, at the various kinds of dragon you can expect to find around the world.

 Wyvern

wyvernWyverns are different from European/Western dragons in the number of limbs that they possess. They have a long, lizard like body, wings, but only two legs, the hindlegs, which have powerful claws for grappling and holding onto perches. They are also much longer than European dragons, although don’t stand that much higher – typically 18ft tall, but 50ft or more long. Then tend to come in a variety of green to green/brown colours, and are mostly unadorned on the head, maybe a couple of chin bristles at the most.

Wyverns, due to their large size and gracefulness in the air despite it, are known to be very good hunters, often going for prey as large as elephants, hippos and rhinos, dropping from high heights on the targets before using claws and weight to crush it. Although it has been observed that they rarely go for giraffes, with no easily found reason as to why this is. They are however fairly friendly towards humans, although riding one without a harness is ill-advised due to their rough skin. And they have occasionally been known to pick up stray humans, mistaking them for smaller herd animals.

Wyverns tend to spend most of thier time on the wing, flying above the desert and savannah regions of Africa in the large portions of open air there. A good time to watch them is during mating season, as males attract females but putting on fantastic aerial displays, which usually happen in late spring/early summer. If they come down to mate they will choose a rocky outcrop for the nest, although a remote area of sand dunes can also be utilised. Some of them will also use sites such as these to store a hoard, but it is more of an unusual behaviour for a Wyvern.

Hydra

hydraThe hydra’s most distinctive feature is its multiple heads. Records have the number of heads on one hydra to be anywhere between three and seven, however there are legends which state that they can have many more. The rumour that they grow two heads for every one that drops off appears to be false, however, they hydras go engage in a process called splitting – when the hydra reaches a great age one head will separate from the body, and will grow to become an entirely new hydra, and this is how new hydras are born. However, this process appears to be lengthy, and the head which drops off is very vulnerable until it grows big enough to defend itself, hence why this species has never had a very large population.

Hydras are not the largest of the dragon species overall, without taking the length of each neck and head into account of course, coming in at 40ft in length. They tend to hide around the Mediterranean sea, both on the African and European sides, living in dark caves along the coast, possibly in extinct or dormant volcanoes, even ancient ruins will do, anywhere they can get deep underground is ideal for them. The are not actually sea dwelling dragons, although a lot of literature seems to suggest that they do. it is thought that perhaps they choose lairs with underwater entrances to better protect their privacy, and to stop other dragons from finding them. They are the only cannibalistic dragon species, preferring to eat the eggs and young of other dragons.

They favour greys and browns for colour, to better blend in with darker caves, and have very smooth scales, a variety of different sizes depending on the location on the body where the scale grew. They do have a lot of spines on their heads and back, which some dragonologists have suggested are poisonous. Not that a dragon with multiple heads needs much more of an advantage in combat.

And that’s the African dragons. Next in the series, Asian dragons.

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