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.

Marsupial Dragons

Like much of the other fauna in the Australian outback, the marsupial dragon has a number of very distinct features that are not found in any other dragon off the island. However, they do have scales, and can breath fire, and have a number of feature in common with the dragon, so that there is no question they are dragons.

marsupial dragonThey stand on their two hind legs and have two very short forelimbs, much like a kangaroo, although they stand at 15 to 18 foot high, They have short spines around their head and down their spine, and vestigial wings, which although they cannot fly with, can help them run or bound extraordinary distances, up to 30 feet with one single movement. They come in colours of green or blue, with pale scaled bellies, and, again like the kangaroo, they have a pouch in which they carry their young. Like other dragons, they initially lay eggs, and then deposit the eggs in the pouch, which has a very high temperature for incubation. When they hatch, the baby pushes the shell of the eggs out, and then spends a couple of the pouch as it grows.

These dragons live all around Australia, but are concentrated in the south east, where there are large eucalyptus forests. They like caves or boulder mounds as their lairs, but only tend to use them at night, and have a habit of sleeping out in the forests during the day, perhaps because they like the warmth of the sun. Typically, they are small pack animals, like lions, where one male will live near or with a small number of females, typically up to six. Although they all posses the same weapons, males will more redily attack than females, using a breath weapon that more resembles heavy smoke than fire, and their short front arms are capable of delivering a hefty punch, if you get near enough to them. The feet are even more dangerous, and can kill with a single kick.

Tasmanian Dragon

Often mistaken for a Koala, this tiny dragon looks more like it has fur than scales from a distance, and it is only when you get close up that you can see the differences – smatterings of scales on flanks and backs, and a long tail. They also have wings, and although these are incapable, they are good for gliding purposes, making travelling between trees easy for these small dragons.

claw marksThey have four limbs, with claw adapted for tree climbing, as they make their lairs in the tops of trees. Whilst they are resident in the tree, they will claw up the bark to make it known to other dragons that they are using this tree. Although these nests are quick and easy to build and can often be changed, especially given the number of forest fires that occur in the outback. The only time a nest will not move is when there are chicks in there, as they do not leave the nest until they are old enough to glide. Interestingly, Tazzy Dragons are some of the only dragons to have live births rather than laying eggs.

The colours of their scales/fur is a yellow-brown hue, and the backs and tails have dark brown stripes which help to camouflage it in the trees.  This also helps with catching meals – by silently gliding down from the treetops, the prey is usually unaware of the Tazzy Dragon until it is too late. They mainly eat other small mammals, possums, wombats, even wallabies on occasion. They have very good sight and hearing, making night-time and daytime hunting possibilities for this creature.

Unfortunately, due to the number of bush fires, and the dwindling numbers of their prey in the wild, this species is thought to be on the decline.

It’s a small continent, but it does have some unusual dragons. Next up in the series, North American dragons.