Tag Archive: a-zdragons


Well, as it was my first time on A to Z, I have to say that I found the challenge great.

First off, there has never been as much traffic on my blog as there was this month, and my followers have grown from somewhere in the 20’s to 76, which is completely amazing to me, considering that this is a personal blog where I simply talk about all the thing that I like.

It’s been a fantastic event for meeting other people, and I have found some blogs which I completely love, and I feel that I made a real connection with at least one other bloggers out there. The experience of meeting and sharing with other bloggers has been great. And I will certainly try to keep up with a lot of the blogs that I found this month.

I think that’s what I found hardest – visiting five new sites a day (I will admit, there were some days where I didn’t accomplish this) whilst still keeping up with the amazing sites that I had already found. And Although following wordpress sites was easy due to this website being on wordpress, when I found blogs I liked on other sites, or their own sites, it was less easy to follow since I didn’t want tons of emails cluttering up my already overflowing inbox. Rather than following blog I ended up making a folder in my bookmarks tabs with them in. So I still visit them regularly, but I am not an official follower which feels like cheating them a little.

But overall I have really enjoyed undertaking this challenge, and I have definitely feel like I have accomplished something, and made lots of new friends whilst doing so. I hope that everyone who read my blog enjoyed their visit 🙂 I shall continue to visit others!

A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

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Z – Dragon Zoology

I can’t believe that we’re here. Final day! And I’ve kept up with it, haven’t missed a single post! (Thanks to the magic of scheduled posting, I will admit.)

So for my final topic this year, I will be talking about dragon zoology. Zoology is defined as: the scientific study of the behaviour, structure, physiology, classification, and distribution of animals.

The people who undertake this sort of study of dragons are called dragonologists, and most of them time they dedicate their lives and career’s to the task. It is hard to learn how to stay alive whilst dealing with dragons if your entire mind is not focused on the task, so dragonologists tend to be focused people.

There are various parts of zoology to study, as listed above. In no particular order:

Physical Forms: Handily, I’ve done posts on this area before. Check out P – Dragon Physiology and T – Draconic Traits for information on the physical properties of dragons. Physiology also covers anatomy, listing the various parts of the dragon from bones to muscles to organs. It can go down to the microscopic, but getting those kind of samples from dragons is quite difficult even when the dragon is being friendly towards you. And from the microscopic to the macroscopic, it looks at the individual parts of the dragon, and then fits them together to see how they work as a whole. It is possible to concentrate just on this area of study, since there can be so much to discover about the physical aspects of a creature.

dragon_evolution__the_tree_by_ahrkeath-d341ngyEvolutionary: Some dragonologists try to work out where dragon come from in the evolutionary chain. Some believe that dragon are descended from serpents, since the earliest remains of dragon that have been found indicate two or fewer limbs. Old records also describe ‘wyrms’ as gigantic beasts that could breathe flames, and many think the term wyrm describes a creature with no legs. Unfortunately dragon fossils are incredibly rare, even more so than dinosaurs, so there’s little evidence to go on in this area.

Classification: Dragon are also a hard creature to class with the other creatures. They are hot blooded like mammals, but lay eggs, have scales, and can also fly. Most commonly they are linked to serpents, but scientifically there is a lot of argument about where they should fall, so much so that they as of yet do not have an official classification. Most people who are not scientifically inclined put them in the ‘Fantasy/Mythical Creatures’ classification, where they join phoenix’s, unicorns and other such creatures, and leave it at that.

Behaviour: The study of behaviour is technically called Ethology when it is observing the creature in question in it’s natural habitat. Behaviourism is used when the creature is being studied under lab conditions, but no one has successfully attempted that with dragons, so all studies are done in the wild. It studies the interaction of the creature in question with other living things, from creatures it would consider prey, to predatory ones (really the only two predatory animals for dragons are humans and other dragons), it’s behaviour around it’s own kind, it’s young, and any other sort of interaction it might have. For a little more on how dragon interact with each other, see S – Dragon Society. Whilst we know quite a bit about dragon behaviour, most of the time it is observed at a distance, for the health of the dragonologist. Friendly dragons are a boon, but when studying behaviour, you have to look at all kinds of behaviour, which includes bad tempered dragons.

map2Distribution: Studying distribution mainly involves maps. Lots of maps and information on when and where dragons are seen. Dragons live all over the world, but the important bit is which dragon live where, since different dragons live in different environments. For instance, you probably expect brown dragons to live in mountains or deserts, whereas white dragons favour snowy or cold environments. It’s all about mapping the patterns that are observed, and tracking down the reasons for anomalies, for instance if a red dragon takes up residence in a sea cave, that’s unusual and bears investigation.

 

And we’re done! Thank you so much for visiting this blog if you did so during the a to z challenge! (Personally I’m going to use that list of sign ups to keep finding more amazing blogs 🙂 ) I hope that you had as much fun as I did with the challenge and that you got as much out of it. I’m proud to say that my followers have nearly quadrupled since I started this challenge (20 to 74!) so thank you to everyone who followed or visited or commented or liked, you’ve made this month amazing. Hope to see you all in the challenge next year!

Dragon-Heart_2783515

~Princess of Dragons

Y – Dragon Young

Also called wyrmlings, today we’re going to be talking about the juvenile stages of a dragon’s life. I did say I was going to talk about baby dragons, waaaay back in my E – Dragon Eggs post, if you were paying attention 😉

The life cycle stages that a dragon goes through are:

  • Wyrmling  0 – 5 years
  • Very Young  6 – 15 years
  • Young  16-25 years
  • Juvenile  26-50 years
  • Young Adult  51 – 100 years
  • Adult  101 – 200 years
  • Mature adult  201 – 400 years
  • Old  401 – 600 years
  • Very Old  601 – 800 years
  • Ancient  801 – 1,000 years
  • Wyrm  1,001 – 1,200 years
  • Great Wyrm 1,201+ years

When a dragon has hatched from the egg, it is a slightly sodden creature, but dries off within a couple of hours and starts running and walking almost immediately. Within the next half week, the wings also firm up, and wyrmlings have been known to fly from as young as two days. Flying is a good advantage for the young, since they can easily escape earthbound predators this way.

1240163583IGQsIhMDragons as a species have ancestral memories, this means that when the young are born, they have a substantial amount of their parents knowledge imprinted on their brain. This is not a complete working knowledge of everything the parents knows however, and is more a sense of identity as a dragon and the generalities of the world, which their parents can then expand upon if the species is of the type to stay with it’s parents. This awareness helps them to judge potential threats in the world, and helps them to use their innate abilities in overcoming obstacles.

Wyrmlings are born with teeth and claws, although not very big they are still very sharp. They are also born with fully formed organs capable of producing a breath weapon. The area affected is smaller proportionally to the dragon then it is when it’s an adult, but it is still a breath weapon and more than capable of causing significant harm of injury.

A dragon’s relationship with its parents tend to depend on the species, but most species who are not overly protective of their young will accompany them on their first few hunts, but then leave the young dragon to hunt on its own, developing the skills and memories it was born with through practice.

Wyrmlings will stay with their parents for a few years, learning more things like how to look for a good lair, picking good territories, and how to pick the best items to hoard and other skills for draconic activities.

Wyrmlings who were abandoned or orphaned still have a good chance of surviving due to their ancestral memories and innate abilities, but to takes longer for them to learn skills without a parent to show them, and they are at danger from larger predators without an adult dragon to drive them away.

copperwyrmlingWhilst wyrmlings are roughly the size of a large wolf, young dragons are approximately the size of a horse. Very young dragons are still honing their skills and instincts, sometimes with the aid of parents but mostly by themselves, but by the time they get to the young stage of life they have all the instincts of an adult dragon, including hoarding and territorial claims. This is when most dragon will leave the nest, through choice to go and find it’s own territory, or because the parents kick them out to preserve their own territory or hoard. Quite a few dragons are known to leave before this phase, so as to keep the relationship between parent and child a loving one in the future.

The first thing a newly separated young dragon has to do is find a lair of its own. This is like a coming of age trial, as they have to find a place which is not already occupied by another dragon, has adequate resources, and a good lair for the dragon to sleep, live and hoard in. At this stage, the dragon will prefer to find a lair, in an old castle or mountainous cave, that in can inhabit since that means the work has already gone into creating a space. Later in life they are more able to build one, but for this point they need a base to work from and do not have the resources to build their own.

dragons_lair_by_morbidsheep199-d3fwdyiOnce they have a lair, they can establish their territory, usually this will be what the dragon can fly over in a day from the central point of its lair. And then they can start building their hoard. At this age, the dragon will take to attacking caravans and travellers in the pursuit of something to add to it’s lair. They are unsophisticated in their approach at this age, and unselective in the pursuit of treasure. As they grow older they become wiser and more selective, but every dragon has to start somewhere with their hoard.

From this point on, the dragon’s habits are set, and whilst they will develop new approaches, wisdom, and bigger hoards, the foundations of who they are have been developed and the juvenile stages of their life pass into adulthood.

And we’re done! Penultimate post finished! See you all tomorrow at the finish line!

Oh, and a huge shout out to digitaldivaducky and Tom Benson for featuring my blog on theirs!

X – Pokemon X

As I am sure many of you have also found, this was my hardest letter to come up with something for, and I have had to fall on my backup plan.

I trawled through dictionary websites to try and find a word beginning with X that I could use for a post, but nothing I found could make a full post topic. The closest that I found was Xerarch, which means ‘To originate in a dry habitat’. Not much you can add to that apart from: Yes, desert dragons do come from a dry habitat. It is a desert after all.

pokemon-tcg-dragon-type-symbolSo I’m falling back to Pokemon X, one of the two latest Pokemon games to have come out, and handily one of the types of Pokemon is the dragon type.

We’re currently on generation 6 of Pokemon (so generation 1 had the original 151, and every generation since then adds about another hundred, bringing us up to 719 in total now).

New dragon pokemon that were added in this generation are:

  • #691 – Dragagle
  • #696 – Tyrunt
  • #697 – Tyrantrum
  • #704 – Goomy
  • #705 – Sliggoo
  • #706 – Goodra
  • #714 – Noibat
  • #715 – Noivern
  • #718 – Zygarde

Of course, these are the most recent pokemon, so if you haven’t played Pokemon in ages, or aren’t caught up, then you won’t be familiar with these guys, you’ll probably know ones such as Dratini/Dragonair/Dragonite, Kingdra, or some of the legendaries Latios and Latias. Although confusingly, some pokemon that look like dragons (Charizard for instance) are not dragon type, but can breed with dragons.

Dragons type is special in the manner that dragons are special, they have claws and breath attacks. Dragon attacks tend to be special attack rather than physical attacks in battle and dragon type is one of the two types (the other being ghost) which is super effective against it’s own type. Its resistant to quite a few other types (electric, fire, water and grass) but has gained some weaknesses to ice and fairy types (fairy being a new type for generation 6).

I quite like dragons, but I tend to not go for a whole dragon team when playing. Or at least, I don’t outside of themed competitions. When the theme is pick and type and battle it, I do tend to go for dragons. I’m not very hard to predict sometimes.

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And that is X done with! Sorry it was rather tangential, but I am sure you understand the perils of the letter X as well, especially if you’re visiting from a to z yourself. Only two more to go! I’m so excited!

W – Dragon’s World

So close to the end! And I’ve managed to keep up and not drop a single day! That’s a record for me, now where’s some wood to touch….

Today I’m going to be talking about Dragon’s Wrold, which is a tablet/phone/mobile device game all about dragons: breeding news dragons and a little bit of fighting on the side.

dragons.1

You start off with one island (which floats in the sky, very cool) and two dragons with habitats: Fire and Earth. Then you breed the fire and earth dragon together to get a Lava Dragon!

There are eight different elements of dragons, which you unlock as you get more levels

FireEarthNatureWaterAirMagicLightTwilight

 

 

As you might be able to tell, the raw elements, in order, are fire, earth, nature, water, air, magic, light and twilight. When you level up you have the ability to buy the common dragon eggs (common being single element) and from there you can breed your dragons in the breeding cave, the parents elements will make different hybrid elements, and you can even get three and four element dragons.

It might just be because I like dragons, but I have been having a lot of fun with this game with breeding all the possible combinations, and the fighting bits where you choose a team of three dragons and fight them agaisnt other real people’s three dragons teams. There is the classical elements are good/weak agaisnt other elements, but it’s a fairly simple table:

images

The table that shows all of them is a bit too large for this post, so here’s a few of my favourite dragons:

Lake (Water, Nature, Magic) – River (Water, Earth) – Tortoise (Water, Earth) – Lightning (Air, Light)

LakeDragonStore180px-RiverDragonStore180px-TortoiseDragonStore180px-LightningDragonStore

V – Video

A rather simple one today, but a rather nice one I personally think. Today’s I am going to give you a video, which is a short animated video made by a College Of Fine Arts (COFA) student for The Annual, which showcases student’s talents just before they leave the college. They won the award for best 2D work in the 2010 annual.

Personally, I just think it’s a lovely little story, and it makes me sniff a little when I watch it.

The Butterfly Dragon, by Sushan Yue

One of the most annoying letters to come up with something for, as I am sure other people doing this challenge understand. Today I’m going to give you a plethora of unusual superstitions, facts, and titbits of information about dragons.

  • People thought that a weapon dipped in dragons blood would cause a wound that would never heal.
  • A bath in dragons blood could help you see into the future.
  • A dragon’s tooth brings good luck like horseshoes and four-leafed clover.
  • Dragons are the causes of eclipses, which is when they attempt to eat either the sun or the moon.
  • Dragons sighting have been recorded over the millennia. One such sighting was in London, England on 30th Nov 1222, where multiple dragon were seen flying over the city, and may have caused the sever thunderstorms and flooding that came just after they were seen.
  • Powdered dragon bone is thought to be a sovereign specific, able to cure any ill.
  • Dragon saliva can used as an ink that can mark metal and the base for exquisite perfumes.
  • Suspicions abound that dragons can shapeshift into others creatures, but if they can they are so good at acting as that creature, that no one has ever confirmed their true nature.
  • If you want to approach a dragon in friendship, take a gift along – a good gift is a drawing of the dragon that you want to befriend, since dragons have some vain tendencies.
  • When the world was thought to be flat, the edge of the map was always marked with ‘Here Be Dragons’ as people believed that dragons lived on the edge of the world, ready to eat any unwitting travellers that went too far.
  • Dragon are mentioned in the bible: Revelation, Chapter 12 (as well as other places).
  • An ancient metallic dragon’s scale makes an excellent mirror, as metallic dragon scales get shiner as they get older.
  • In alchemy, a winged dragon represents the volatile elements, and a wingless dragon the fixed elements.
  • If a Chinese dragon holds a fan in its tail, it’s female. If it holds a club in its tale, it’s male.
  • There is a constellation in the sky called Draco, the dragon stars. The tail sits between the big and little dippers.
  • In old England, the leaders of clans were called Dragons, and the King of the clans was called Pendragon (as in Arthur Pendragon, King Arthur and the round table). To slay a leader or king was to slay a dragon as they were just as fierce in battle.
  • Vikings carved dragons as figureheads on their boats, so that when they went raiding and came out of the mists, the dragon head would be the first thing that people saw.

And there you go, some unusual facts and superstitions about dragons. I hope your enjoyed – shout out to everyone still doing to a to z challenge, we’re on the home stretch now! Also, have a cute dragon dice holder, I kind of want one, but have no spare money, alas.

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T – Draconic Traits

As promised, today we are going to talk about dragon traits, which leads on from P – Physiology, and we are going to look at all the external features of a dragon.

dragontooth1Jaws & Teeth: The jaws of a dragon resemble a reptilian cousin – that of the crocodile – in the respect that the muscles which close the jaw are more powerful than the ones that open it, but it’s still practically impossible to hold a dragon’s jaw closed if it does want to open it. Some dragons have the ability to unhinged their jaw, in the manner of a snake, but this ability is only used when something is too large to bite, which is rare considering the size of their jaws naturally.

The teeth of a dragon include a lot of incisors for the tearing of flesh, since dragons are carnivores. There are some molars at the back, thought to be for crushing anything hard they might accidentally eat with the main meal, like armour for example, but they are not visible when a dragon is talking or eating normally. The teeth are made of a hard substance that resembles the bones of the dragon rather than the enamel which most other creatures use. Dragon tend to have several sets of teeth during their lifetime, which tend to grow in when they greatly increase in size.

Exotic_Dragon_Horns_by_TarjciaClaws, Spines and Horns: All dragons have claws on the end of their feet, and a good number have spines and horns as well. All of these are made from a substance very similar to the teeth, which means they are similar to dragon bone, but definitely not the same substance.

Claws are connected directly into the skeleton, and can fall out and regrow like the teeth do as the dragon increases in size throughout its life. Typically a dragon foot have three forward facing claws and one back facing claw. Whilst this back claw is not as prehensile as a human thumb, it can twist around as something akin to a thumb and the claws are very capable of gripping objects, and can even use tools or write with it, as long as the tool is properly sized and designed for draconic use.

Spines tend to run along the back spine of a dragon, but do not tend to be as rigid as horns or bones. They can be flexed by a dragon in circumstances, such as mating or trying to scare off a rival. Horn are very rigid however, and are very similar to bones in material, whereas spines would be more like human cartilage.

Dragon_Wing_and_Chest_Anatomy_by_AshereWings: We touched on wings back in P – Physiology, since the muscles required to make a dragon fly are very complex. The wing itself is a structure like a bat’s, where a thin hide membrane is stretched across a number of very thin, lightweight bones. This physical structure is augmented by the primal energies that flow through a dragon’s blood, and the membrane carries a large number of small capillaries which supply the wing with blood. A wing is large enough that a small tear in the membrane will not impede flight, but a large number of small tears, or a few big tears will threaten the wing’s integrity. Thankfully for the dragons, wing heal quickly, so they are never earthbound for long should such an event occur.

Tail: A dragons tail is serpent like in construction, with interlocking pieces of spine covered in muscles which thin out towards to tip of the tail. Because of the layers of muscle, the tail is externally strong for it’s thickness, and the back end of the dragon is almost as worrying as the front end, since the tail is capable of meeting out powerful slaps and throwing opponents across rooms. The only salvation of a tail versus teeth is that the tail does crushing damage, rather than ripping. The end of the tail can end in a simple point, like a snake’s tail, or can have a barb on the end. As of yet, not function for a the barbed tails has been found, since they do not use them as a weapon like a scorpion would. It is thought that perhaps it gives some small aid in flight, but it is clearly not a great advantage since not all dragon posses it.

Senses: Dragons are primarily hunters, so they have a very well developed set of senses, although it can vary between dragon species.

greendrago_3kjxknjxA dragon’s vision is particularly good, more than twice as good as a humans with excellent depth perception and peripheral vision. Their pupils are thin and slitted, like a cat’s, and have a similar effect of granting them dark sight, but instead of expanding to let in more light, they instead expand and allow the primal energies in their blood to shin out through their eyes, granting them their night sight.

Like other reptiles, they do not have external ears, but upon closer inspection a tiny hole between scales can be found on the head which leads into the auditory canal. Some species of dragons have frills which help them to channel sound, but this is not essential. Their sense of hearing is about as developed as a human, although they do have an interesting ability to filter what they hear, and listen out for particular sounds.

The sense of smell is derived from both the nostrils and the tongue, which is uses like a snake’s to taste the air. They can taste things from a great distance away using their tongue, but it is less sensitive than their nostrils so they cannot identify it until they get closer to the source. Once they get close their nostrils are great at telling differences between very similar smells and can use it to pinpoint with great accuracy.

Dragon taste is very well refined as well, said to be able to tell every ingredient in a stew after a single mouthful, however dragons are said to not like sweet flavours as much as savoury. No one has ever found out why this may be though.

The weakest sense a dragon has is the sense of touch, due to the hard scales that cover it’s body, hence why they are able to sleep on piles of hard treasure. It is the only sense the decreases instead of increasing with ages, since a dragon never stops growing as it gets older, and the scales grow thicker with age as well.

Dragon_scales_by_sanguisGelidusScales: The texture of scales can vary from dragon to dragon, species to species, from rough to smooth, leathery to snake like. Individual scales on a dragon will be the same as other scales, only the size of the scale on a dragon will vary. The scales on the top and sides of a dragon are larger, with one end attached to the dragon’s skin and the other end overlaps neighbouring scales, which forms the dragon’s hard armour. The smaller scales which cover the underbelly rest side by side, hence why it is though that they are softer. They aren’t actually softer, but it is slightly easier to get a weapon in between the scales, since they do not overlap.

Dragon never shed their skin during their lifetime, as the scale grow with them throughout the course of their life, which is slow, but they never lose their scales all in one go. They may occasionally lose individual scales or small patches due to injury, illness or natural moulting, but the patch only remain bare for a few months until new scales grow into the gap.

Dragon scales do make very good armour, for dragon that is, but the scales do not tend to last once they have been taken off the dragon and away from the primal energy of the dragon’s blood. So whilst people may attempt to claim dragon scales to make a suit of armour, it has never to date worked mundanely. Some magical sets, preserved through the use of long lost rituals, are said to exist, but they may just exist in the stories that they are described in.

S – Dragon Society

Dragon society. In a phrase it can be summed up as: it doesn’t exist.

There are of course more intricacies to the situation, but the insular and superior nature of dragons and their need of a lot of resources means that they are solitary creatures by and large, and that means that they do not form societies of their own, despite their intelligent capability to do so.

dragon-family-in-textOccasionally you will get the odd exception to this rule, where a dragon has decided to insinuate itself into the culture of another race, as it will further it’s plans or ambitions, or it feels the need to protect the culture (depending on colour and general nature of the dragon in question). Even more rarely, but not entirely unheard of, dragons will build their own society, but humans tend not to have too much information on these rare occurrences, as they tend to hold themselves apart from human societies for the most part. They have never been known to last for more than a generation of dragons.

Mainly, the cause for a dragon society, when it does happen, is a bigger common threat to the dragons of a large area. Considering how fierce-some dragons are in their own right, you can imagine what kind of threat you would need to have to force dragons to put aside their differences temporarily, so that they can unite against this threat and put it down.

1240163583IGQsIhM

The least rare occurrence of a society would be a family unit, where because of tough conditions, or the rare nature of some dragons, the parents of a new clutch decide to stay together to raise the young wyrmlings into dragons that can fend for themselves before they split. This of course can continue, and large families, generally referred to as clans rather than a society, each claim territory next to one another, so the overall size can exceed that of some nations.

 

dragon_fight_by_latent_talentWhen dragons do meet with each other, it tends to be because of a territorial dispute, at which point they will fight, a treasure dispute, at which point they will fight, or more rarely a religious disagreement, at which point they will fight. Dragons don’t tend to interact with each other as a species, and when they do if there is any sort of disagreement or argument between the two of them, then a fight is the most likely outcome, with the victor getting what they want, and the loser having to retreat, although it is interesting to note that these fights are very rarely to the death.

Metallic dragon are more cordial than Chromatic dragons, but they are still territorial, and no dragon likes the thought of another dragon coming in and claiming bits of its hoard. So even though they are generally more good natured than their cousins, even metallic dragons tend to be solitary creatures, though they might be more inclined to interact with the societies or other races.

And now we come onto the dragons that we know exist for sure! Although there are quite a few lizards that resemble dragons, these two examples which follow are the closet thing that we have to those mythical beasts.

baby-dragon-1Common Flying Dragon, Draco Volans

A species of lizard that lives in Southeast Asia, is a member of the genus Draco, which are gliding lizards. It spreads out folds of skin which are attached to its movable ribs to form “wings” that it can use to glide from tree to tree over distances of over 8 metres. However, it can only glide, not sustain its own flight.

It is brightly coloured with orange, red and blue spots and stripes, which do provide camouflage when it folds it wings. It can reach 23 centimetres in length and feeds on small insects, such as ants and termites.

Komodo Dragon, Varanas Komodensis

Dragon-Komodo-Komodo-Indo-AR-535Is the largest living species of lizard, growing up to maximum length of 3 metres in rare cases and weighing up to approx 70kg. They live in the Indonesian islands, including Komodo which is where they got their name from.

Because of their size, they dominate the ecosystem on the islands on which they live. They hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds and mammals, and they seem to have a preference for deer. They have a terrible bite, and it is disputed whether it is venomous or not, but it is certainly not something you want to be on the receiving end of, and they have occasionally been known to attack humans.

Komodo dragons hatch eggs, like other reptiles, and the young live in trees to be more safe from predators which could eat the venerable young. They take 8-9 years to mature and live to around 30 years old.

 

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