Quick! Are dragons good or evil? Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Ding! Times up! Actually there is no right answer. Just as people have different ethics, so do dragons. There are two different kinds of dragons: Western and Eastern (a. k. a Oriental). Oriental dragons are the benevolent ones. These dragons can make clouds, usually to impress women and female dragons (getting any ideas guys?). Here's an interesting fact, most Eastern dragons have three to four toes. However, five toed dragons are a symbol of power and can only be worn by the emperor. If someone other than the emperor wore a piece of clothing with a five toed dragon on it, they were put to death.Here is the skeleton of an Eastern dragon (as you can see, it's a four toed dragon)
This image was contributed by Draconian.com and was used under permission.**Here Be Dragons**Let me say a bit more about Eastern dragons. Did you know that they basically revolve around the number nine (a lucky number in China)? Let me list the ways:
Aside from those nine major characteristics, they have large canine teeth in the upper jaw, as well as long, slender whiskers coming out from both sides of the head. These are probably used for feeling its way along the bottom of muddy pools. Also, they have long spines along their back that get bigger as they lead toward the tail.
Lastly, unlike Western dragons, Oriental dragons only lay one egg (which by the way looks like a pearl) at a time, which they carry beneath their chin. However, both dragon types' eggs are as hard as stone and take months to hatch.
Western dragons are the bad guys. They are also the kind of dragon we think about when we hear the word dragon (unless of course you're from the Orient).They're the most popular ones and yes, they're the ones who love damsels- for dinner. Even though these dragons are fierce, artists usually focus on the beauty of the victim rather then the menace of the monster.
Anyways, Western dragons are as cruel as their Eastern relatives are benevolent. These dragons breathe fire, ice and acid. In the bible, these dragons represent the devil and his minions. In fact, some people go far enough to say the dragon's mouth is a gate to hell. No wonder no one wanted to be eaten by a dragon (besides the obvious I mean). Now please enjoy the Dragon anatomy pictures that I so kindly am letting you see.
These images were contributed by Draconian.com and was used under permission.**Here Be Dragons**
Now for the characteristics of Western dragons. These dragons have very large hind legs and feet, which are very strong and powerful. There are three clawed toes in the front, and one inward facing toe. The Western dragon's tail is very long and is able to be coiled up. Their head is large, and they have a long snout and forked tongue. Their jaws are filled with sharp teeth, all about the same size. They have two large eyes which are very good at seeing in the dark. In this dragon's head, there is a special stone called the "dracontia". It has the power to cure all diseases. It is located between the dragon's eyes. The dragon also has spikes coming down from the top of his head to the end of the tail. Unlike there cousins in the Orient, their spikes get smaller as they approach the tail.
These dragons eat once a month. This is usually sheep and oxen and the usual virgin maiden (why are they always virgins?). Lastly, their nests usually have a lot of eggs and are located in a dry place.