Most people tend to confuse the terms dinosaurs and dragons. To some, the two refer to one and the same creature whereas to others, the terms refer to two distinct classes of reptiles. A lot of people now accept the existence and extinction theory of dinosaurs, whereas the existence of dragons is still doubted by the majority of the mass with a common belief that the dragons have only been a part of Teutonic mythology and some other fictions with no existence in reality. But what are the underlying facts? Let’s explore them by contrasting the two mighty and dreadful creatures.
The existence of dinosaurs is a scientifically proven fact. The fossils of dinosaurs have been discovered in different parts of the world. The radiometric dating of their remains has established their existence in the Mesozoic era (230 to 63 million years ago) i.e. from the Triassic till the end of Cretaceous period. Dinosaurs became extinct in the late cretaceous period (about 65 million years ago). This mass extinction which also caused many other species to become extinct is believed to have happened because of the drastic climate change and the deep Earth impact event that took place during that time.Dragons on the other hand are merely the creatures in the myths of cultures all around the world. Be it the European mythology or the Asian one, almost every culture has myths about dreadful creatures – dragons, with little variance in their structures and abilities. There has not been any significant evidence discovered as of now which could prove the existence of dragons.
Dinosaurs fall under the Reptilia class in the animal kingdom. The mythical dragons had characteristics similar to those of reptiles, particularly to those of the snake. Dragons also had the ability to fly as mentioned in some traditional stories. Although the term ‘dinosaur’ mainly refers to terrestrial archosaurian reptiles, the later dinosaurs also had some bird-like characteristics. In fact these dinosaurs are believed to have given birth to what we know as birds today.
Structure and Features
All kinds of dinosaurs had similar archosaurian-type skeletons, four erect limbs underneath a curved and heavy body. Dragons, on the other hand, are depicted as having huge snake and lizard like body with two pairs of legs and a pair of wings for flying. Another important feature of dragons is their ability to emit fire from mouth. Dragons are often portrayed breathing fire in various myths! Dinosaurs on the other hand did not have any fire emitting ability. Some features that dinosaurs and dragons share in common are their scaled bodies, long tails and claws.
Dinosaurs reigned for about 165 million years on the earth during the Mesozoic era and their existence has been well established by paleontologists. This strongly suggests that there must have been a successful social order in place.
Dragons are merely the creature of myths with no proven existence in reality.
In some dragon myths, creatures such as gargoyles have been depicted as being loyal to their master and performed feats for them.
Dinosaurs fall under the category of reptiles in the hierarchical classification of animals.
Dragons are depicted as having a large snake cum lizard kind of structure.
Dragons as portrayed in various traditional stories, had abilities to fly and emit poisonous fire from mouth.
Dinosaurs did not have any flying or fire emitting abilities.