In my story I'm creating, there are three sizes of dragons, from 6 to 20 feet long. The smaller ones create small coastal villages, and fish. These 6 foot dragons:

  • are very dexterous and have developed hand like appendages at the end of their wings, so they can make small structures and use tools.
  • Are not very wide, compared to their length, and probably weigh 90 to 110 lbs.
  • Don't breathe fire, so no need to worry about that.
  • Have strong talons to, if they needed to, catch fish that way. They are also skilled swimmers.

Could these dragons catch enough fish to feed themselves? Also, could they feed others if they can't? If they are as smart as humans, would a species of carnivores work together?

  • $\begingroup$ Why not? Think of them as a bigger pelicans or albatrosses. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Feb 8, 2018 at 23:48
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    $\begingroup$ Could a 6 foot tall, 160 lbs human live on a diet of fish ? So a 110 lbs dragon ? $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2018 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ Are non-fire-breathing dragons hot or cold blooded? If they are cold blooded this might limit their ability to act in water because the body temperature might drop too low. But I guess there are various ways around that. But it could also add some drama in your story - if you like. $\endgroup$
    – Arsenal
    Feb 9, 2018 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ Hey, it's your world! $\endgroup$
    – komodosp
    Feb 9, 2018 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ I think even a large dragon could feasibly live on a diet of fish. It would have to be able to catch them, of course (or maybe steal them), but it seems very plausible to me. $\endgroup$
    – Lee Leon
    Feb 9, 2018 at 18:16

5 Answers 5


The Wandering Albatross has a wingspan of 12 feet and lives solely on fish, so the diet is fine for your dragons.

If they also catch small fish in waist deep water, they could use their wings and work in small groups to easily force fish into nets. Their wings would help keep fish from escaping around them, effectively being solid walls maximizing the catch.

In lakes and oceans they wouldn't need boats. Working in groups with nets attached to buoys, two or more dragons could fly out, drop the net in an arc and then dive in and out of the water chasing fish into the net. They fly back into the air grab the rope loops attached to the buoys and fly to shore dragging the net behind them. They'd probably take frequent breaks or work in multiple groups as this would be very hard work.

They could also get a long thin drag net, fly over a river or lake and drag it through the water behind them scooping up fish. Cast netting, drift netting and even a hand net to catch fish, simply by flying along and dropping the nets in the middle or in front of a school of fish.

With the proper use of nets, they'd have more than enough fish to survive and trade.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for those answers. Now I'm just wondering if carnivores would work together or if they would become cannibals. Would they work together? $\endgroup$
    – user47578
    Feb 9, 2018 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ Wolf packs, prides of lions, orca pods, hyenas, even octopus can form communities on rare occasions when food is very plentiful. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Clarke
    Feb 9, 2018 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, i guess that answers every thing I need to know for that. $\endgroup$
    – user47578
    Feb 9, 2018 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ Glad I could help. You may want to not accept my answer just yet. It could discourage some other answers that will give you some good ideas. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Clarke
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:14

Not only do carnivores of the same species work together to hunt, but there are examples of carnivores of different species working together.

For example, wolf packs and human hunting clans working together is speculated to have led to the eventual evolution of dogs.

Dolphins and humans sometimes cooperate to fish in Lagunos, Brazil.


And in Myanmar:


An orca pod living near Eden, Australia, would herd baleen whales into Twofold Bay and alert the local whalers. The orcas would get the whale tongues and the whalers the rest of the whales. The Orca Old Tom, who died in 1930, was suspected of being over 90 years old.



Thus your fishing dragons could be either competitors or partners of Human fishermen.

  • $\begingroup$ That actually goes pretty well with another behavior they have. If someone saves them, they are honor bound to help that person. $\endgroup$
    – user47578
    Feb 9, 2018 at 4:45

Dan covered would they eat fish quite well, so I will answer would they work together and feed others.

The answer to that is entirely up to you you will write their behavior, but there is no reason they could not, vampire bats share food with relatives and even strangers and even keep track of food sharing favors and they are nothing compared to humans intellectually.

Social behavior is common in nearly every feeding behavior, herbivore, carnivores, omnivores, piscivores, even bulk feeders. As long as there is a benefit there is always a chance it will evolve. Piscivores(fish eaters) sometimes use group hunting to counteract schooling in fish, dolphins are well known for this, some help keep the schools from dispersing or fleeing while others feed, they do this just by swimming around it and harassing the school.

Even something as signalling the presence of a school can have huge benefits as there is far too much for a single animal to eat and the best place to store food you cannot eat is in someone else who will return the favor later. This can easily lead to more and more social interactions.

  • $\begingroup$ Nicely put, especially the vampire bats I didn't know they tracked favours. ONe thing that these dragons will probably do is work in family packs from the start. That would start the first small villages and from there its possible to build up larger ones through 'joining' two or more packs together as one large family. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Clarke
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:51
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah if another bat refuses to share often enough they will refuse to share back, rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1819/20152524 $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 9, 2018 at 4:03

Would a species of carnivores work together? The Inuit live on hunting seals and fishing and they work together.


It would work if dragon would fine suitable cave near ocean(sea) and could swim. Also depends on kind of fish in ocean.

  • $\begingroup$ They can build structures, because they developed the hand like things on the end of their wings. They don't need a cave. $\endgroup$
    – user47578
    Feb 10, 2018 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ A bit wierd dragon. Well in this case he can build a small(accordin to his needs) temple of himself, to make people or whatever race worship him. And bring him fish $\endgroup$
    – Light
    Feb 10, 2018 at 14:06

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