You already know the drill:

  • Dragons stand 195 centimeters at the withers, normally 2,95 meters at the top of the head when standing still
  • They can't fly
  • They weigh: 1179 kilograms
  • You're not allowed to use magic
  • Square-cube law
  • T-rexes were fast walkers, but we want to do better
  • Limpet teeth

So let us now genetically enhance dragons to be able to run, jump, turn, etc for extended periods of time with minimal damage to their bones, muscle tissue, and ligaments.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is your dragon an overgrown turkey or an overgrown lizard? (two legs or four) $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Oct 13 '18 at 10:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Separatrix Four plus the wings. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Oct 13 '18 at 10:15

The male giraffe can run, despite being 5 metres hiegh and 800 kilograms on average (according to a quick google search) as can bulls despite being 1100 kilograms and the largest horses are also of a similar weight. I'm not sure that you actually need a reason, normal biology should be more than enough to allow your dragon to run. If your dragon has wings they could always use them to aid in running, much like early proto-birds, this would also look damn cool in my opinion.

T-rex couldn't run beacuse it was 5000 kilograms at the LEAST, five times your dragon.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ +1 for having a natural example. I wish I could give you +2 for somehow managing to equate dragons and giraffes. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 13 '18 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ That's half the problem solved. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Oct 13 '18 at 10:02

What you've described is about the size of a large horse.

Horses normally range up to around 1000-1100kg, though a big Shire can reach 1500kg. If you've ever galloped a big carthorse across a field you'll find it's a very smooth comfortable gait. I don't think your dragons should have any trouble getting around at a good speed.

  • $\begingroup$ Sure, but if a horse breaks his legs... I don't want a 1200-year-old great wyrm to die because of a broken leg. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Oct 13 '18 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles horses rarely break their legs, you hear a lot about it but it's not a thing to worry about $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Oct 13 '18 at 10:28
  • $\begingroup$ Neither they live for 1200 years. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Oct 13 '18 at 10:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles, the reason they shoot racehorses when they break a leg is because they'll never race again, as such they're worthless. It's entirely possible to patch them up, but to a commercial owner it's not worth it. Your dragons will be fine, they're within normal large mammal scales, large horse, male buffalo, domestic bull, etc are all about the same size and weight. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Oct 13 '18 at 10:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Elephants are a lot bigger and heavier than your dragons. They don't run but with their long legs they can walk a lot faster than than humans can run. As far as I know broken legs aren't a significant factor in elephant deaths - though your dragons have to live 20 times as long as elephants. $\endgroup$ – M. A. Golding Oct 13 '18 at 16:48

May I introduce you to the Frilled Lizard? They, and quite a number of other types of lizards, are able to balance back on their tails and run like the devil!

When you watch them run, you see their legs rotating like our arms, not our legs. The motion isn't a push-back-lift-move-forward-push-back motion. It's a swing-up-and-forward-then-push motion, more like an oar on a rowboat.

Which is a fancy way of saying all your dragon needs is a rotator cuff so the leg can get a larger swing arc and the ability to extend outward away from the body.

Consequence? Full-sized dragon, booking along the ground, scorching the people in front of him. It'd be the funniest thing to watch since the Marx Brothers.


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