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Okay, we know the type-IIb FG muscle fibers are the strongest stuff we can use. So, the only thing we can do is attach more, but how?

Dragons are 180 cm tall at the shoulders with a total neck+head length of 180 cm, a body 180 cm, and a tail 280 cm. Many of the body's bones are fused together, resulting in decreased/non-existent flexibility there. The neck is long, 2/3 of the total neck+head length. The tail and neck both use a bit of Arambourgiania magic.

Dragon bones have a structure similar to limpet teeth, so basically, goethite fibers in a chitin matrix, kinda like an organic short-fiber composite. Tensile and compressive strengths are 4.5 GPa on average, with the right fiber orientation, of course. There are some bones, I haven't tampered with, that store calcium and phosphorus.

Tendons received an "upgrade" as well, in the form of CNFs, tensile strength is 1.6 GPa.

Dragon wings are broad, soaring wings, similar to that of an eagle, reinforced with actinofibrils.

Dragons dissipate heat through their wings and during exhalation. They use their flight muscles sparingly, and never longer than 90 seconds at a time. They eat fish, meat, fruits, and algae. The primary mode of flight is soaring.

They have six limbs in total: 4 legs and a pair of wings, sandwiched between, just far enough not to interfere with one another.

So, I guess I'll have to pack additional muscle on the keel (mainly because of the extra pair of legs), but I want to pack it in a way that power output increases linearly with muscle weight, how can I do that?

I do know that the force, muscles can exert, is the function of cross-sectional area, if that helps.

Update

Figure time: I originally gave dragons a wingspan of 11 meters and a width of 2 meters. So, the dragon could be 11x2x20=440 kg and have the wing loading of the Quetzalcoatlus northropi. I'm not sure if this is correct or helpful, but here ya go.

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    $\begingroup$ Fun exercise: Compute the power dissipation of the dragon (you may assume that the muscles operate at 20% efficiency, which is better than an ordinary ICE), and then imagine (1) how much oxygen the dragon consumes per minute, (2) how much food the dragon must eat per day and finally (3) imagine a mechanism for the dragon to shed waste heat. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 23 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP: Regarding #3... you do know this is a dragon, right? :) $\endgroup$ – EvoGamer Feb 23 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Done >:) $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 23 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ According to Peter Dickinson's book Dragons, part (or even all) of the lift dragons have comes from gasses in their body. In Anne McCraffry 'Pern' books the lift for dragons comes from the dragons having teleportation powers. Find your own reason and do not add muscles, add other powers....if you want. (And look at bats, not birds.) $\endgroup$ – Willeke Feb 23 at 17:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Willeke A) Even with methane, that'd be extremely dangerous, B) science-based. C) I'm looking at all three, but mostly the Azhdarchidae. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Feb 23 at 18:01
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Is this concept for an LTA-gas' associated element lifecycle feasible?

there has been some discussion of Using other means to provide lift. Some birds are able to fly better due to air pockets in their bones. or you could use something similar to the idea given in the link i just shared. A gas so light that it provides incredible lift. A gas like this could reside inside the dragon, it could live out its whole life cycle in pockets in the bone. maybe the dragon could have control of it. the gas starts as a solid, providing no change in density. but the dragon has the ability to consciously turn this solid into the gas and expelling normally dense air, filling the space with this almost negatively dense gas when it wishes to fly. just food for thought. for a little more information about this LAL-gas contact the Inquirer of the shared question or refer to another question asked by them later on.

What ways are there to keep a steady altitude with large fluctuations regarding load?

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Addding more muscle is like the rocketequation. More muscle means more weight means more muslce required to lift it which in turn needs more bone to hold it and more fat, bloodvessles and blood to power it...

I'd go for making it lighter, and what I recommend everyone until it's promise starts to fail is Graphene based objects. Carbon Nanotubes (CNT's) or 3D Graphene (https://newatlas.com/3d-graphene/47304/) could both be used. CNT's would mostly fulfill a role in strenghening the material it's embedded in meaning you need less, while 3D Graphene is much lighter than steel but 10X stronger. With the sponge-like structure shown it would also allow for lots of biological stuff to run through it or simply be filled with pockets of air or other gasses. This could lighten your Dragon a lot without losing strength, meaning its muscle power can get him airborne and also be used for wrecking stuff.

Since this is all made from Carbon, one of the most abundant materials our bodies are made from, it gives you an opening for some plausibility of a Dragon, insofar a Dragon is plausible.

Additional advantages: less weight means less energy and muscles required, so less heat generation and less oxygen to burn through.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could a living creature even produce graphene? I know they can make extremely sophisticated structures, but... $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 2 at 6:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles the first "produced" Graphene was with scotch tape and some carbon, and then looking through what stuck till you found some Graphene. Evolutionary this is likely impossible to create in a useful quantity and method to enclose it safely where you want, but it might be biologically possible. Just like CNF's are likely not evolutionary possible for non-plants (from my quick read) but not impossible biologically to create. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Mar 2 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ I just wanted to ask, what's activation energy? $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 2 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles Do you mean the minimum energy required for chemical reactions to start or something on a larger biological scale? If the first, well there you go and if the second please elaborate. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Mar 2 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ The first, it might be helpful. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Mar 2 at 7:48

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