so according to this website:


it said that it could be possible for any animals to synthesise tert-butyllithium and contain it somewhere

so can this be possible?

and if not, is there any other pyrophoric subtance that any living thing create and store it in a special sac?

  • $\begingroup$ When a question is closed you can edit it and it will enter the reopen queue. Deleting the old one and posting a new one is a way of circumventing the rules that we don't appreciate. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Apr 4 at 13:43

Biology can do some amazing things, but tert-butyllithium is extremely unstable and reactive, and not my first choice. Since we're talking fantasy settings, no one is going to be too obsessed with the specifics. Anything you use would have to be kept very anaerobically, and a lot of these things are best kept cold. They often have a short half-life and are prone to breaking down spontaneously. But most metals can be pyrophoric under the right conditions (this is the same chemical process that happens in a hand warmer). You just need a sufficiently exothermic chemical reaction. I imagine a dragon who eats swords and grinds them up in a special organ, turning them into a sort of steel wool that can be enzymatically or bio-electrically oxidized rapidly as an ignition source.

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  • $\begingroup$ so is there any other pyrophoric subtance that any living thing can produce and store it somewhere $\endgroup$ – user3556983 Apr 4 at 15:33

I don't think containing a pyrophoric substance by itself is a good idea, as the slightest perforation or abnormal situation would make the animal explode or cause a big wound at least. Not very likely to pass the Darwin test.

However, there is already an animal that exists (passed the Darwin test) and does something very similar to what Dragons do. The Bombardier Beetle has two container in the back of their body, one holding hydroquinones and the other hydrogen peroxide. When these chemicals combine, they create an exotermic reaction that is used by the beetle to defend itself from predators.

So, your dragon doesn't need to have an internal container with a peryphoric substance, it can have two (or more) containers holding inert materials that, when combined, create a pyrophoric substance.

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  • $\begingroup$ so what's the possible reaction (or 2 compounds) that my dragon can have to create a pyrophoric substance $\endgroup$ – user3556983 Apr 22 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ As a warning, I'm no chemical expert, I only have hobbyst knowledge. With that disclamer out of the way, I have a few ideas. The first, is stating the two components but not explaining how the dragon is able to manufacture them nautrally. Two components that can work are glycerin and potassium permanganate. Glycerin occurs naturally in many plants, so that's not a problem. potassium permanganate does not and I tried to come up with an idea on how a dragon can make it naturally and didn't get anything. I think it would be easier to say that... Following in the next comment. $\endgroup$ – smcarre Apr 23 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ ... that the dragon eats volcanic rocks or something that contain the compound and stores it in a special sac. Volcanoes are natural chemical labs where many things happen (but not potassium permanganate that I know of). Another idea I have, is that the dragon does not creates fire by mixing two pyrophoric substances but by igniting a flamable one. Naturally occurring flamable substance are pretty common, the easiest is ethanol. Now, to ignite it, I imagine the dragon having teeth that, when striken together create a spark (like a flint) and the dragon does that while expelling ethanol. $\endgroup$ – smcarre Apr 23 at 18:55

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