My dragon is not large in size (around the size of a house cat), flightless, and doesn't shoot fire from its mouth, much like in popular culture, but it shoots from its rear. I think it's much safer that it shoots from its butt than from its mouth.

Something like this:

enter image description here

This dragon doesn't use gas (which is kind of impossible to store), but uses liquid instead.

It's a mix between a skunk (can shoot at its attackers accurately and is able to squirt 5-6 times) and a bombadier beetle (which uses two compounds). It only uses this when threatened.

It has 2 type of glands: one stores a flammable oil (which every organism has, I would say something like the spiny-tailed gecko shoots) and the other stores a pyrophoric organic fluid (ignites in air on contact). Something like this video.

So my question is:

  • Can this be biologically plausible?
  • If so, what type of pyrophoric organic liquid can my dragon be able to store and synthesize (i.e. it can create this pyrophoric liquid and store it without it reacting with oxygen)?
  • What about what about Triethylaluminium or Diethylzinc, can it can able to store or synthesize them?

I'm looking for a simple answer: either "no, it's not possible to store a pyrophoric liquid", or "yes, this is the compound it can store".

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is biologically possible. These beetles do it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_beetle $\endgroup$ – Futoque Oct 5 at 15:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The nine-year-old child in me thinks this is coooooool. I agree with him. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Oct 5 at 16:40
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ For the Science Only crowd, this is quite probably the ONE AND ONLY PLAUSIBLE DRAGON QUERY EVER in this forum's history. You've got ambient air (O2); you've got a combustible (methane); all you need is a spark! (Actually, abdominal gas bladders could store a fair amount of gas.) $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Oct 5 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ this is possible, but why would anyone want to do it $\endgroup$ – Topcode Oct 5 at 21:11
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Well I had this curry once........ $\endgroup$ – Thorne Oct 5 at 23:22

The bombardier beetle is notorious for being able to spray aggressive chemicals on whoever happens to annoy it.

The spray is produced from a reaction between two chemical compounds, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, which are stored in two reservoirs in the beetle's abdomen. When the aqueous solution of hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide reaches the vestibule, catalysts facilitate the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide and the oxidation of the hydroquinone. Heat from the reaction brings the mixture to near the boiling point of water and produces gas that drives the ejection. The damage caused can be fatal to attacking insects. Some bombardier beetles can direct the spray in a wide range of directions.

And for setting up a fire, you don't need a pyrophoric liquid. There are organisms which can produce electricity like the electric eel, thus if you can trigger a small spark while you are spraying your liquid, voila, you have your rear firing dragon.

Triggering a spark on short distances is less cumbersome than projecting it at longer distances.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If it's spark ignited, combustion of the launched fluid would begin fairly close to the body. Unless this critter has a ceramic bunghole and the spray duration is really short, it is going to burn itself rather badly, one would think. A skunk only emits about 2-3 mL of spray per shot; this would have to do quite a bit better than that to do any appreciable damage. $\endgroup$ – GrumpyYoungMan Oct 5 at 23:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.