Oftentimes, western dragons are depicted not just as BIG but also as THICK. I've given up on making dragons any larger than a draft horse, but wish to avoid making further compromises. However, the issue is that an overwhelming majority of an animal's weight is almost always their muscles and thick limbs mean lots of extra weight.
So, the dragon. I made them stand at around 180 cm tall at the shoulders and weigh at most 500 kg. A justification for why dragons could become so heavy was supposed to be their ability to use synthesize and use graphene and high-strength carbon nanotubes to reinforce their tissues.
Now, it wouldn't normally make sense for a creature's anatomy to go out of its way to appear as aesthetically pleasing to humans as possible, but dragons in this scenario are genetically engineered from the ground up.
Of course, such buzzwords won't fix the issue of making a dragon appear swole without being swole. I have two strategies to decrease their weight. The first one is the simplest:
Dragon legs have extremely large bones with somewhat thin walls and a honeycomb structure inside for additional reinforcement. These bones are much larger than what the dragon would theoretically need to support their own weight, even when landing.
Its weight isn't negligible, but still much less dense than pure muscle.
However, I'm unsure if this decision would have unforeseen consequences, considering the largest bones are in the dragon's landing gear (their four legs) that doubles as terrestrial locomotion.
Would there be any drawbacks to giving dragons unnecessarily large leg and arm (foreleg) bones?