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An amphithere is a dragon from some European mythologies is described as a feathered snake, long body and wings with feathers, so basically can be stretchily compared with some Quetzalcoatl representations.

So this is a proposal about how a creature like the described could exist and evolve.

A dromeaosaurid can supply the main features, a feathered reptile with a long tail, feathered wings, specially seems that has all the features, except one, doesn't having legs or hind limbs, a really important aesthetic point.

Nevertheless is needed a reason to explain the hindlimbs lost in a dromeosaurid, but keeping the wings.

There are other problems that this could cause like the locomotion because the dromaeosaurid tails weren't stronger as snakes or to walk with just the arms and the teropods arms are permanently pronated.

So, why a dromaeosaurid would evolve to lose its legs?

Edit: I just found a drawing which help to examplify this.

https://www.deviantart.com/kingrexy/art/Dromaeosaurid-Amphithere-883528684

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if it's a full answer, but do your dromaeosaurids fly with those wings? I know the originals didn't, but what about yours? Snakes can glide ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysopelea ) and if your dromaeosaurids were spending most of their time flying or climbing trees, legs might not be an advantage. A loss-of-function mutation that doesn't cause the animal to die and a switch to a mix of slithering and flying. Legs could be an obstacle to developing true flight. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Aug 24 at 5:48
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    $\begingroup$ this will actually be really hard, dromaeosaur breathing system requires a rigid body, and the the only reasons to loose legs (burrowing or aquatic) make wings even less useful than legs. this may be evolutionarily impossible. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 24 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ @DWKraus . So, well the littler dromaeosaurids were able to glide, I assumed that this legless dromaeosairds depending on the size will still being able to glide, but I don't thinkt that them would have a powered flight. $\endgroup$
    – Drakio-X
    Aug 24 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @John . Now that you mention it, the nearest creatures to a dromaeosaur which are in process to "lose" its their legs are humming, but caused for very different reasons. What about the breathing system? $\endgroup$
    – Drakio-X
    Aug 24 at 22:36
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    $\begingroup$ That won't let you get flight, dinosaur hips are rod and socket, they can't splay their legs, this holds true even in modern birds. microraptor used its legs as vertical stabilizers like a plane. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 27 at 12:51
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Evolution is not mechanism for improvement specifically. Evolution results in change. If that change results in a worse creature, but that creature can survive and reproduce, then this is evolution.

Dromaeosaurids could have variable lengths of legs to start. Long-legged dromaeosaurids could be more attracted to fellow long-legged dromaeosaurids, and likewise for stubby-legged dromaeosaurids. Over time, you get dromaeosaurids with as short of legs as you want, so long as they can find a niche to survive in. Perhaps they evolve beneficial features along the way like prehensile tails, tough bellies to land on, slick scales to land in the water with, etc. You can get from little legs to no legs just like snakes did (they/some have hips).

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  • $\begingroup$ What you said made me think in the spinosaurus, a teropod with very little legs, should be needed to extrapolate similar things or envirments to make this possible, in general good answer to back this to mind, but still being missing the part to turn from little legs to no legs. $\endgroup$
    – Drakio-X
    Aug 26 at 4:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Drakio-X added the bit about snakes. They did it. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Aug 26 at 5:23
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    $\begingroup$ sexual selection is not going to get rid of legs, remember not only do dromaeosaurs need their legs for take off and landing, they also need them for steering. sexual selection can do a lot, but it won't make you incapable of finding a mate. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 27 at 13:00

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