I am trying to taxonomize different species of dragons i made up, but am struggling finding correct phylum's and orders and stuff like that, would i have to make a whole new phylum for my dragons? Or just make new orders and families and such? Here's a picture so you know what i am working with: http://inkgink.deviantart.com/gallery/60080626/Dragons

Here are the different types of dragons: http://inkgink.deviantart.com/journal/Dragon-sorting-journal-629296959

I mostly want to know which Kingdom Phylum Order Family or Genus i willl have to make myself or if they can be grouped into any already existing, not for you to make one for me.

They probably evolved from small lizard/amphibian-like gliding creatures in the Permian, and quickly became the dominant species, now being about 60 to 90 percent of earths fauna, diversifying into many things, from eel-like forms to the flying dragons we know from pop culture. use the links above to see the different types. *NO DRAGONS I MAKE HAVE 6 LIMBS, ALL WITH WINGS HAVE 2 LEGS AND 2 WINGS, BECAUSE 4 LEGS AND 4 WINGS (6 limbs) I THINK IS EVOLUTIONARILY UNLIKELY.

if you need more information please comment or email me at [email protected]

  • $\begingroup$ I was talking with people a few months ago similarly about this. The most likely evolution path would be a divergence from birds after they split from dinos, before they were too birdish. Or a later evolution from Terror Birds with some of the more reptilian features re-emerging. $\endgroup$
    – Durakken
    Oct 6, 2016 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ I might rethink it then, but i chose the permian because it gave them lots of time to diversify and "take over the world", so to speak. $\endgroup$
    – InkGink
    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:31
  • $\begingroup$ would a common ancestor to pterosaurs be viable? I'm currently using a protected internet so the deviant art link doesn't work so if this question sounds stupid when viewing the pictures then sue me. $\endgroup$
    – XenoDwarf
    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:50
  • $\begingroup$ If coelacanth is a rare order of fish you can also try missing link to add mythical touch! Oh I remember someone mentioned we have missing link too. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Oct 6, 2016 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ Using the old system of characteristics the classification would be: Kingdom animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Reptillia, Order Dracona. Family and species will vary between different dragons. $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2016 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


In the older schemes, if the dragon was recognizably reptillian, then they would have been classified in class Reptilia, and in their own order Dracona, alongside the other extant orders of reptiles: Squamata (lizards and snakes), Testudinata (Turtles), Crocodilia, and Rynchocephalia (tuatara). The various major types of dragon would be classified into their own families, and then divided into genus and species. A general rule (but not one that is always followed) is that members of a genus CAN reproduce (often in captivity, examples are wolf, dog, and coyote, or horse, ass, and zebra) while members of a species DO reproduce in the wild.

More modern phylogenies depend on evolutionary relationships. A 'clade' is defined as all species more closely related to X than to Y. For example, the Orinithischia (bird hipped dinosaurs, like Ceratopsians, Hadrosaurs, Stegosaurs and such) are defined as all creatures sharing a more recent common ancestor with genus Triceratops than with Passer domesticus (house sparrow).

A phylogeny tree does away with the traditional clade names of kingdom, order, class, etc. In this new system, dragons would be defined relative to a common dragon species against a familiar species in the next most closely related branch of reptiles. So you could define dragons (clade Dracona) as all creatures sharing a more recent common ancester with Drakon Purpuram than to Crocodylus Niloticus. In the new system, family, genus and species more or less keep their original meanings, but the clades farther up the chain are less ordered but more representative of evolution.

  • $\begingroup$ So how would a phylogeny tree of these dragons look like? Lets assume they are more related to Archosauromorpha than anything else in your phylogeny tree that you linked. Also, can you teach me how to draw one of these phylogeny trees? I don't exactly know how to sort all the names and lines. $\endgroup$
    – InkGink
    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ the difference is species to different species CAN reproduce but the subsequent offspring are not viable, and cannot reproduce with anything. Obviously, individuals of the same species create viable young. $\endgroup$
    – XenoDwarf
    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ @XenoDwarf Not always true. For example wolves, dogs, and coyotes can all interbreed and produce viable offspring, while coyotes (canis latrans) are almost never considered the same species as wolves (canis lupus) or dogs (canis familiaris or canis lupus familiaris, depending on your source) $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ @InkGink I'm not a biology teacher, so I'd recommend finding one to teach you correctly. On the other hand, Google can teach you damn near anything. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Oct 6, 2016 at 2:55
  • $\begingroup$ well i was told this by my biology teacher so there's that, also canis familiarus and the like were bread from wolves so... I don't know much about coyotes however $\endgroup$
    – XenoDwarf
    Oct 6, 2016 at 3:08

You don't really want a phylogenetic tree, you want a cladogram. Making a cladogram is fairly easy, all you need a list of morphological traits possessed by your dragons: Horns yes/no, forked wings yes/no ect. Use 1 for yes 0 for no in something like excel.

for each dragon you list 1 it has a trait or 0 if it does not. You want more traits than you have numbers of dragons, and generally every dragon should have at least one unique trait or combination of traits. It is also easier if you have a "most primitive" dragon in your head to set as the outgroup.

then you drop said list into a program like TNT.

Mesquite is also a good program.

An actual paper about dragon taxonomy exists here, It is used as learning tool to teach cladistics.

This site has a great article on reading and making cladograms if you are shooting for a less technical approach.

this will let you describe how all your dragons are related but will not help you tell how they are related to the rest of life. Really only you can do that since they are fictional creatures. You decided what traits they have, things like do they lay hard shelled eggs, are they amniotes, what type of breathing mechanism do they have, how many holes do they have in their skull, ect. these are the things that define larger scale relationships.


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