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Dragons are kind of a cult. They are very popular in movies, books and stories in general.

It feels that the dragons are only a better dinosaur. So I wonder, would finding their skeletons affect people's judgement about dinosaurs being so special?


Dragons...

  • extinct.
  • can fly.
  • can breathe fire.
  • have scales.
  • have one, three or seven heads.
  • have different colours.
  • have organs indicating that they might have something similar as human speech

EDIT: I am not sure if all of the attributes can be determined from the skeleton (but that doesn't change the question).

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    $\begingroup$ Finding their skeletons when? Like when we first discovered dinosaurs and thought they were dragons or finding dragons now? $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Dec 30 '16 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ Colour can't be determined from skeletons. I don't think scales can either but I'm not sure. Organs for speech can be seen in skeletons. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Dec 30 '16 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Zxyrra Every discovery that we have about dinosaures we would also have about dragons. $\endgroup$ – TGar Dec 30 '16 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ We don't leave skeletons so there is mysticism about us. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Dec 30 '16 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly, "dragon" is actually quite a wide category. Eastern dragons bear little resemblance to Western dragons. In both cases, however, they fill a cultural need. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Dec 30 '16 at 15:45
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Are triceratops or raptors ignored just because t-rex existed? The same would be true of dragons (although note that your descriptions seem strange, multi-headed beasts in particular are not very practical). Speech-capability might be possible to infer from the skeleton, but colour would not be.

If the dragons had always been known about then they would just be yet another form of prehistoric life. If they were a new discovery then that would be big news for a while, but only for a while then they would be catagorized in with everything else.

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    $\begingroup$ This. +1 (1234) $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Dec 30 '16 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ They would likely receive a lot of popular interest. Similar to how T-Rex is famous and loved by many children whilst hypacrosaurus is practically unknown. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Dec 30 '16 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ I'm fairly sure I read that that had been able to infer the colour of dinosaur feathers from chemical traces in exquisitely well preserved Chinese fossils found recently. Black, IIRC. $\endgroup$ – nigel222 Dec 30 '16 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ @TGar You don't think huge animals far larger than elephants moving in great herds whilst being hunted by gigantic, two legged lizards with massive teeth is cool? $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Dec 30 '16 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ @TGar Some of the answers here may help with the multiple head problem: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/42017/17720 also worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/51758/17720 $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Dec 30 '16 at 16:04
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Loosely theorizing from your premiss, I'd say dragons would become more popular.

Why?

  1. Currently dragons are beasts of legend and are assumed not to be the stuff of real life.
    You gain all potentially interested people that connect with what they can see and hear. You loose all people that connect with the imaginary exclusively.

  2. We'll know much more about dragons.
    You gain all people that get fired up as they learn more about a topic. You loose the group that has made dragons what they want to be, unhindered by pesky real life details.

Ignoring smaller effects like people denying the dragon fossil records in general and small boys limiting enthusiasm to only one big lizard from the now much bigger heap the number of fans lost will be much smaller than the number of fans gained.

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  • $\begingroup$ But wouldn't it be a heavy blow for the imagination, that nowadays is possible while talking about dragons? $\endgroup$ – TGar Dec 30 '16 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ @TGar, yes indeed, a bad blow for mysticism. But in this material day and age I do think facts will win out. Factoid: In Chinese tradition the dragon stands for... change. Heh. $\endgroup$ – Bookeater Dec 30 '16 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ I thought the Chinese dragon stood for luck and fertility, hence the baby boom every Year of the Dragon. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Dec 30 '16 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ Also true. Change is a bit more obscure. See Dragon entry on nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/… $\endgroup$ – Bookeater Dec 30 '16 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Bookeater Well, now I know what happened to my beloved encyclopedia of dinosaurs I had when I was younger. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Dec 31 '16 at 0:10

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