back to article WINGED VELOCIRAPTOR 'from HELL': Closest thing ever to a real DRAGON?

So who says there has never been any such thing as dragons? Scientists today have announced details of a newly-discovered dinosaur that was more than a bit like the dragons of legend. Nature Scientific Reports brings us news that the skeleton depicted below represents “an aberrant and rare animal compared to the vast majority …

  1. M7S

    But could it breathe fire?

    As clearly we're building up to some kind of "actually folks, dragons may have been real" type revelation.

    The sticky point at the moment is wondering how they entered into lore, assuming that the meteor strike got them all. I might be prepared (hopeful even) to believe in dragons, but if they were a type of dinosaur, I'm not going so left field as those creationists who think we were riding around on brontosauri just before the Red Sea had that pedestrian walkway installed.

    1. D@v3

      Re: But could it breathe fire?

      Dragons are like Ninjas.

      They still exist, they are just very good at hiding, and if you ever do see one, you probably wont have time to tell anyone about it.

      1. John Bailey

        Re: But could it breathe fire?

        "They still exist, they are just very good at hiding, and if you ever do see one, you probably wont have time to tell anyone about it."

        But in flocks, they are harmless. As with ninjas, there is an inverse dragon rule.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Alien

      dragons may have been real

      Of course dragons are real, but not as portrayed in Myth and popular Fiction

      But might have had feathers rather than scales.

      More Argentavis magnificens than Komodo Dragon?

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: But could it breathe fire?

      "It’s thought to be the origin of the chinese dragon myth—because they are well huge, giant giant lizards, they’re scaly, they’re man eaters, literally they’re man eaters, and they don’t actually breathe fire, but they do have the worst breath of any creature known to man."

      Douglas Adams, on the Komodo Dragon Lizard

  2. Henry Minute

    Bone furtlers?

    I see no bones.

    Rock rummagers, yes; fossil fossikers even more so but surely not bone furtlers.

  3. Sceptic Tank
    Windows

    Extinct

    That thing's head is the wrong way around. No wonder it went extinct. It couldn't see where it was heading.

  4. Sarah Balfour

    "Zhenyuanlong" means "Zhenyaun's dragon". This might draw some argument from traditional dragon fanciers, who would no doubt prefer to see leathery rather than feathery wings - not to mention a confirmation of ability to fly, somewhat increased size, and of course an ability to breathe or spit fire. Even so this creature would seem perhaps as much like a dragon as anything else known to have existed. -Ed

    That's Draco nobilis.

    Draco nobilis Vs. Draco vulgaris

    http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Draco_nobilis

    http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Draco_vulgaris

    http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/Errol

    Hope they work, coz the links everyone else posts never do for me (unless I copy 'em and, frankly, I can't be feckin' arsed).

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Draco_nobilis

      http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/Draco_vulgaris

      http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/Errol

      There, made 'em clicky for ya.

      (But simple service simply given to his own kind in their common need.)

  5. g e

    Hang on.. 6 limbs?

    Four leggy things and wings too? Has anything like this been dug up anywhere else?

    I usually think of non-insecty things as having four limbs (or none for snakes, bar vestigal thingies), two eyes, nose & mouth. Even fish broadly fit that generalisation, though I'm no zoologist for sure.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Hang on.. 6 limbs?

      No, four limbs. Two large legs at the back, and two rather puny forelimbs. The wings are part of the forelimbs (or vice versa). It's clearer on the picture of the fossil.

      This does raise the question of what use are wings that don't enable you to fly, I've tended to assume that modern flightless birds have wings because they've inherited them. This creature and its kin seem to have developed wings as a sort of decorative feature on the forelimbs. The implication is that wings (and feathers, too) evolved in response to some non-flight-related selection pressure and then turned out to be useful for flying.

      1. John 156

        Re: Hang on.. 6 limbs?

        "The implication is that wings (and feathers, too) evolved in response to some non-flight-related selection pressure and then turned out to be useful for flying."

        How about: feathers evolved because birds became homeothermic when subject to envornment pressure to keep moving, whatever that was, possibly predation. Some feathers then became elaborate and extended for sexual display (as well as sub-species identification);as the sexual display became more elaborate, the forearms become longer and stronger which then resulted in successful males becoming momentarily airborne.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Hang on.. 6 limbs?

          feathers evolved because birds became homeothermic

          Sounds credible. I believe it's now thought that dinosaurs were homeothermic. I know nothing of dinosaur dermatology, but I can imagine that feathers are at least as likely a way of developing an insulating layer as fur.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks more like a parrot

    A Norwegian Blue.

  7. Fink-Nottle

    Keep digging, Steven ...

    ... where there's a dragon, there's bound to be a hoard.

  8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    leathery rather than feathery wings

    All the Chinese dragons I see in carnivals etc seem to be feathery rather than leathery, so maybe they are right and "we" are wrong.

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