Introduction to Dragons
  • Dragons can fly as soon as their wings are dry, but to prevent injury they aren't allowed to fly until six months of age in limited unmanned flights and manned flights when around seven months of age.
  • The wingspan is usually 1 and 2/3 the length of the dragon.
  • As dragons age, their finger tip and elbow joints harden, making maneuvers difficult, but gliding is possible since that's done with the shoulder.

Terms

Aileron
The sections and membranes which make up the mainsails.

Batten Rib
Cartilage ribs within the mainsails, joining sections of aileron to other ribs as well as the different bones/body.

Bones
The wing has 4 major bone groups, each made up of 3 sections. (Inner Bone, Mid-bone, Spar bones, and Outer bone)

Finger joint
An extra bone which protrudes from the "hand" of the dragon from the same point the other bone sections merge.

Finger sail
The section of the spar mainsail which reaches diagonally from the lowest minor joint of the spar bone to the trailing edge.

Leading Edge
The top cartilage of the wing.

Leech
The whole lower edge of the wing, from the body to the forestay tip.

Lub
The whole upper edge of the wing, from shoulder to forestay tip.

Mainsail
The wing has 3 mainsails, each made up of aileron and batten ribs (primary mainsail, secondary mainsail, spar mainsail)

Trailing Edge
The lower cartilage of the wing.

Physiology

Mouth

  • Triangular muzzle (more pointed than that of firelizards).
  • The front teeth are for hunting, and they have molars in back for grinding firestone. The canines grow in during their first turn.
  • They have a forked tongue.
  • There are 48 teeth at adulthood.

Smell

  • Their sense of smell isn't as acute as humans' simply because there's no need.

Sight

  • Multifaceted eyes that seem to whirl with emotion (the faster the motion the stronger the emotion). Though this movement is only caused by the light off the facets.
  • Dragons have no lashes, just eye ridges for protection, and three (the inner is transparent, thickening out to the outer) membranes that close depending on the need. When all three lids are closed, it's usually for sleep.
  • The protruding brow ridges, when offered for rubbing by the dragon, is a sign of trust.
  • Their eyesight is sharper than humans, even able to see in banks of fog.
  • They have the ability to look through their riders' eyes, even if they're not together.
  • Moods are reflected in the color of the eyes:

* green/blue: contentment
* yellow: fear
* red/orange: anger
* reddish yellow: battle
* red: hunger
* danger: white
* pain: grey
* purple: mating urge, lust and love

  • Alternate Eye Color List by Almaron

(It would appear that Red and Orange are quite interchangeable, and the same could be said for Green and Blue, which are "Happy", "Content", "Pleasure", (and lots more words like that)and "Normal" colours.)

* Red: Anger, Hunger(Active Appetite), Fear, Mating, Pain, Excitement.
* Red/Orange: Mating, Alarm, Eagerness, Arousal.
* Orange: Uncertainty, Suspicion, Anger, Mating, Alarm, Hunger, Agitation, Panic.
* Yellow: Anxiety, Fear, (Reproachful?) Worry, Excitement
* Pale Yellow: Concern.
* Green: (See above) Delight, Tranquility, Placidity.
* Blue: (See above) Longing, Interest, Mischief, Excitement.
* Purple: Worry.
* Lavender: Stress.
* Grey: Great Worry/Stress/Sadness/Pain (Grey tones come to a dragon's hide too).

Mind/Communication

  • The dragon has an enlarged frontal lobe due to the enhanced telepathic ability.
  • With age, the dragon's ability to concentrate goes. Even in their prime, the memory span of a dragon is quite short. They have a horrible time remembering other riders' names, often shortening or flubbing them (thus the honorific).
  • Dragons have short term memory recall of 2-3 days.
  • They are peaceful creatures, that only attack when their rider is in danger or an occasional accidental mauling at hatching, and become agitated during mating flights and Fall.
  • A dragon can bespeak anyone he or she wishes, though this tends to be a distasteful experience so is rarely done. They can also speak to watchwhers, though some really don't like to do that either.
  • Another amazing communication that can occur is between dragon and firelizard. Usually it's when the dragon's bored, but firelizards can exchange images when necessary.
  • The more prominent headknobs of a dragon appear to be the replacement of ears, perhaps picking up on vibrations that their mind and sight don't catch.
  • They have wonderful spatial sense which helps during betweening in tight spaces.
  • Some dragons have the ability to see what is wrong with animals. Orlith did this after Moreta's asked her what was wrong with a runner.

Hide

  • Dragon hide is smooth, soft to the touch, strong, and hairless. A healthy hide is glossy with no hint of gray. Sick hide also tends to be chalky to the touch.
  • The five colors of dragons are:

o gold (pale yellow to dark antique gold)
o bronze (golden-green sheen, though some can be more brown in coloring)
o brown (tan to chocolate)
o blue
o green

  • Female dragons (gold and green) change color tone during their proddy (sexually aroused) period before mating. Just before, they may even seem to glow.
  • As dragons age, their hide changes color tone. Browns get green, while golds tend to bronze as they get older.

Internal Systems

  • They can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes. When the dorsally-placed lungs are fully inflated, the dragon's chest can swell twice its normal size.
  • Dragons have two stomachs. One for digestion of food (when a weyrling they eat 7-8 times a day, then at one turn twice a sevenday) , and one for the firestone to be made into fuel for fire.
  • Warm blooded, with a green ichor. This ichor, like human blood, is based on metal, copper, which makes the hide a greenish tint instead of human pink.
  • Their several hearts are place in comparible in their ribcage like ours.

Skeleton

  • There are 10 vertebra in the neck, and 56 in the back with an extremely strong endoskeleton.
  • This skeleton is made up of light, flexible plates, with a fused ribcage of one piece.
  • Their joints are ball and socket for strength, and less likelihood of dislocation, during landings and flights.
  • A line of ridges run along a dragon's spine from just behind the headknobs down to the shoulder muscles of the wings, where they grow less prominent. Then they continue down to the forked tail.

Muscles

  • Dragons have extremely muscled back legs for power during take-off.
  • Muscles are shiny silver-grey.

Length

  • A dragonlength is the size of the most common dragons, the greens. There are so many that they number the sum of blue, brown and bronzes.
  • Reaching full growth at 18 months, the dragon can reach up to 45 feet at its largest (Gold Ramoth). The growth increment is shown in the following chart (in meters):
Color 2 mos. 4 mos. 6 mos. 12 mos. 18 mos.
Green 9-12 12-15 15-19 18-23 20-26
Blue 12-14 15-18 19-23 23-28 24-31
Brown 14-15 18-21 23-27 28-33 30-37
Bronze 15-16 21-22 27-28 33-35 35-40
Gold 16-19 22-24 28-31 35-39 40-45

Legs

  • Front legs have 5 taloned fingers (pentadactyl) that can hold things like human hands. Dragonets had 3, that came together like pinchers for hunting of fish and the like, but were engineered to the more appropriate grasping hand for eating of larger animals.
  • The front talons are retractable, but rear are not.
  • Dragons have short forelimbs which causes a lopsided gait when walking, and when resting they're usually on their haunches sitting.
  • Back legs have 3 toes.

Tails

  • Dragonkin have forked tails which hold the sphincter.
  • They can hold their excreta for up to five days in the event of illness, then go between to release themselves. If they can't after five days, then their riders (or pets in the case of fire lizards) will need to clean up after them.
  • The genitalia are concealed under a pouch like covering of skin under the connection of tail and body, which is only shown during mating.

Mating

  • A period of "proddiness" occurs before the female dragon rises. The signs depend on the mated team, but can be irritability, mood changes, affectionate, etc.
  • Golds and greens tend to deepen and brighten in hide color a day before mating, and blood a kill on the feeding grounds. Though greens don't always give such warning, and many do not even blood at all.
  • Greens rise twice a turn. Fertile golds rise less, breaking out of deep sleep to fly to the feeding pens to blood a beast.
  • The rider urges her queen to not eat the meat, because that would weigh her down. The purpose of the mating flight is to have the strongest and fastest catch her, so she must be at her lightest but energized by the blood.
  • Golds tend to be possessive over the male dragons chasing her, which is why it's dangerous to have two Golds rise at the same time. They will battle to the death. Greens do not seem to have this problem, but will try to entice males to follow her instead of more than one rises at a given time.
  • The clutch is laid after about three months, and on the sands for about five sevendays.