Hello, and thank you for joining us in Unit One. I'd like to focus on the physical traits and commonalities of dragons in this section.
I will begin with biological characteristics because they are the most common among all races of draconic lineage. To make an example of the subjects of discussion here, I will begin with a myth-buster:
True or False?
Dragons are large winged reptiles, and they are in the family of flying lizards.
If you answered False, you are correct. Dragons actually share suprisingly few similarities to most reptilian creatures outside of the common scaled flesh, bony protrusions and egg-laying reproductive systems. Dragons are also endothermic, a trait not shared in any known reptilian animal species in the fantasy realms. Yuan-Ti, a monstrous humanoid race, does not fall into this category.
Physically, a dragon is only reptilian as much as skin deep, and beyond that the similarity fades to almost nothing. The body shape, skeletal structure and movement of the dragon are more akin to the feline traits of large cats, while their elemental metabolic nature far surpasses even mammalian endothermic metabolic systems. The addition of bat-like membraned wings is also a typically mammalian flying trait because of the skeletal and muscular makeup of their span and digits. Scholars guess that dragons inherited many of these traits because of the increasing evolutionary supremity, and of course no dragon would ever argue against that fact if given the opportunity.
Along with an incredible element-based metabolic system and the large frames of bodies afforded by such elemental composition, the draconic lineage has produced several other key upgrades in evolutionary physiology, including multiple protective optical lenses in the eyes and a multiocular sense of vision from adapted characteristics to name a few. Please see the illustration by David Martin, at http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/draco_gallery/75546.jpg (Wizards / D&D, 2003)
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