By - MysteriousDinner7822
In principle, yes. In practice there are some issues.
Simply put, most fantasy dragons we see are way to fucking large. Sure proportioin wise they could fly. The issue comes from the lenght of the bones and how force is applied. You see, bones are really good and compressiv strengt. Right your legs can take a lot of force before collapsing. However Bones are absolutly terrible at any horizontal force. You can not Compress a bone until it breaks. But most people could break a bone with a side kick.
For animals with large wing spans this is an issue because so much force is applied "sideways". To the point where all ones in the wings would just snap.
We often see dragons have huge tails. However in reality a tail adds a lot of mass and drag but not much else. They dont really Stabilise the creature during flight. They only look cool. There is an argument for large tails if there is some use for them. For example as a weapon. But a tail on its own would not be there. Its a waste of resources.
Now making fire is not that hard and there are many ways evolution could arrive at fire spitting animals. Many people point out that such an ability would destroy any ecosystem but realistically speaken a dragon that can spit fire is limited in numbers on account of how much food there is available. Sustainable predator prey population and stuff.
The issue with fire is that it is a very rocky evolutionary path as in there is no reason to have it. If you are a 100 Meter long dragon with a mouth big enough to eat an Elephant whole, why exactly do you need fire ? Just on vertue of how large you are, there is nothing that can outrun or outlast you. And it is not a range advantage either since the fire wont be much faster than you. Plus you burn you food which aint good. And for defense, fire is again just really questionable as a trait.
All of that being said, it could happen. Just not on Earth. At least unil the next mass extinction resets the time. Of course i mean the one after the current Human induced one ;D
You really have to define the minimum set of properties something needs to count as a dragon. The traditional western dragon (i.e. large, six limbs, long tail, breathes fire, etc) is pretty implausible. However, how far from that can you be and still be considered a dragon?
Would something like a large pterosaur (i.e. [Quetzalcoatlus](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatlus)) count? After all, they are large flying reptiles that actually existed.
Perhaps they are carrion eaters and vomit potent stomach acid as a defensive reaction in a similar way to vultures. That’s a bit like fire since it would definitely “burn” flesh.
Would that count as a dragon?
Agreed, I’d say vomiting a corrosive substance or having a burning venomous bite would be the most plausible ways of achieving something analogous to fire breathing
The concept of modern reptiles ever growing a third pair of limbs, whether for flight or otherwise, is severely unlikely. The 4-limbed basis of all boned animals was decided the moment fish began to evolve, so the only conceivable way a dragon could evolve would be from insects
I forgot to mention this, but another thing they should have is the physiology of a wyvern
Then we're already halfway there! Pterosaurs appeared before, and monitor lizards could likely turn into dragons if they figure out certain things
There are lots of examples on this subreddit for dragons, the closest thing on earth to a dragon was the yi Qi
Surely quetzalcoatlus (or any other large pterosaur) looks far more like a dragon. A yi qi basically just looks like a small bird.
Yi qi was quite a poor flier and from what I’ve heard it was essentially an evolutionary dead end
It could probably end up flying if you gave it 10 million years but the fire breathing wouldn’t be possible
dont make a dragon spec evo, its so overdone
I get your point, and yeah it’s been overdone to death but it’s still a fun lil staple for a large chunk of the spec evo community. If they are just gonna slap wings on a monitor lizard or, god forbid another Yi qi, than yeah that’s not really worth it but if they find a newer, less overdone way of making a dragon that’d be cool
Why do you need to judge folks like that? Just let them have fun if they want to.
its always the same thing every time and gets so boring, yi qi/rib psuedolimb reptile that breathes fire
You can make it unique though
Fire breathing and powered flight seem like they would both be far too energetically demanding for an animal to have both simultaneously
We were quite close to wyverns being a thing if only Scansoriopterygidae like *Scansoriopteryx* and *Yi qi* were more successful.
The fire breathing is a different beast though. Even bombadier beetles which use chemicals to defend themselves don't ignite those chemicals. They achieve temperatures of 100 °C, which is nowhere near the heat of fire. The evolutionary usefulness of a breath weapon is also debatable.
Possible? Yes. Likely? Of course not