Tuesday, October 7, 2014

To create a dragon-would it be possible?

Many of us love the idea of real dragons, large, intelligent lizards that breathe fire and fly! But would it be possible to make a dragon, in the future, with advanced genetic engineering techniques? First, let's start with the breathing fire. How could we get a real animal to breathe fire? Perhaps we could do something with gases, or modify fangs and venom as from a spitting cobra? I am intrigued by the prospect of having an animal that produced something like say, snake musk, and somehow igniting it, perhaps that could become the fire-breathing in our hypothetical dragon? We are not sure how to do this, but what we could do to create a large, intelligent, flying lizard would be to find a crocodile. Crocodiles are large, saurian creatures that are possibly as related to dinosaurs as birds are. Crocodiles also have the intelligence factor we want in our dragon. And then we can find a bird, with a large enough wingspan to send a crocodile aloft.  So, with this hypothetical technique, we would need to combine traits from a large bird of prey, a crocodile, a spitting cobra, perhaps, and possibly a snake such as a water snake that produces musk. And this might be possible! Birds of prey, crocodiles, spitting cobras, and water snakes are all fairly closely related as the snakes and crocodiles are all reptiles, and due to the evolution of the dinosaurs, reptiles are related to birds! So in the future, it may be possible to create a dragon, or at least a winged crocodile.

Cute dragon, from cartooncliparts.com

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