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Re: "plumed" serpents



 D.I.G. <dinosaur@interport.net> wrote:
> Hence: D R A G O N. What the heck is that anyway? Is it the thing that
> Sean Connery did the voice for in Dragonslayer?

The pug-nosed "dragon" you refer to starred in _Dragonheart_.

Back to the original question, I, personally, don't see much reason to
assume that "feathered dinosaur" fossils gave rise to any "feathered"
dragon myths.  Cave bear skulls giving rise to legends of dragons in
Medieval Europe I can see; fossil elephant skulls prompting stories of
cyclops among the ancient Greeks, yes; and _Protoceratops_ fossils in the
Gobi leading people to believe in the griffin (as postulated in John R.
Horner's _Dinosaur Lives_), perhaps, but these fossils are all relatively
plentiful.  "Feathered" dinosaur fossils?  Just about the rarest specimens
in the history of paleontology.  And much smaller and flatter, besides.  

More likely, as with many mythical creatures, descriptions of fabulous
beasts unseen by man are given descriptions that are chimeral in nature, so
a winged animal might be described as having "the wings of an eagle,"
whether such a description is perfectly apt or not, for lack of a more
precise vocabulary, or in an effort to use simple words to dramatically
present a tangible image that the masses could readily imagine. The famous
1854 Crystal Palace dinosaur sculptures represented the state-of-the-art at
the time they were fabricated, and similarly extrapolate very incomplete
remains by combining elements of more familiar animals with the fossil
fragments.

Ralph Miller III <gbabcock@best.com>