Physical Appearance

Dragons are as small as silkworms and as large as mountains. Tiny ones may cluster under window ledges and on rooftops. It's possible to find them hiding in the seams of a robe.

There are almost as many Asiatic dragons as there are fish in the sea, and they come in all sizes. Giant dragons are so big and powerful, they control the forces of nature. 

When they breathe, they make clouds; when they inhale water, they cause whirlpools. Underground dragons create hills by humping their backs. 

  Giant dragons are so big and powerful, they control the forces of nature. When they breathe, they make clouds; when they inhale water, they cause whirlpools. Underground dragons create hills by humping their backs.

 Super sized Oriental dragons are miles long. They are the biggest, grandest, most

 The ancient sage Wang Fu described an Eastern Dragon: "Its head is like a camel's, its ears like a cow's, its neck like a snake's, its belly like a frog's, its scales like a carp's, its claws like an eagle's, and its paws like a tiger's." It has whiskers on the sides of its mouth and a bright pearl growing under its chin.

That's only one kind. Most Eastern Dragons have horns and whiskers, but their heads often resemble cows' or horses'. They never look like the horrible snake dragons of the West. They rarely have wings, and they breathe clouds, not fire. Their voices sound like jingling coins, ringing bells, or clanging gongs.

Instead of wings, the dragon has a "poh shan," a growth on top of its head that pumps air in and out, lifting the creature high in the sky. Winds enable it to sail through the air. Some scholars claim that the pearl under its chin makes the dragon airborne, but how this works has never been explained.

Giant dragons are so big and powerful, they control the forces of nature. When they breathe, they make clouds; when they inhale water, they cause whirlpools. Underground dragons create hills by humping their backs.

The ancient sage Wang Fu described an Eastern Dragon: "Its head is like a camel's, its ears like a cow's, its neck like a snake's, its belly like a frog's, its scales like a carp's, its claws like an eagle's, and its paws like a tiger's." It has whiskers on the sides of its mouth and a bright pearl growing under its chin.

 That's only one kind. Most Eastern Dragons have horns and whiskers, but their heads often resemble cows' or horses'. They never look like the horrible snake dragons of the West. They rarely have wings, and they breathe clouds, not fire. Their voices sound like jingling coins, ringing bells, or clanging gongs.

 Instead of wings, the dragon has a "poh shan," a growth on top of its head that pumps air in and out, lifting the creature high in the sky. Winds enable it to sail through the air. Some scholars claim that the pearl under its chin makes the dragon airborne, but how this works has never been explained.

As no fossils are likely to be found, any reconstruction of the dragon's actual body-system is guesswork.  Dragons clearly evolved from lizard-shaped dinosaurs. One theory proposes cavities which were extreme modifications of the vertebrae of that long spine, each of the selected vertebrae becoming a large, thin-walled urn of bone, closed at the top with a muscular membrane. This membrane, and any other surface needing protection from the acid, would be coated with a resistant mucus, which is the normal way in which digestive systems are prevented from digesting the body they feed. For maximum hydrogen production, the acid gland would open and the acid would flow down the walls of the cavity, reacting with the calcium deposited there from the bone structure. The bone itself would be continually self-renewing.  The various cavities would be interconnected by valves, and by adjustment of the tension of the upper membrane transfer of gas throughout the body,  for balance and other purposes, could take place. The membranes would have a further vital function. Normally the gas in the cavities would be under mild pressure, and the dragon's weight in air would be positive. It would be light, but it would not actually keep floating upward. For flight, the membranes would relax and the gas volume would expand. The volume of the dragon would increase but its mass would remain the same, so it would become buoyant in air.  On a smaller scale a fish's swim-bladder operates in the same way. In fact the dragon when aloft would be swimming' in air, rather than flying.   The volume of the dragon increasing need not have been apparent to the observer, though records of Chinese dragons specifically remark on their ability to vary their size. Another possibility is that the membrane expanded into a space normally filled with air. This would have the same affect as an external increase in volume. A third idea is that the great row of "spines" down the dragon's back were not for menace or defense, but were the protective cover for the expanded membranes. When the dragon was at minimum buoyancy they would be laid flat, but were raised for flight.  A system like this would solve a problem about dragon flight which I have not so far mentioned: if the body is long and narrow, but supported solely by the wings, it needs considerable muscular power to maintain itself rigid in the air. But if the body is self-supporting the question does not arise.