I remember when I was a child seeing a frill neck lizard on a wood pile. It turned to me just as alarmed as I was. Its brilliant collar flared. Then it left as if it was never there.
I saw a group of mynas attacking three blue tongues on the deck, as they licked the sun turning it green. They languidly slid down under the safety of the under-storey of the agapanthas and callistemons, away from the heckling mynas.
On another day I saw a bluey dead in a gutter of the driveway - skewered by a stick through its belly. That wouldn't have happened back in the day of the dinosaurs. Not by us anyway. I was sad until I saw the three who lived with me were out one day free of the birds and enjoying the snails. I dont know how the snails felt. (Thats why you shouldnt use snail pellets in the garden)
On a personal note Dragons are an essential in any fantasy story. They feature in the Legend of Caemeris as sentinels and form a biological and mythical heritage for the Draxus. The Zhang were inspired by frill necks. It is quite frightening to be chased by one - a frill neck that is...
Paleontologists / Anthropologists consider the dragon myth may have formed from finding dinosaur fossils or the danger posed from snake bites and other predators. Nature equips with the necessary tools for survival and we at the top of the pecking order deify ( both the good and the bad gods) or commodify at our whim.
An artists rendering of the flying dragon found in China - "A bizarre new flying dinosaur, with bat-like wings and feathers" - Dr John Long & Brian Choo
What are you favourite Dragon stories? I thought Daenerys in GOT was novel in terms of the familial bonds she had with her three dragons calling them her children. But then wondered about weaponising your children to conquer and take a throne.
While dragons are often portrayed as a nemesis to be overcome in stories I think they are reminder that all myth is formed from some sort of forgotten or misunderstood reality. I wonder as well how our stories will change with the looming threat to more species once considered a threat to us now have become our prey and facing extinction.