Biology of “Game of thrones”: can dragons fly? And to breathe fire?

Because “Game of thrones” shows his last season, herpetologist (the so-called experts in Zoology amphibians and reptiles) Rachel KIFF answered many interesting issues related to the fauna of the world of ice and fire. Do dragons Daenerys-sized “Boeing 747”, and if so, how do they even get off the ground? If dragons are cold blooded, if they can move to the North of the wall? Can you explain the biology of the dragons from the point of view of this science? Let’s deal.

How the dragons?

KIFF explores reptiles and amphibians in the Florida Museum of natural history and faculty of biology at the University of Florida.

Please tell us that dragons can be real.

Sorry, we have no evidence of the existence of dragons on this planet. But we have evidence of the existence of very steep, extinct animals that were similar to dragons, only had six limbs and was not breathing fire. Alas.

So, what creature is the closest to the dragon?

I think the pterosaur. They fly, they are reptiles, they have patterns on the head and they’re just really cool. I think it’s the closest.

Let’s imagine that I do not know what a pterosaur…

Imagine a pterodactyl. This genealogy of extinct flying reptiles, and although many people associate them together, they are not dinosaurs; they have their own genus. The largest of these, standing on all four legs, was the size of a giraffe. Quite a dragon.

Let’s talk about dragons of “Game of thrones”. Can cold-blooded reptiles actually go North of the wall?

I think it’s possible, Yes. There are amphibians that tolerate frost. The Siberian newt and tree frog, they have proteins-antifreeze in blood, so they are able to freeze almost completely natendo and thawing, feeling wonderful afterwards. It’s not warm-blooded animals, but they are able to tolerate freezing. But the dragons, you see, they are likely still warm-blooded, because breathe fire.

Wait, you’re saying that Drogon, Regal and Viserion can be warm-blooded like us?

Something as big as the dragons of “Game of thrones” must be warm-blooded. At least the fact that you have all these muscles and all the organs that work means you have to produce its own heat. Once paleontologists argued on this subject in connection with the gigantic dinosaurs-sauropods — believed that they should be the default warm-blooded because of their size. In addition, we are dealing with an active predator, which is a lot and moves quickly and has a high metabolism. This all requires a warm-blooded organism.

Speaking of dimensions: are there any animals that continue to grow throughout life, as these dragons?

Many reptiles, the so-called indeterminate growth, which is different from the growth of mammals which at some point cease to grow, because it is not able to support themselves if they become more. This does not apply to snakes, and turtles. Not that they grew at the same speed throughout life, but Yes, they continue to grow constantly.

If they can be as large as the Boeing 747?

I don’t think it’s possible. The largest animal that ever existed, alive or extinct, is the blue whale. The reason for its size is that it lives in the ocean, so its weight is supported by a column of water. If you pull out a blue whale ashore, he will not survive, because they cannot support their own weight. So if you take some of the Drogon astronomical proportions, his legs simply breaks due to structural constraints of the bone. Even if he had a steel skeleton, he would still be too heavy to fly.

Even hypothetically, if the bones don’t crunch, given the size the animal will constantly eat, especially endothermic with a high metabolic rate. I don’t know whether there is enough in the “Game of thrones” people to feed the animal.

And excrement will also be a lot. Don’t know how Daenerys will deal with this.

Which option would be more close to reality?

Flying animal with a 15-foot wingspan — this is possible. The largest flying animal was the quetzalcoatlus, a pterosaur with such a wingspan. But it weighed only 200 pounds, as far as we know.

Winged reptiles don’t exist, but there are flying lizards like Draco volans, meaning “flying dragon”. This animal is in fact extended their ribs so they come out at the sides and between them formed the straps. They are usually pressed to the sides, but if you need to fly to another tree, the dragon takes off and hovers quite well.

There are also flying snakes, which are amazing. Many people do not know that snakes can fly. The frogs fly.

How about breathing fire? And if we assume that dragons can produce fire, as they burn their own mouths?

There is not real animals that endured the fire, or would have been protected from the flames. There are animals that can endure high temperature as at hydrothermal vents — but it does not fire. So, even if there are animals that carry extremely high temperatures, there was still an animal that can withstand exposure to an open flame. But again, it may be some kind of fire resistant mucus or dragons spit flames, as a stunt, so it don’t touch their mouth.

There are also other animals that can spit out pieces of his body. There are lizards that can shoot blood from his eyes, and there’s Gecko Strophurus, which can spit out mucus from the tail. It is not poisonous or something. Just intimidating. But in nature there is.

Eggs from which hatched the dragons, Daenerys, is very ancient. Are they able to give life?

The eggs of reptiles need certain temperatures and humidity to remain viable. That’s the problem with climate change: animals need a certain temperature for incubation, and if the animal lays eggs in the same place, and it gets warmer eggs become non-viable.

Dragon eggs must be stored under certain conditions. Or are too good to care.

Enjoy “Game of thrones”.

Do you believe in the existence of dragons? Or, in extreme cases, the white walkers? Fight for your house our chat in Telegram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *