Dragon’s Descendants

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New species of lizard discovered. Let’s hope it doesn’t actually fly. Photo by Olivia Bailey

New species of lizard discovered. Let’s hope it doesn’t actually fly.
Photo by Olivia Bailey

Scientists recently discovered a new species of reptile with strange physical characteristics and genetic qualities. Experts have found that it is related to the Komodo dragon, as well as differing types of flying lizards.
However, they believe this new species could be a direct descendant of the fire-breathing mythological creature found in kid’s stories.
That’s right! They have named it ‘Drákos apógonos’ which, directly translated from Greek, means ‘Dragon Descendant’.
Evidence for their claim includes two large mounds just above its shoulder blades, and a thick mucus-like lining around its throat that seems to be flame retardant. They believe the mounds above its shoulders were once wings that could carry the reptile in the air for a significant amount of time. However, their theory is that at one point in history the wings became useless and thus they have devolved to be simply lumps of skin and bone.
The saliva in its mouth is unusually acidic. So acidic, in fact, that the saliva alone dissolves food in a matter of minutes without the need to chew. As the Drákos apógonos swallows using its powerful tongue, the food enters one of the two tubes in its throat. The other tube, however, is connected directly to its left lung. At the base of this tube, there is a small, almost unnoticeable gland that puffs when it feels threatened, but this is not what has the scientists stumped.
When the reptile is provoked, this gland secretes a sort of gas that is ignitable and deadly. They have not yet identified this poisonous gas but are convinced that, had the Drákos apógonos been able to ignite the gas within its lungs or throat, it could breathe fire.
Though their theories cannot be proven yet, we have reason, and evidence, to believe that long ago, in a time of castles, princesses, soldiers with swords, there were also dragons.

Brynn Schiffman is a freshman at snow college and has been writing for the snowdrift for a semester. She is majoring in English with hopes to be an editor

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