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These dragons appear frequently in western fantasy literature, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. Jones therefore concludes that the reason why dragons appear in nearly all cultures is because of humans' innate fear of snakes and other animals that were major predators of humans' primate ancestors.

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Revelation 12:7–9 declares: "And war broke out in Heaven. Dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in Heaven. Conybeare) mentions (III,7) that "In most respects the tusks resemble the largest swine's, but they are slighter in build and twisted, and have a point as unabraded as sharks' teeth." According to a collection of books by Claudius Aelianus called On Animals, Ethiopia was inhabited by a species of dragon that hunted elephants and could grow to a length of 180 feet (55 m) with a lifespan rivaling that of the most enduring of animals.

Dragon the Great was thrown down, that ancient serpent who is called Devil and Satan, the one deceiving the whole inhabited World – he was thrown down to earth and his angels were thrown down with him.", Flavius Philostratus discussed dragons (δράκων, drákōn) in India in The Life of Apollonius of Tyana (II,17 and III,6–8). According to the Gylfaginning from the Prose Edda, written by the thirteenth-century Icelandic mythographer Snorri Sturluson, Thor, the Norse god of thunder, once went out on a boat with the giant Hymnir to the outer sea and fished for Jörmungandr using an ox-head as bait.

Although quite similar to other European dragons, Slavic dragons have their peculiarities.

In Russian and Ukrainian folklore, Zmey Gorynych is a dragon with three heads, each one bearing twin goat-like horns.), also known as 'Thunder Dragon', is one of the National symbols of Bhutan.

and that ancient Greek artistic depictions of the Monster of Troy may have been influenced by fossils of Samotherium, an extinct species of giraffe whose fossils are common in the Mediterranean region.

In one of her later books, she states that "Many dragon images around the world were based on folk knowledge or exaggerations of living reptiles, such as Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, iguanas, alligators, or, in California, alligator lizards." Another dragon-like creature with horns, the body and neck of a snake, the forelegs of a lion, and the hind-legs of a bird appears in Mesopotamian art from the Akkadian Period until the Hellenistic Period (323 BC–31 BC).

Snorri states that the blow was not fatal: "and men say that he struck its head off on the sea bed.

But I think the truth to tell you is that the Miðgarð Serpent still lives and lies in the surrounding sea." The modern, western image of a dragon developed in western Europe during the Middle Ages through the combination of the snakelike dragons of classical Graeco-Roman literature, references to Near Eastern European dragons preserved in the Bible, and western European folk traditions.

The Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals, attributed to the Han dynasty scholar Dong Zhongshu, proscribes making clay figurines of dragons during a time of drought and having young men and boys pace and dance among the figurines in order to encourage the dragons to bring rain.

Although stories of the Dragon Kings are among the most popular dragon stories in China today, these stories did not begin to emerge until the Eastern Han, when Buddhist stories of the serpent rain-god Nāga became popular.

The twelfth-century Welsh monk Geoffrey of Monmouth recounts a famous legend in his Historia Regum Britanniae in which the child prophet Merlin witnesses the Romano-Celtic warlord Vortigern attempt to build a tower on Mount Snowdon to keep safe from the Anglo-Saxons, but, by the late Middle Ages, due to the widespread proliferation of bestiaries, heraldry began to distinguish between a "dragon" (which could only have exactly four legs) and a "wyvern" (which could only have exactly two).

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