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Author Topic: Info Dragons, Origin & Physiology  (Read 2596 times)

Offline Southern Records

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Dragons, Origin & Physiology
« on: January 23, 2014, 11:59:11 AM »
The fire lizard, also known as a Dragonet or Fire Dragonet, is a lifeform indigenous to the fictional planet of Pern. The DNA from fire lizards was used to develop the much larger dragons needed to defend Pern from the deadly Thread organism. After being discovered when Pern was first settled, their benefits as pets were acknowledged, and their natural abilities were augmented through 'mentasynth' to allow better communication with people. These enhanced fire lizards were originally referred to as dragonets because of their likeness to the dragons featured in old myths from Earth. However, their ability to breath fire led to the eventual use of the name fire lizard.

In time, with the colonists' first encounters with Thread, fire lizard DNA was used to genetically engineer dragons of a size suitable for riding. Kitti Ping, the geneticist that designed the creatures, enhanced their mentasynth capabilities even further, making it necessary for the dragons to Impress to a human, and removing any aggressive inclination toward people. Unlike with fire lizards, certain dragon colors will only bond to certain types of individuals, and the mental link is much deeper.

Dragons are described as carnivorous, oviparous, warm-blooded creatures. Like all of Pern's native large fauna, they have six limbs - four feet and two wings. Their blood, referred to as ichor, is copper-based and green in color, they have multifaceted eyes that change color depending on the dragon's mood. Their head and general body type is described by McCaffrey as being similar in shape to those of horses. On their heads they have small headknobs, similar to those of giraffes, and no visible ears. Unlike the dragons of Terran legend, they have a smooth hide rather than scales; the texture of their skin is described as being reminiscent of suede with a spicy, sweet scent when clean. They are described as having forked tail ends with a defecation opening between the forks; however, most artistic renderings depict their tails as having spade-shaped tips. The dragons usually get from one place to another by going through a teleportation process known as 'going between'.

Kitti Ping designed the dragons to gradually increase in size with each generation. Newly hatched dragons are the size of very large dogs or small ponies, and reach their full size after eighteen months. Because young dragons grow so fast, their riders must regularly apply oil to their hides to prevent the skin from cracking or drying out.

Dragons, like their fire-lizard ancestors, can breathe fire by chewing a phosphine-bearing rock, called "firestone" in the novels, which reacts with an acid in a special "second stomach" organ. This forms a volatile gas that can be exhaled at will and ignites upon contact with air. The flame is used to burn Thread from the sky before it reaches the ground. However, the chewed firestone must be expelled from the body after it is used up, for the dragons cannot digest it.

Mood & Eye Color
Like fire lizards and watchwhers, a dragon's eyes are multifaceted with no visible pupil, and shift in color to reflect the creature's primary mood. Combinations of the below are common if a dragon is experiencing more than one emotion at a given time. When a hatchling Impresses, their eyes shift through the entire spectrum of colors during the moment of bonding.

Blue & Green -- Contentment; blue correlates more with calm, while green represents joy or excitement.
Yellow & White -- Fear; anxiety or mild fear shows up in hues of yellow; deathly terror or sensed danger is white.
Red -- Anger; typically, the deeper and darker the red, the more intense the anger.
Orange -- Hunger; most commonly seen in hatchlings, but brighter orange means deeper hunger.
Purple -- Mating Lust; usually only seen during Flights, this color indicates sexual arousal.
Grey -- Pain; when a dragon is experiencing physical pain or illness, their eyes appear drab or even grey.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 01:46:02 PM by SanctifiedSavage »
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