Dragons of the World

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Reading Comprehension for January 16

Dragons are mythological creatures that excite the imaginations of people. Were they real? They are found in myths from many countries. Dragons are often described in literature as hideous monsters that breathe fire, while others are said to be beautiful and elegant. Different cultures have different descriptions of dragons.

Dragons in European literature were described as having long, broad bodies, scaly skin, long tails, and two large, bat-like wings. Their heads were shaped like horses' heads. Some of these dragons have been illustrated with a spade or spiked tail. People usually associate breathing fire with dragons as well. Often, dragons were described with spines flowing down their backs and one or more sets of horns on their heads. Dragons were described as having two, four, or even more legs. In European literature, dragons were usually seen as evil creatures.

Eastern dragons or "Lung" dragons are found in myths from China, Japan, Indonesia, and Korea. They are depicted with serpentine bodies and four legs. They do not usually breathe fire and don't have wings. Eastern dragons might have feet and claws like a tiger or lion's paw. Most of the time, pictures show their necks and chins with a lion-type mane or tufts of fur. They might have two horns adorning their large heads, and two long "feeler" whiskers sprouting from their snouts.

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