Dragon Adaptations

Most organisms are well adapted to their environment due to behavioral, physiological, or structural adaptations that increase their chances of survival and reproduction. Dragons have evolved to adapt to a wide range of climates and conditions. Read more about their adaptations to understand the diversity of dragon images that proliferate around the world.

Structural Adaptations

Structural adaptations are those features of an organism's body that help it to survive and reproduce.

One of the most obvious structural adaptations are wings. Dragons are amazing flyers. Their bones may not be as dense as those of other animals in order to allow them to fly.

Just as seals have flippers to navigate through water, dragons have also adapted to aquatic environments. Dragons without wings dive underwater to hunt for prey. Scientists believe that most aquatic dragons evolved to have gills to help them hunt underwater. Other dragons simply hold their breath and their nostrils have a valve that is closed when underwater. This allows the dragon to keep water from entering its lungs.

Physiological Adaptations

Physiological adaptations are body processes that help an organism to survive and reproduce.

You wouldn't be able to see it from the outside, but dragons have adapted internally to various environments. In the north where temperatures frequently dip below freezing, dragons are able to survive these low temperatures by hibernating. Their metabolic rate slows down so that they can survive for months without eating or drinking anything. 

Some physiological adaptations such as smaller ears and shorter tails are also present in dragons which live in colder temperatures. This enables the dragon to conserve heat and not lose it along its extremities.

Scientists question whether dragons were warmblooded, coldblooded or something in between. It is possible that dragons were able to survive cold temperatures because of molecules that act as antifreeze in their blood.

Behavioral Adaptations

Behavioral adaptations are responses made by an organism that help it to survive and reproduce.

Dragons have certain behaviors which have been advantageous to them over time. Flying is one of the biggest. Flying not only allows a dragon to move from one place to another much faster than lumbering along with a pair of legs, it also allows dragons to escape from humans, explore new territories and look for food in lean times.

Dragons also care for their young until they are able to fend for themselves. Dragon mothers will bring them fresh meat, carry them on their backs to safety and teach them to fly when they are strong enough.

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