Dinosaur Names Related to Dragons – St George’s Day
Today, April 23rd, is St George’s Day, the national day for England (St George is the patron saint of England, a saint incidentally celebrated and revered by a number of other countries too). The story about brave St George slaying a dragon might be a myth, but we thought just for fun we might try and list as many dinosaurs associated with dragons as we could. This is harder than it seems, for example, St George is honoured in both western and eastern cultures and in China, the origin of the dragon legends could have originated from the discovery of fossils of dinosaurs. Which dinosaurs? We don’t think anyone can be sure.
The White Horse Prehistoric Chalk Figure at Uffington (Oxfordshire) Has Been Described as Dragon
Picture Credit: Great Wood Primary School
Chinese Dragon Dinosaurs
The word “long” translated from the Chinese means “dragon” so we could have the Theropods Guanlong, Shaochilong, Zhenyuanlong, Dilong and Zuolong for starters. To this list, we could add the basal Ceratopsian Yinlong (Y. downsi) and we must not forget the beautiful “sleeping dragon” fossil, representing a troodontid, named as Mei long.
An Illustration of the Sleeping Dragon (M. long)
Dinosaurs and Dragons
As well as those dinosaurs from Asia with names that reference dragons, there are a number of genera named after the Latin for dragon “draco”. How many can we name?
Firstly, we have Dracoraptor hanigani, a very early Jurassic dinosaur from Wales, a country with its own dragon culture and stories.
An Illustration of the Welsh Theropod Dracoraptor (D. hanigani)
Picture Credit: Bob Nicholls (National Museum of Wales)
In addition, we can add Pantydraco (P. caducus), a Late Triassic member of the Sauropodomorpha from the Vale of Glamorgan. What other dinosaur dragons can we think of?
Here’s our list:
- Dracovenator (D. regenti) – from the Early Jurassic of South Africa, believed to be a dilophosaurid.
- Dracorex (D. hogwartsia) – A member of the bone-headed Pachycephalosauridae named and described in 2006
- Draconyx (D. loureiroi) – from Portugal a possible iguanodontid.
- Dracopelta (D. zbyszewskii) – from Portugal, fragmentary fossils indicate a Thyreophoran (armoured dinosaur affinity)
- Dracoraptor (D. hanigani) – from Wales (see notes above)
- Pantydraco (P. caducus) – (see above)
A Mounted Skeleton of Dracorex (D. hogwartsia)
Picture Credit: Indianapolis Children’s Museum
How many dragon inspired dinosaurs can you name?