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Discovery Magazine 9/1/2008

Dracorex & Dragons

Have you ever wondered where dragon legends came from? For thousands of years, people told stories of seeing large, reptilian creatures with long necks, massive tails, hard, scaly skin, stout legs, knobby heads, terrible teeth, snake-like tongues, and/or bat-like wings. How is it that people all over the world came to tell such stories? The obvious (but often rejected) answer is that people once lived with dinosaurs (Exodus 20:11; Genesis 1), and many dragon legends are simply the stories people told of dinosaurs. [NOTE: Our ancient ancestors did not call dragons “dinosaurs,” because the term “dinosaur” was not invented until the 1840s—thousands of years after dragon legends were already being told.]

In 2003, a nearly complete dinosaur skull was excavated in South Dakota. The long, knobby, spiky skull appeared so similar to descriptions and paintings of certain dragons, it actually was named Dracorex, which means “dragon king.” The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, which now has the skull, referred to it as “a new type of dinosaur” that “looks like a dragon.” The Children’s Museum even displayed a statement next to a Dracorex image that reads: “When we saw this creature’s head, we weren’t sure what kind of dinosaur it was. Its spiky horns, bumps and long muzzle looked more like a dragon.” A dinosaur that looks more like a dragon? Maybe that’s because dinosaurs were dragons! “Dragons” and “dinosaurs” are simply two different words that refer to the same creature.

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