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Were Dinosaurs Once Called "Dragons"?

The word dinosaur comes from two Greek words: “deinos” meaning terrible, and “saurus” meaning lizard. The word “dinosaur” was invented by Sir Richard Owen in 1841. In the late 1930s, Chinese geologist Bien Meinian reported the first discovery of dinosaur remains in Lufeng in Yunnan Province, southwestern China. At that time people were calling them: “dragon bones.”

What About the Dragon Legends?

a. Siegfried slew the dragon Fafnir.  

b. Alexander the Great reported that, when he conquered parts of what is now India in 326 B.C. his soldiers were scared by the great dragons that lived in caves.

c. St. George was martyred for his faith April 23, 303 AD. He is the patron saint of England and Portugal. He supposedly slew a “dragon” in 275 A.D.

d. Beowolf slew many dragons and was killed while fighting a winged dragon in 583 A.D. at age 88!

e. Rostam slew a dragon.

f. In 900 A.D. an Irish writer told of an encounter with a large beast with “iron” nails on its tail which pointed backwards. It had a head like a horse, with thick legs and strong claws.

h. Gilgamesh slew a dragon. 

i. Marco Polo visited China in 1271 A.D. and reported that the emperor raised dragons to pull his chariots in parades.

Many cultures had dragons in them.

        Viking sailing vessel.                      Bulgarian postage stamp.

       Russian medallion.                  Chinese New Year.

An interesting thing in Webster's Dictionary:

In Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary in 1951, under “dragon” it said: “Now rare.” But in the Second Edition in 1970 it reads: “A mythical monster.” What happened from being “rare” in 1951, to never existing in 1970?

Could it be possible that some dinosaurs have actually survived, and until 1841 people just referred to them as “dragons”? Not all the dragons back then were described as having wings and breathing fire. Some of the descriptions sound just like the descriptions of some of the land dinosaurs.

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