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The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

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Zaktan
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The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Zaktan » July 31st, 2016, 7:36 am

What are the taxonomic classifications of the dragons of Herpy?
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It seems apt to begin with saying that dragons are reptiles. But what form of reptiles? Be they archosaurs or squamates? Classifying dragons as archosaurs allows for numerous features seen in certain draconic species, such as feathers and vertical cloacas as compared to the horizontal cloacas of squamates. With this initial bit established, we can then progress further down this taxonomic rabbit hole.

So far, I've classified three distinct species; the American Dragon, the European Dragon, and the Asian Dragon, Draco americanus, Draco europa, and Huanglong imperialis respectively. However, I feel these species names are rather boring, and could be improved to be more worthwhile and representative of our truer feelings. Furthermore, with only these three we have left out numerous draconic creatures such as wyverns and wyrms/wurms.

I'm proposing that, should we classify draconic creatures as archosaurs, that the family of draconic creatures ought to be Draconomorphidae, as to be inclusive of "false dragons." From there, subfamilies can be used to categorize dragons into their respective groups. I also put forth that 4 limbed and 6 limbed draconics ought to be separated, 6 limbed animals entering subfamily Draconidae while 4 limbed animals can enter Longiformidae. The reasoning behind the name Longiformidae is that it accounts for Asian dragons, Long being the Chinese word for dragon.

Assuming this all seems well and right to you lot, then we have established dragons as pertaining to the the following taxonomic rankings:
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Archosauria
Family: Draconomorphidae

As for the three species already named, here are their taxonomic designations:

American Dragon
Subfamily: Draconidae
Genus: Draco
Species: americanus

European Dragon
Subfamily: Draconidae
Genus: Draco
Species: europa

Asian Dragon
Subfamily: Longiformidae
Genus: Huanglong
Species: imperialis

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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Raiden » July 31st, 2016, 9:37 am

True taxanomy of all imaginable dragons will probably prove to be a very difficult challenge. Mostly because of the sheer variety there is, and the blurry line between other species. Are Felkins still dragons? Could maybe Gryphons be categorized as a sort of "feathery dragon"? And I'm not starting on all the crossbreeds here.

But let's leave this for later and continue with the ones we know are dragons, or at least dracomorphidae:
(However, since I don't speak a word latin, my designations are probably a little... off. Feel free to adapt them appropriately)

Wyvern
Subfamiliy: Longiformidae
Genus: Angiusae ("Flying Snakes")
Species: volatilis

Amphitere
Subfamily: Longiformidae
Genus: Angiusae
Species: solum ales ("flying wing", or "Nurflügler", think of the B-2 Spirit)

Drake
Subfamily: Draconidae
Gender: Draco
Species: collis (Mountain dragon, so to speak)

Naga
Subfamily: Longiformidae
Gender: Huanglong
Species: chelydrus

Lindwyrm
Subfamily: Longiformidae
Gender: Huanglong
Species: sylva

Those are all I can think of at the moment. At least this should cover all the (common) combination of limbs/wings.

About Felkin and other more exotic things: Where do they fit in? Should they have an extra subfamily?
One... approach I had in mind was not to put dragons into reptilia, but rather have dragons as a class themself, and then adjust the Order and Family to the various types of dragons. So then we got dragons, and then we have the "reptile like", the "birdlike", the "houndlike" and so on. Maybe that would make it easier to embrace the sheer variety of draconic forms, together with the various crossbreeds.
(or as someone on discord said, the ability of dragons to crossbreed with pretty much anything is astounding, and makes this undertaking quite complicated)
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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Aracth'nil » July 31st, 2016, 1:08 pm

Technically if a dragon can breed with anything and make viable offspring, it isn't a different species. So this may not be possible in some cases?
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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Zaktan » July 31st, 2016, 3:59 pm

If a dragon can breed with anything, and the definition of species is based on reproductive isolation, we encounter a very serious problem classifying anything as a species. What's to say that a horse and a human, two reproductively isolated groups, could not have offspring with a dragon, and then this offspring is equally capable of breeding as its parent dragon was? Furthermore, there are already separate species that can interbreed in real life, such as lions and tigers (a Tigon, tiger father and lion mother, is a fertile animal), horses and donkeys, and even false killer whales and dolphins, which are several genera removed from each other.

If we wanted to produce the fullest and most accurate account of draconic speciation, we'd probably need a cladistogram, but that would require a Herpy "shared-universe" to function. In place of that, we can rely on Linnaean classification based on physical features that distinguish between species


As to classifying Felkin and other species, I'm afraid I know too little of felkin to say anything on them. If they are considered dragons, then let's just classify them too. As for making dragons a class of their own, we might need to get into cladistics there. Did they split from reptiles, amphibians, or mammals? Some dragons even possess gills, but the real question is whether or not their traits are inherited from ancient interbreedings or evolutionary adaptation.

Edit: let's operate under the assumption that all dragons are pure blooded unless explicitly stated.

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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Dragonhunter4321 » August 1st, 2016, 10:09 am

Just putting this outj there, the Mayan version of dragons was coutal.
Winged snakes... although I woild possibly not classify them as dragons.

Then there are kobolds, an offshoot of dragons... little know fact (not really). Then there are the basalisk (the 8 leged reptiles and snake alike) the cockatrice, and the wurm... but that last bit is far more removed, more worm than reptile
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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Valcyrie » August 14th, 2016, 6:03 pm

As dragons are not a physical species, we cant really observe them. And the vast majority of different kinds of dragons and everyones opinion about them and about themsleves make a proper categorization impossible, methinks x3
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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Raiden » August 14th, 2016, 8:03 pm

This won't stop us from trying Val! :D

While that's certainly true, we can try to encompass as much as possible, discounting crossbreeds/hybrids. Actually someone almost did all the work already. However, we'll try and come up with our own thing, though I'd wager it will look similar. But let's see.
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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Krakenthekrab » September 2nd, 2016, 1:38 am

Meh, who cares anyway, there dragons... THERE COOL!
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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Valcyrie » September 3rd, 2016, 1:48 am

Its spelled "they're".

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Re: The Taxonomic Classification of Dragons and Draconic Creatures (Slight NSFW)

Post by Krakenthekrab » September 6th, 2016, 7:07 pm

Valcyrie wrote:Its spelled "they're".

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