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Anatomy of the Pernese Dragon
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© 2008 - 2019 bronze-dragonrider
By George, I think I've done it! After 6 years of constantly reworking my idea of the anatomy of Pernese dragons, I have FINALLY settled on something I am 100% satisfied with.

If it weren't for their massive body size and relatively small wings, I think this could biologically function as a flying animal. But then, that's why they have telekinesis ;)

If you're wondering what the lines are across the wings, those are the batten ribs. They add strength and stability to the wing membrane.

Dissecting a rotisserie chicken REALLY helped me understand the anatomy of a bird's flight system, and I incorporated much of that into this. I also used a lot of reference from the Atlas of Animal Anatomy, especially of the Lion for the dragon's forelimb, as well as the Atlas of Pern for reference of the batten ribs of the wing.

Copyright of Anne McCaffrey for Pern and its dragons.

DO NOT use this in any way, shape or form without my direct permission. I've come across some people who have stolen my artwork, and I do not tolerate art theft AT ALL. So if you want to copy this, or use on another site, PLEASE ASK first. However, feel free to use this as reference material.
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Comments (41)
Sushaly's avatar
Sushaly|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love how you brought what I have been imagining for years to live! It looks like a real animal, that evolved to survive, not to look beautiful. I don't really know how to say this but it's what makes it so beautiful :)
This inspired me greatly! Can I use this as a reference for Pern dragon anatomy? 
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
Thank you so much, that is a compliment that means a lot to me! I tried very hard to make my dragons look as practical as possible without stretching credulity TOO far. I feel like this piece is in need of an update, but yes, please feel free to use it as a reference, thanks!
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Sushaly's avatar
Sushaly|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot! :D
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Kick-flare's avatar
Kick-flare|Hobbyist General Artist
reckon you can label each muscle? XD
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Z3nyatta's avatar
I'd love to use this as reference material for a tattoo design. It makes it SO much easier for tattoo artists to create a design from a line drawing, especially one so detailed! Great job!
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
Sure thing! I'd love to see what you come up with, and the finished result! :D
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
No, they're completely carnivorous. It's odd, their face shape is always described as somewhat equine, but that kind of jaw structure isn't very optimal for a carnivore. They have unusual teeth though, sharp at the front shearing in the middle, and grinding molars in the back.
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KatePfeilschiefter's avatar
KatePfeilschiefter|Professional Digital Artist
Huh, weird. Well they'd certainly be good at chewing.
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KatePfeilschiefter's avatar
KatePfeilschiefter|Professional Digital Artist
Are Pernese Dragons herbivorous? I've never read the books, so I'm curious, the head appears highly similar in structure and function to that of a horse.
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SherlockianHamps's avatar
SherlockianHamps|Hobbyist Digital Artist
ObloquyCondemed here, I'm finally getting around to that picture of our dragon-types in the same image XD I hope it turns out okay.
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ObloquyCondemed's avatar
Very good work!
I can see nothing I disagree with what so ever, the only thing that bothers me, and I feel this is a space-on-paper problem, is the hind leg seems too folded, or folded awkwardly, if weight was put onto it it would shake and want to fold up totally, but do suspect that it was at the edge of the paper, yes?
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
Thank you very much!

No, the posing was intentional, but for obscure reasons for those unfamiliar with the world of Pern.

They are described as having an awkward gait on the ground, because of their short forelimbs and large hind limbs. When they "walk" they're described as having a hop-skip gait, like an unfortunate cross between a rabbit and a kangaroo. So they're supposed to look a little out of place on the ground, their true grace being aerial.

I do understand and sympathize with your complaint though - I always found that quality difficult to portray and an annoyance to adhere to, since I would prefer a more elegant dragon. I should probably try to design my own for once and make my own rules :p
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xryu2304's avatar
OMG that's nice. I love it!
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ZutaraRaven's avatar
ZutaraRaven|Student General Artist
OOh wow! :heart: Brilliant work!

He looks.... appetizing... :drool:
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
:rofl: No eating the dragons! :p
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ZutaraRaven's avatar
ZutaraRaven|Student General Artist
Buahahaha....
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nikopol00's avatar
[link] < chek this if you would like some animal anatomy resources . and 10 X for the dragon keep up the good work
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
Oh, that is spectacular! Thank you very much! :)
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LimeIio's avatar
LimeIio| Traditional Artist
This is so great! Now i can see just what the Dragons are,though i still have my own picture in my head. But you're hard work and research has paid off for a great work of art.
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
Thank you very much :) Everyone has their own mental image of what Pern dragons should look like. Even mine has shifted dramatically several times since I started reading Pern. I just wish I knew what Anne's mental image is of what Pern dragons look like.
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Carise's avatar
Carise|Hobbyist Photographer
You did a very good job on this.

Could I have permission to use this in the weyrling training materials for PernWorld MUSH?

(Our wiki is at xanadu.wikidot.com)
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bronze-dragonrider's avatar
Thanks! You may use it as long as credit is given and linked to my page :)
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Carise's avatar
Carise|Hobbyist Photographer
Done, and done :) [link]

Thank you again!
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BlackDragon733's avatar
Wow. A dragon that looks like a dragon.
I am honestly speechless. And love to see another Pern fan!
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