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Could the dragons of ‘Game of Thrones’ have existed?

Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion, Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons from the series Game Of Thrones could they have existed? On the occasion of the broadcast of season 8, the American site Futurity posed the question to Rachel Keeffe, a herpetologist (a specialist in reptiles and amphibians) at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

According to Matt Shakman, one of the directors of the series, the three dragons, whose cry is inspired by the male turtle rattle during coitus, are the size of a Boeing 747. That is about 70 meters long, 20 meters high, and 60 meters wide.

It is physically impossible for such animals to exist, much less for them to be able to fly. “The largest animal that ever lived, extinct or alive, is the blue whale, explains Rachel Keeffe. The reason she can get so big is because she lives in the ocean, so her weight is partly supported by the water. On dry land, she wouldn’t survive because she wouldn’t be able to support her own weight. The size of the dragons in the series is even more impressive, their legs would break due to the structural limits of the bone. Even if they had a steel skeleton, they would still be too heavy to fly.

Rachel Keeffe also points out that such a specimen would spend its time feeding: “I don’t know if there are enough people in the universe of Game Of Thrones to feed this animal. There would also be a lot of excrement, I don’t know if Daenerys would be able to deal with that.” It is also impossible for terrestrial animals to spit fire without consuming themselves.

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warm blooded animals

If they could neither fly nor breathe fire, the dragons would on the other hand have a chance of surviving the polar temperatures of northern Westeros and beyond the Wall. “There are amphibians that tolerate frost. The siberian salamander and the wood frog have antifreeze-like proteins in their blood. These animals are therefore able to freeze almost completely and then thaw and be perfectly fine afterwards. They are cold-blooded animals, but they are able to resist freezing., details Rachel Keeffe. She nevertheless specifies that given their size and their predatory behavior, the dragons in the series are undoubtedly warm-blooded animals, like certain large dinosaurs.

But the similarities between dragons and dinosaurs end there. For Rachel Keeffe, the pterodactyls —an extinct line of flying reptiles that, contrary to popular belief, weren’t dinosaurs—have the most commonalities with Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion: “The tallest, when standing on all fours, was about the size of a giraffe. So they are very interesting, very dragons in my opinion”says the specialist explaining that unfortunately, there is no trace of the presence of dragons on Earth.

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