“On the Origins of Dragons” makes an intriguing case tying the notion of the existence of dragons to the fossils of a certain kind of prehistoric tree.
The idea that legends of dragons could be inspired by fossils of a plant similar to a fern, known as Lepidodendron, or “scale tree.” More than 300 million years ago, these towering 100-foot-tall “scale trees,” covered with a bark-like surface that resembles reptile scales, grew all over the world’s land mass, a single continent called Pangaea. Their fossils, frequently found in coal seams, could resemble limbs, claws or even eyes of an immense reptilian creature.
The research group’s hypothesis suggests that the concept of dragons arose wherever early humans found these fossils.
Gretna artist Jennifer Buckingham created a life-size — or should that be larger-than-life size? — Dragon for the show that makes use of the bark patterns found on the fossils. The dragon, 37 feet long, is a rendition of Tiamat, an ancient Mesopotamian dragon goddess. The dragon’s skin was created using a stamping technique that employed the use of 3D scanned fossil scales and 3D printing.
Allen, Mike. “Imagining Dragons.” The Roanoke Times. Feb. 6, 2020
See the full article here: Arts & Extras: Imagining dragons