I'm often heard things like: "I like dragons with six limbs more", or "fire-brething dragons are better".
So why should I forego on this typical features?
The answer come to me today when I browse through the book "the dinosaur hunters" , a fantastic novel about the first paleontologists from Mary Anning over Mantell to Darvin. The book shows how this pioniers worked and thought. Especially intersting/funny is that most of this early scientists try to harmonize bible and the fossils they found, a endeavor that must fail.
I feel the same when I look at theories abouth the evolution of dragons with 6 limbs or biomechanic models to explain how dragons breath fire.
Most of this theories are possible, but it's the try to harmonize the legends, myths, and fairy tales with modern science. Some authors just copy the legends and spice them with scientific facts.
Always keep in mind that humans make mistakes and tend to exaggerate, lie and fantasize; especially over a long times. When europeans heard firstly something about the komodo dragon it should be a giant fire breathing lizard which kills humans all the time.
I have a similar problem with magic: it's often seems to be used for filling gaps which are difficult to fill with science. Especially the Dragonology books are a good example for that. Firstly they look relatively pseudo-scintific enough to raise my attention, but the parts about magic destroyed everything.
I wrote this text after I heard, again, one of this possible but... don't know the right word... squashed sounding theories (The dragon must must must must have SIX LIMBS !!!! No matter how)