Dragons are intelligent, as they are capable of speaking both the dragon and human language, making tools, literacy, and complex thought. Animus dragons, those with the magical power to do almost anything, exist, though they are exceedingly uncommon. Dragons with special powers abnormal for their species, such as flamesilk or firescales, also exist in sparse numbers. Most dragons have tribe-typical powers.
Dragons have long natural lifespans, though they can be killed by injury, illness, and poison, among other causes. The average dragon lifespan is roughly one hundred fifty years,[event 1] while the oldest a dragon has been known to live without magic before his death is one-hundred-ten years. Dragonets stop growing rapidly at seven years old, and this is considered adulthood or maturity in most tribes. Tui herself considers dragons from four to seven years old teenagers, with seven being approximately fourteen through sixteen in human years.[event 2]
Click here for a list of known dragons.
Biology and Anatomy
All tribes are roughly the same size except for MudWings, who are generally larger and stronger than dragons from the other tribes. SkyWings have a larger wingspan than most tribes. Dragons have been confirmed to continuously grow as they age, as shown with Grandeur, Morrowseer, and Darkstalker, with the oldest dragons typically being the largest. Dragons grow rapidly for the first eight to ten years of their life, then grow at a much slower rate for the rest of their lives.[event 3] They also have no sexual dimorphism.[event 4]
All dragons are primarily quadrupedal. All Pyrrhian dragons possess six limbs, as do LeafWings — these consist of two wings and four legs. HiveWings and SilkWings have eight limbs, consisting of four wings and four legs. Wings are attached to a dragon's shoulders and have a slightly transparent wing membrane stretched between five small bone digits, each of which has one small claw on the tip. A larger claw is attached to the front of the third digit. The average dragon height is around eighteen feet (5.49 meters). Dragons have overlapping scales that vary in color and shape from tribe to tribe. Dragons require their tails for flight, and severe tail injuries may ground a dragon for life.
Dragons typically have large claws at the base of each foot, with five on the forelegs and five on the hind legs, though polydactylism may occur. All dragons can fly, although SilkWings are hatched without wings and cannot fly until six years of age when their wings grow after their metamorphosis, as were BeetleWings. Some can also hatch with freckles on their bodies, usually at various amounts.
Dragons can faint, sweat, and cry. Dragons are able to have allergies and become intoxicated. They can also have seizures and hiccups, as well as medical conditions such as deformities, tumors, or mental illnesses. Most dragon tribes hate getting wet, with the exception of SeaWings and sometimes IceWings.
It is mentioned on several occasions that dragons have a hoarding instinct, preferring shiny or brightly colored objects. Instead of a currency system, dragons on Pyrrhia typically barter; gold, gems, and other treasure are used in this system. Pantalan dragons use a currency called scales.
Dragons reproduce via eggs, usually laid in clutches of two or more. Eggs may contain twin dragonets. Dragonets can speak within a day of hatching, and a one-year-old dragonet is capable of speaking in full, if broken, sentences, as well as flying.
Hybrids are dragons with parents from different tribes. A dragon whose parent or parents are hybrids may also be considered a hybrid. These dragons have mixtures of features from their parent tribes; many of them look unique among other dragons, while some can blend in with one of their parent tribes. Burn may have had several stuffed hybrids in her collection.
Click here for a list of all known hybrids.
Dragons are mostly omnivores, though many have primarily carnivorous diets. SilkWings are herbivores that subside mainly on fruit. RainWings are primarily vegetarian, but can eat meat if they choose so. Dragons of non-vegetarian or non-herbivorous tribes may choose to be vegetarian. Most dragons can survive for up to a month without food.
Each tribe has specialized structures and abilities that differentiate them from the other tribes. Most typical is some sort of exhalation, most commonly fire. SkyWings, NightWings, and SandWings can breathe fire at any given time, whereas MudWings can only breathe fire when warm enough. IceWings exhale a freezing breath — though heat can temporarily thwart this ability — while RainWings can spit corrosive acid that only affects biological matter. SeaWings are the only tribe on Pyrrhia that cannot exhale anything that may be used as a weapon, and none of the tribes on Pantala can, aside from the occasional acid or poison-spitting HiveWing. The most commonly modified structures in dragons are the wings, claws, or tail. Dragon fire smells different from normal fire.
Dragons have a matriarchal society where each tribe is ruled by a hereditary queen. Each tribe differs in its traditions and values of life due to habitat and physiology. They are advanced enough to have speech and writing — all dragons speak the same language. The SeaWings use their bioluminescent stripes to communicate in a separate language called Aquatic for communication underwater. All Pyrrhian tribes live in separate kingdoms except the RainWings and the NightWings, who both inhabit the Rainforest Kingdom. However, Pantalan tribes do not live in separate kingdoms like Pyrrhian tribes. Instead, HiveWings control most of the continent and rule over the SilkWing tribe, while the LeafWings live in the Poison Jungle, which is independent from HiveWing control.
Most dragons feel tribal loyalty, most notably NightWings, HiveWings, SkyWings, IceWings, and SeaWings. They seem to view their tribe as extremely important to their identity, and consider acting against others of their tribe or their tribal queen to be traitorous. Most NightWings, IceWings, and HiveWings and some SkyWings have feelings of superiority about their tribe. Each dragon tribe also has their own religious beliefs.[event 5]
It is stated in the books multiple times that dragons have a system of body language. Dragons may have a sort of "code" for greeting one another, featuring mid-air flips and thumping wings. Dragons may raise their wings in a shushing gesture, and they spread or wave their wings to catch attention. Flicking one's tail at someone is another way to get their attention and can also be used to indicate something of interest. If a dragon lashes his or her tail, it is a sign of anger or impatience. SeaWings may flare their gills when angry, and RainWings flare and color their ruffs when angry or indignant. Dragons also use their claws to indicate numbers.
Nudging or brushing another dragon's wing or twining tails together is a sign of affection and closeness; dragons may notice if others are close enough to show affection this way. Wrapping wings around one another, hugging, and pressing snouts together are also signs of affection. Dragons tent their wings over others as a way to comfort or embrace them in a protective gesture. Dragons also kiss as a way to express affection.
NightWings are the most technologically advanced Pyrrhian tribe, seeming to put great emphasis on research and study — this attitude was especially prominent during the war, when the tribe needed it to survive. NightWings studied geology, metalworking, biology, chemistry, and genetics.
Dragons know medicinal uses of herbs and blood vessels. RainWings, in particular, know about poisonous frogs, and use certain venom from them to create blow darts. SkyWings use dragonflame cactus bombs that explode when ignited, spraying sharp seed pods.
Dragons on Pantala seem to be slightly more technologically advanced than dragons on Pyrrhia. They use books instead of scrolls, use eyeglasses, make chocolate and work with sugar, grow plants in terrariums, run stores, and create massive silk bridges between the Hives. Sundew shows an impressive knowledge of plants and insects, similar to RainWings. There are also water towers in Pantala, used by SilkWings and HiveWings living in the Hives; the existence of plumbing is suggested in The Hive Queen when a sink is used.
The HiveWing wrist cuffs can seemingly inject poison into a SilkWing when activated remotely.
Before the dragons had queens, scavengers ruled Pyrrhia. Eventually, the dragons rebelled, establishing tribes and queens; this was known to the dragons as the Scorching.
The only known war to take place on Pantala was the Tree Wars, which took place fifty years before the events of The Lost Continent. The war was caused by Queen Wasp, who convinced the SilkWings to submit under her rule by telling them the Book of Clearsight said it must be so. The LeafWings, however, demanded to see the book, which Queen Wasp would not allow because it would expose her plan. The LeafWings were nearly wiped out in the following war and proclaimed by the HiveWings to be extinct. All the trees in the HiveWings-controlled areas were cut down to prevent the LeafWings from coming back. HiveWings later lied about the war, claiming that LeafWings had tried to wipe the HiveWings and SilkWings out.
Although there are many wars in Pyrrhia's history, such as the wars between the NightWings and the IceWings, the most notable war was the War of SandWing Succession. This was caused by Queen Oasis of the SandWings being killed by a scavenger, followed by her daughters Blaze, Blister, and Burn trying to claim the throne for themselves. This sparked a tribal war among the dragon tribes since each of the princesses formed alliances with the other tribes to defeat their sisters.
After the war was ended by the dragonets of destiny, the tribes were at an uneasy peace, though hostilities and tensions are still high, as many dragons are still bearing grudges against certain tribes. After Darkstalker was released from his eternal slumber, he provoked a war between the NightWings and IceWings, almost leading to the downfall of Pyrrhia. However, Darkstalker was stopped by the dragonets in the Jade Winglet, who transformed him into a young NightWing-RainWing hybrid named Peacemaker.
- Tui supports dragons having unique colors amongst their tribes.[event 6]
- Additionally, Tui approves the graphic novel pages, thus making odd-colored dragons official.[event 7]
- Dragons can be LGBT+.[event 8]
- The dragon tribes are intentionally not written with accents or details based on real-world human culture.[event 9] However, the audiobooks depict some tribes with certain accents.
- Dragons sometimes drink milk.