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Bring on the Critters!

Dragons and octopuses actually have something in common.

Oct 10 Critters Pauline Baird Jones FacebookDragons and octopuses actually have something in common. No really. 

And not just because both dragons and an octopus appear in Specters in the Storm. 

The English word dragon derives from Greek δράκων (drákōn), “dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake.” It was only later that dragons got legs and became more associated with lizards. 

And, of course, octopuses are creatures of the ocean. 

So they both got their start in the water. 

Dragons are very popular in fiction and octopuses are very popular in steampunk culture and fiction. 

Dragons appear in mythology and lore around the world.

Octopuses also appear in mythology and lore, not to mention they swim around in the oceans of the world. Which dragons could fly over if they actually existed. 

So I thought it would be fun to share some fun facts about dragons and octopuses. Let’s start with dragons, because the facts about them are mostly fictional.

* Some believe that cartographers hic sunt dracones, i.e., “the dragons are here,” or “here are dragons,” to mark dangerous or unexplored territories, possibly in imitation of the sometimes medieval practice of putting sea serpents and other mythological creatures in the blank areas of maps. 

 * Some people believe that spitting cobras inspired the legends of fire breathing dragons. And that skeletons of dinosaurs and crocodiles also fed the myths and lore.

* Anthropologist, David E. Jones (not a relative) believes that our instinctive fear of snakes, birds of prey and snakes inspired our fear of dragons and could explain why most cultures have some form of dragon lore. 

If you would like to read more about dragons, visit the Wikipedia page. I certainly found out some things I did not know. 

Okay, I could post lots about octopuses because they actually exist. But I’ll try to limit myself to four:

* Octopuses have no skeleton, allowing them to squeeze into very small spaces.

* They swim very fast, but lack stamina to swim for long periods at high speed.

* They are very smart, but short lived (probably good for us!). 

* All octopuses are venomous but only one is dangerous to humans. 

If you’d like to read more about octopuses, you can visit the Wikipedia page here. 

After researching them for Specters in the Storm, I’ve become quite fond of dragons and octopuses. Did you learn anything new?

Perilously yours,


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