Scientists have uncovered the mystery of the murdered in the old days the shepherds of the dragon
In the scientific literature of the middle ages and Renaissance met several descriptions of dragons, supposedly actually encountered the people of that era.
American scientists decided to seriously deal with one of such dragons, a detailed report which was drawn up by the Italian scholar of the sixteenth century.
The monster, according to historians, killed the shepherds near Bologna in 1572. The Italian naturalist Ulisse, Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) — entomologist, zoologist, physician, founder of one of Europe’s first Botanic gardens, bought the corpse of the monster and put it in his Museum, writes Life.
A professional zoologist from the United States immediately saw that the head and torso of the “dragon” can only belong to the snake.
A narrow, forked at the end, the language typical of snakes and some lizards, but the scales on the belly — only for snakes. As for species, the bright “collar” indicates “relationship” of a dragon and an ordinary grass snake (Natrix Natrix). Monster’s head, however, is devoid of the characteristic of the snakes color: probably the result of a blow with a stick on the head — this way the Bologna shepherd killed the dragon.
The length of the creature, Ulisse Aldrovandi points in two Roman cubits and a diameter of two diameter of your finger (this Roman measure equal to 1.8 cm). That is, in terms of our units that: 87.4 and 4.3 cm — it is permissible for the snake parameters.
Yellow eyes and the lack of sharp teeth, as he writes, Ulisse Aldrovandi, too, resemble snakes, and scales on the neck and tail form closer to the scales of the snake, not Viper.
The middle part of the body “inflated” and did not like the snake. It can be assumed that the Taxidermist to achieve this effect with something stuffed the belly of a snake, but it’s not. Most likely, to the middle part of the body of the snake was attached a piece of the other, not so narrow animal. This is indicated by a sharp change in the type of scales on the back of a monster: they are larger and greener than the scales on the neck and tail.
Scientists think that the lower part of the belly of the snake is not touched, and instead of the back and abdomen sewed the torso of another animal.
The most likely candidate — fish, which has removed dorsal fins.
If you take the train station figures (length of the dragon — 87,4 cm) and proceed from the proportions of the figure in the book, the length of the middle part of the trunk did not exceed 20 cm, width 12.5 cm, Naturalist writes about the six “fingers” (13.1 cm). These settings correspond to several freshwater fishes of Italy: river perch and three species of the family Cyprinidae — carp, goldfish and chubs.
Train station discusses the individual black and gold flakes, that says more about the goldfish. Other Italian fish of a suitable size (tench, pike, trout) are not suitable: small scales do not correspond to the image from the book.
Left foot “dragon.” On each limb see four thin fingers without claws (judging by the bend in the front rather than the rear limbs). These paws can’t belong to the lizards (European lizards, or five, or three fingers). It seems to be suitable amphibians of Europe, but they have no scales, which is clearly spelled out by the artist in the clutches of the “dragon.” But limb common toad is covered with tubercles, which can be easily mistaken for scales.
Moreover, toad is the only amphibian of Europe, the dimensions of which correspond to the calculated train station to the proportions of the dragon.
It is interesting that, judging by some indirect evidence, Ulisse Aldrovandi knew that before him were fake, and left in the description text of the abundant hints of this.
However, suggesting to modern scholars, the right to be called “dragon” a forgery he could not allow the political situation.
The fact that the then Pope Gregory XIII was born in Bologna. It was there in the day of his election and had found a monster.
In Europe, these monsters were considered a symbol of evil, and the dragon was supposed to be a bad sign. It’s possible that “dragon” blinded the enemies of the new Pope, who sought to discredit him in the eyes of the superstitious Italians. Apparently, the train station made up the description so not to incur the wrath of the enemies of the Pope, and at the same time to make it clear to smart people that did not succumb to the deception of charlatans.