Dragons and Dinosaurs: The Link between Folklore and Fossils

Supposedly, dinosaurs died off about 65 million years ago, long before humans evolved. Yet evidence suggesting that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time abound. So which is it?

There’s a wealth of ancient artwork from around the world depicting dinosaurs and/ or dragons; there are also written accounts of these terrible creatures interacting with people, and there’s no shortage of natives from South America and Africa- still living- who have reportedly seen some of these creatures with their own eyes. We also have access to ancient writings describing these amazing creatures, including the Biblical passage of Job.

Based on such evidence, it’s no wonder there are many scientists who support the claim that dinosaurs and humans coexisted since the beginning (at least until fairly recently). Nonetheless, there are many who have no interest in accepting these claims because it contradicts their worldview. Instead, they try to dismiss the evidence in favor of evolutionary dogma.

Adrienne Mayor, a professor at Stanford University, is one who has sought to explain away all the dragon legends and dinosaur sightings as nothing more than imagination. She attempts to make the case that her explanation is the right one, and she’s hoping to influence children with her exhibits and illustrated book. More specifically, she’d like to convince us that ancient people dug up dinosaur fossils, figured out what they looked like, then made up stories and legends and artwork.

But I’d make the case that a better explanation is the simplest and most obvious; namely that ancient people- and perhaps some modern humans- have seen living dinosaurs with their own eyes. I think this is more believable than to suggest that ancient people dug up fossils and began embellishing myths.

Consider the evidence. Do we find ancient museums with dinosaur bones? No. Where are the writings of the ancient paleontologists describing such discoveries? There are none. And why haven’t modern humans become aware of dinosaur fossils until fairly recently? If the ancient world knew about dinosaurs long ago, then our knowledge of these marvelous beasts should span thousands of years… but it doesn’t.

To her point, Mayor suggests that the legend of the gryphon was perpetuated by Scythian gold miners who came across fossils of a Protoceratops, which was considered abundant at that time. Intriguing, but I don’t see a strong resemblance between a gryphon and a Protoceratops. That’s quite a stretch, and I think such an idea takes more imagination than accepting the idea that dinosaurs died out recently, and that some people actually saw them alive.


The vast majority of ancient artwork depicting dinosaurs and dragons are complete with flesh, scales and frills; rarely do we see drawings of fossils. If Mayor is correct, I’d expect to find ample evidence of such fossils throughout human history, but we don’t. Now, that’s not to say ancient people never stumbled upon dinosaur bones. We can be fairly certain they did; the ancient Chinese, for example, refer to dragon bones, so it’s possible these objects were true dinosaur bones, which means that people have been finding dinosaur fossils for thousands of years without knowing what they really were.

Modern man seems to be way behind, as we consider curator Robert Plot to be one of the first persons to discover a dinosaur bone. He drew and described a thigh bone from England in 1676 that some believe was a Megalosaurus. Then, in 1815, William Buckland found the bones of another Megalosaurus in England. In 1822, Mary Ann and Gideon Mantell found large teeth in England, believed to be from a large, extinct iguana, so it was named Iguanodon. Today we give credit to Sir Richard Owen for coining the term dinosaur in 1842.

I have no doubt that ancient people would have had access to dinosaur fossils, which could have spurred some fancy stories. But I find it highly doubtful that all dragon legends and myths are based on 65 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur bones. That’s what Mayor must believe. I think it’s more likely that the vast majority of dinosaur/ dragon artwork is based on encounters people had with living dinosaurs. And it’s a shame that Mayor is writing a children’s book in an effort to cast doubt upon this. But evolutionists must do so in order to preserve the narrative that dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago.

Mayor claims that the evidence I’ve referred to doesn’t prove that humans actually coexisted with dinosaurs, but let’s be clear; neither do her claims prove that humans didn’t coexist with dinosaurs. The evidence is overwhelming that they did, and I think the idea that humans coexisted with dinosaurs is the best explanation.

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