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In some cultures, they are also said to be capable of human speech.

The blood of the dragon in Beowulf has acidic qualities, allowing it to seep through iron.

A dragon-like creature with wings but only a single pair of legs is known as a wyvern.

There is a modern tendency to depict dragons with back legs only and using their wings (walking on the carpal joints) as front legs, as it is thought that pterosaurs did.

An example is Smaug as depicted in the film version of The Hobbit by Tolkien.

The association of the serpent with a monstrous opponent overcome by a heroic deity has its roots in the mythology of the Ancient Near East, including Canaanite (Hebrew, Ugaritic), Hittite and Mesopotamian.

Narratives about dragons often involve their being killed by a hero. The motif is continued in Greek Apollo, and the early Christian narratives about Michael the Archangel and Saint George.

This topos can be traced to the Chaoskampf of the mythology of the Ancient Near East (e.g. The slaying of Vrtra by Indra in the Rigveda also belongs in this category.

Dragons are often held to have major spiritual significance in various religions and cultures around the world.