Dragons and wyverns are essentially the same creature. The distinction between a dragon and a wyvern is based on nothing more than where the word comes from. One of the earliest versions of this story says that Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I’s secretary, invented both words as a cover-up for his real invention: the ice cream sundae. In a letter to two monks in 1569 he wrote:
“I have devised an astonishing, unheard of candyery which I call an ‘ice’, made up with wine instead of water and diverse sweetmeats ground into snow together while frozen; and thus can be prepared what we call among us ‘dragone’, or in other languages ‘wyvern’ and other marvels.”
Dragons can breathe fire and wyverns cannot.
Generally, dragons are depicted as being much larger than wyverns, while the wings of a wyvern are attached to its front legs (most dracoforms have four appendages) rather than to the sides of their bodies like a bat’s wings. The tail also has many less or no bones, and is more flexible than the thicker necks of many drakes. The word “wyvern” itself comes from Latin terms meaning “to watch”, which is another reference to how it usually keeps its vigilance in one spot with little movement compared to true dragons who tend to be more roaming creatures.
Dragons are quadrupeds, while wyverns have only two legs.
Wyverns are much smaller in size than dragons, and they also have more pronounced appearances with spiky scales and facial features like tusk-like teeth in the jaw area. A dragon’s body can be covered with many different types of scales for example: smooth scales called osteodermis when it has an outside armor layer or calcareous plates that covers the end of its tail. Wyverns almost always retain their ancestral reptilian plating on the skull as well as scutes on its back and belly which extends to a wing ridge down its side to terminate at the heel. The ridges which extend onto one another along the belly is the reason why wyverns’ hides are hardened and thickened to provide protection against physical attacks. When dragons grow they shed their scales so new bigger ones keep growing underneath. But this never happens with wyverns because of these ridges are fused together to form one solid surface, excluding the wings.
Dragons breathe fire, wyverns are a type of dragon that were made into spiders by an evil wizard.
Dragons are usually described as winged, four-legged creatures that breathe fire. Wyverns are traditionally two-legged and said to possess poison rather than fire.
Dragons and Wyverns are similar creatures, the only difference is that wyverns have only two legs while dragons have four.
The appearance of a dragon or Wyvern is very inconsistent in art and literature they often share similarities with many types of living animals such as snakes, lizards, birds, cats and monkeys so it’s not always easy keeping track. Hatching from an egg-like structure called an “aulacosphinx,” they resemble either wingless dragons or wyverns without tails – this fact often leads people to mistakenly identify them as being one type of creature or another depending on which detail they hone in on.
Dragons and wyverns are often shown as inherently evil or dangerous, which is not always the case – some cultures consider them wise teachers while others simply consider them dangerous beasts.
Dragons and wyverns share many similar traits, but can be quite different in some aspects – they are both born from the Aulacosphinx (which is hatched from an egg-like structure), but one has four legs and wings while the other only has two.
The difference between a wyvern and a dragon is that the wyvern does not have wings. This is due to the fact that dragons grow into wingless adults, whereas wyverns are born with wings but will lose their wings eventually.
Wyrms are often depicted without wings while dragons do posses them – like most myths, this discrepancy likely comes from regional folklore. Egyptians depicted one of their fabled gods as wingless and serpentine while in many other Middle Eastern cultures they were more conventionally beastly creatures with giant bat-like appendages jutting out of their backsides. Dragons also seem to be more prevalent in Asia than anywhere else where they were typically described as being able to spit fire and fly in addition to their more beastly and reptilian features.
In Scandinavian mythology, wyverns are called “Vyrm” and there they remain the same concepts as in Western folklore – vile serpentine creatures with wings who were sent by Satan or Loki to terrorize people.
The two terms are often used interchangeably, despite a superficial difference in whether one has large front legs and the other does not. In medieval European mythology, the Wyvern was considered to just be another term for dragon or drake. Whereas the draco or dragon usually has four wings (as seen in Draconis iauraurantia), some depictions show it with only two on its back; though they have been perceived as having two forelegs and six hind when shown lying down, but it is more commonly depicted without any front appendages at all. On this account, sometimes the word refers to Western dragons and traditional descriptions of dragons from Eastern cultures such as Chinese and Japanese mythology where they do not have wings.
The etymology of the word “wyvern” comes from wivere in Old English, which means serpent.
Dragons, when defined as such in literature and art, are typically shown to have four legs; wings (usually front-placed); and a tail. The Wyvern in Western Europe is usually depicted similarly with two legs and wings like the drake in Eastern Europe. However, the dragons in Eastern European cultures often do not have front legs, and sometimes have four or more wings.
The Wyvern is also often depicted as a wingless serpentine creature with two claws in the place of front legs; whereas the dragon is usually shown with four legs and wings (when they exist).
Dragons are associated with positive traits such as power and generosity, whereas wyverns are usually seen as conniving and wicked.
In most legends dragons were benevolent creatures that were intelligent, knowledgeable beings that would bestow their treasure on those who treated them well. Wyverns represent evil in these legends and might pose a threat to anyone coming too near. Dragons feature prominently in almost every culture’s folklores where they have zoomorphic features such as a reptilian tail or snake-like body, four legs (though six legs are not uncommon), wings of various types, claws for fighting or clutching prey (sometimes even feathers) tails with an arrowhead spur, wide jaws with rows of teeth occassionally flanked by a pair of horns.
Dragons are typically thought of as benevolent, whereas wyverns are not. Wyverns have a more traditionally dragon-like appearance, but dragons have far greater powers and aren’t restricted to earth.
Wyverns are evil creatures in many fantasy fiction stories that often show up to foreshadow conflict. They fly, typically with two sets of wings like most other sky animals, but they also possess a long tail which extends from their elongated segmented body like an adder’s viper’s tip on its spine or just as easily the scorpion’s eponymous stinger at the end its tail. Unlike other flying creatures such as birds and bats, wyverns usually walk on all four legs when on land. They typically don’t possess forelegs, although exceptions do exist when they posses a different number of limbs. Their heads are shaped like that of varanid lizards, viper snakes or scorpions with antler-like horns on their heads. Their eyes are the same as those of serpents. They have fangs in their mouths that are the same as those of vipers, decapitated snakes or pythons.