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In Anne McCaffrey’s The Dragons Of Pern, dragons are not seen as enemies of humankind, but protectors from a organic menace known as Thread. Each Dragon is about 30 meters long, from head to tail tip and about 8 meters tall. (This is my own opinion, not verified fact)
There are five] different types of dragons on Pern: Gold, Bronze, Brown, Blue and Green. The Queen dragons (Gold) are the only ones who can reproduce. They usually mate only with Bronze dragons, and Browns who are large and fast enough to catch them during a mating flight. The blue dragons are fairly small when compared to the bronze and brown dragons. The gold females are the largest. The smallest and most agile are the female Greens. The dragon]s can be impressed by both males and females, but are rendered infertile because of their ability to chew Firestone.
The dragons are impressed by adolescents, when they hatch. They form a telepathic bond just after the dragon hatches, which exists between the rider and his/her dragon until death. If the rider dies, the dragon dies as well by committing suicide.
Between is a place where there is nothing... not even vacuumIt is like a fold in the space/time continuum. Dragons go here when they are teleporting from place to place, but they are only there for a matter of 8 seconds, whereas if they commit suicide, they go between and do not come back.

If the dragon dies, the human usually kills him or herself by usual means, although at times the rider will survive if they have a strong personal will to live or someone prevents them from dying, but often, the loss of ones dragon sends the ex-rider insane.
The major purpose of the dragons is to destroy] Thread - A mindless organism that falls out of space from an Oort Cloud that the planet passes through every 200 years. Thread destroys any organic material it comes in contact with, and the dragons flame it in mid-air. The riders co-ordinate the attack, telepathically linked with their dragons.
Queen dragons do not flame, as their stomachs do not digest] the Firestone properly. (The stone is masticated by the dragons, then proceeds down their gullet where it produces a gas that react]s with oxygen when breathed out) The Queens instead carry a flame thrower type weapon and fly below the other dragons, flaming whatever thread passes through the wings.

Within the Weyrs there is a hierarchy system that exists to determine the leaders of the individual Weyrs. These Weyrs are, is most cases on Pern, situated in mountainous areas, that have been carved to suit the needs of the Dragons and their riders.

Each Weyr has a pair Weyrleaders who directs the Weyr], and all its occupants. The two Weyrleaders are always a male and a female. Each being a Bronze and Gold rider respectively. These two riders are what are known as the “Senior Riders”. The Weyrleader is determined by who’s male bronze dragon can mate with the senior queen of the Weyr during a mating flight.

The other bronze dragons and their riders form the “Wing Leaders” within the Weyr. When thread fall is imminent, the dragons in the weyr all teleport to the site of the fall and lead a coordinated attack. This is done by having the male Weyrleader take charge, giving orders to the Wing Leaders, who in turn, directs his wing (which usually consists of about 10 to 15 other riders). Not all Wing Leaders are bronze riders though.

Sometimes, a Brown rider may excel in leadership qualities and is given Wing Leader status. The other fighting dragons, Blues and Greens, although the smallest of the dragons, have been said to be very useful when flying an attack. Being small allows them the maneuverability that the larger dragons to not possess.
But these dragons were not originally a part of Pern’s ecology… and neither were humans. When humans first came to Pern, 2500 years before the first book was set, they came simply to colonize] the planet and become completely separated from Earth.

Children soon discovered a species that they named fire lizards. These are basically miniature dragons - alike in everyway to those mentioned above. They are about foot long, nose to tail tip.

When thread began to fall for the first time, five years or so after landing on Pern, many injuries were sustained, and people began to notice that the fire lizards disappeared every fall.

So people began to follow them and monitor what they were doing. When they realised that the fire lizards were flaming the thread, Kitti Ping (biological engineer) Began to develop embryos of the fire lizards, making them larger and smarter. When they hatched, the dragonet’s impressed the watching humans and formed the unexpected telepathic bond. As expected though, the dragons were able to perform the same duties as the smaller fire lizards. As time passed, the dragons continually evolved. In the present context of the series, the dragons are four times larger than those of the first clutch.

It should be noted that the fire lizards are actually the ancestors of the dragons of Pern. Scientists who had survived the crash on Pern quickly discovered their natural defense against the horrible Thread menace. Genetically altering the DNA of the little creatures they eventually ended up with the large beasts we read about in the books.

The lizards, after being rediscovered by the decendants of the survivors, are kept as pets. Eventually their ability to travel between is used to the advantage of their owners when they are used as messangers much like pigeons have been. The only difference of course being that the lizards teleport to their destination rather than fly the entire distance.

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