There are tons of tales of dragons. But where did they come from? What inspired people to tell of deadly scaly beasts? Especially since the tales of dragons original from around the world, what could inspire so many people to tell of dragons?
Personally, I think this is obvious.
People found large and huge bones in various places. What the did not have was a concept that this could be something other than a contemporary species. Then you get a series of questions:
Why don't we see them?
Because they hide. And do so well.
Why do we see only bones, not corpses?
Well, they must have fire inside them that burns up their flesh when they die.
Are there several different species?
Does their fire come out at other times?
Maybe. I think the legends vary.
Can I kill one?
Only if your name is George. :-)
Well, in the 17th or 18th century (I think), somebody worked out these were fossils. Now we call them dinosaurs.
I think if you take a Brontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Pterodactyl and combine them judiciously, you will get a European Dragon.