Dragon Theories

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Nice!

Ooh, that makes so much more sense than my idea!

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Let's give it a try

I believe Speed Stinger do not eat fish as their main source of food. As stated in Riders Of Berk, the Speed Stingers who don't have webbed feet are not able to swim, so they wouldn't be able to fish. I think they would eat mammals, like deer or other smaller animals instead.
They are very fast, and they'd use their venom to paralyze their prey. Also, the Speed Stinger is similar to the Velociraptor/Deinonychus/Dromaeosaurus, (and other theropod dinosaurs), so in a pack they would be great hunters.
I also have a theory that Speed Stingers migrate, that would explain why they'd have those webbed feet.

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Food Habits and Travel

I, um, actually did address diet at the top of the post when I stated we already knew a lot about Speed Stingers thanks to the franchise. (I also addressed the whole Speed Stingers being like "Speed Stingers being like Dromoaesaurs" thing and...they're more like Jurassic Park movie monstsers than actual Dromoasesaurs such as Velociraptor. But the "running in packs" part is true for both the real ones and the movie monsters, definitely.) When it comes to diet, it's a question the franchise has already answered. It's stated that the Speed Stinger is a scavenger. So they don't really hunt or fish. We see in the show that they just use their stinging to paralyze beings from whom they censored food away, and they tend to split up when scavenging to do this. Packs seem to be more for breeding, shelter, protection, and companionship than hunting. They may possibly hunt land animals when food is scarce, but given how fast they run and the fact that one Speed Stinger has the power to freeze dragons as big as a Monstrous Nightmare, there's really no reason for them to hunt in groups. And all of their behavior when attacking Berk does not actually suggest they do much hunting at all. I mean, I know it's a kid's show, but they still raid a human village and manage not to kill a single human but instead freeze them all so they could get into all their food stashes. Honestly, the fact that they call them "scavengers" is surprisingly consistent and logical, given their stated abilities and how Dragons has them behave in the show.

 

That said, I do think you're right that they don't eat a lot fish. Speed Stingers can't swim, and even the ones with webbed feet can't stop running once they're on water or they'll sink, so even if there's dead fish floating in the water, the Speed Stinger normally has no way to reach it. And besides, if you're a terrestrial scavenger, you're just not going to come across a lot of fish lying around for you to snat.ch up. I bet they'll be more than happy to eat fish if they get the chance, however. (I wonder in Berk's fish stores was a rare treat for them during their raid.)

 

As for migrating, possibly. Most Speed Stingers travel by ice floes, and ice floes do grow and shrink with the changes in the year, so Speed Stingers could travel when the ice is thick and long and head north again before it melts. Speed Stingers with webbed feet probably have a similar system but don't rely on ice floes for it. Scavengers who are impervious cold aren't commonly migrators, but if there are other common food sources for them that also migrate, even scavengers need to be where the rest of the animals are. I think rather than migrating, however, their journeys from island to island are more likely about finding more food to scavenge rather than being in any set destination. Scavengers generally have to cover a wide range in order to find fairly fresh carcasses, which is not always really conducive to island living if you can't fly. Therefore, it's best to have some method for island hopping if that's your diet.

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Tracking! :3

Can't wait to see more theories. I like how you take realistic animal biology and combine it with what you observe about each (HTTYD) dragon. These theories should be on the wikia. :)

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Thank you!

Aw, thanks, snowflake! That means a lot to hear you say. ^_^

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Hobblegrunt Theories

Hobblegrunt Theories

 

Here are Hobblegrunt theories as requested by Soulofthefoxy! And hey, look, I got them out on time! Yay! *sighs happily* This species was fun! XD

 

...So I'd just like to point out that if you Google "Hobblegrunt theories," you will get so many results about how the Hobblegrunt in School of Dragons is not a Hobblegrunt, how it could be a Hobblegrunt subspecies, how it's actually a Threadtail, ect. SoD forum, you have officially ruined Hobblegrunt theories. XD

 

But anyway, here's some actual theories.

 

Theory 1: Hobblegrunts turn blue when sad, orange or pale when afraid, and green or brown when lethargic. We know Hobblegrunts change colors based on their moods and emotions, like a living mood ring, and we know that when they are yellow, they are happy; when they are purple, they are curious; and when they are red, they are angry. But there's a lot of other colors available and a lot of other emotions. So I've theorized what other colors they might turn into, and what those colors mean.

 

Blue would be the obvious color for sadness..."I'm feeling blue" and that sort of thing. Considering this is DreamWorks, I feel like the "obvious" answer works here. Since it has blue spots when purple, I also think it would have purple spots when blue.

 

Now a tired or sick feeling - the lethargy state - I think would be best as light green or brown. A sleeping Hobblegrunt is at its most vulnerable, so it would be best if it turned a camouflaging color with its environment. Based on Hobblegrunt Island, either green or brown would be suitable. Also, since it has green spots when yellow, I think it would have yellow spots when green.

 

Fear and stress would need to be an alarming color since Hobblegrunts are probably social animals (Theory 13) and would need to communicate the presence of a threat, so out of the available colors, I think orange or white/pale coloration would be best, something easy to spot. If it's orange, it can even be a spectrum: it starts out yellow when happy, turns orange as it becomes alarmed, and then it becomes aggressive/defensive and turns to red. I also think it's spots are probably orange when it's red, and the spots may be red when it turns orange.

 

Theory 2: Hobblegrunts eat fish and fish for them by skimming the water. We know the Hobblegrunt can eat fish. We see the Hobblegrunt eat fish in the second movie. Or rather, we see the entire Bewilderbeast flock, including at least two Hobblegrunts (Gruff and at least one sighted one), being fed saltwater fish (probably herring) by Valka's Bewilderbeast himself, so we know that's what they're eating while living in the sanctuary. But many dragons who eat this way in the sanctuary don't necessarily eat that way normally when left to their own devices. So what makes me think fish is normally the main staple of a Hobblegrunt's diet? Hobblegrunt Island.

 

Before I get any further, let me just say that, yes, I know Hobblegrunt Island is in School of Dragons, and yes, I know School of Dragons' Hobblegrunt models are actually Threadtails. But from what I can tell, their information regarding Hobblegrunts is still correct, even if their model isn't, so I will be using information and quests from the game for theories. So, anyway, back to things!

 

In School of Dragons, Hobblegrunt Island is so named because Hobblegrunts nest there. Their nests are located in an evergreen tree stand with the nests dug out of sandy soil, but they are located right next to a beach with a prominent fishing area. Now this is probably done for plot/quest convenience in School of Dragons so we could fight the Dragon Hunter ships, but even so, it's canon now for the Hobblegrunt nests to be located there. And for how small the islands are in this game (they are tiny), this is still pretty close to the ocean. The Snaptrapper and trapped Hideous Zippleback on Zippleback Island in the same expansion pack were deep inland, and the Scuttleclaw nesting grounds on the frozen Scuttleclaw Island are pretty far from the shore given the island's size. Even Bandit the Armorwing was located kind of inland in the game on Armorwing Island. The Hobblegrunts, on the other hand, are right by the sea. This leads me to believe they do, in fact, readily hunt ocean fish as a mainstay of their diet, if not as the only component in their diet. Long necks and long snouts are also very common in seabirds and waterfowl for scooping fish, which the Hobblegrunt has. Not to mention it has that huge underbite with that shovel-shaped lower jaw and pointy, fence-like teeth that are pretty useless for chewing or tearing since their front teeth don't slide over each other like scissors, so it probably scoops fish up into its jaws and then swallows them whole.

 

So how does it fish? At first I thought they were waders. These dragons are known for being great sprints with powerful legs, and in terms of flying, while they are extremely agile and can accelerate on a dime, their speed is lacking, having about the same speed stat as a Gronckle. But it was actually Soulofthefoxy who presented me with a different, and I think better, theory, by comparing Hobblegrunts to a water bird called the black skimmer. The black skimmer flies near the water's surface with its beak open and its lower mandible skimming the water. When a fish ends up in its beak, it snaps the beak shut. With its huge shovel-like lower jaw and the extreme sensory skills of its vibrating frill, the Hobblegrunt may very well employ a similar technique, skimming the water with their huge lower mandible and using their frill to know the exact moment when to snap the fish up.

 

I think it's also possible for the Hobblegrunt to prey on crustaceans and shellfish, too, as supplements to their fish diet. It has some incredibly strong jaws compared to other dragons, with a jaw strength stat that ranks up there with the "vice-like jaws" of the Strike Class and just a step below the jaw strength of the rock-eaters. This jaw strength would be good for breaking open shells and exoskeletons. Molluscs and echinoderms also potential prey items. Even small turtles are a possibility.

 

Theory 3: The Hobblegrunt's tailfin is a large part of why they are so extremely agile in the air and keep their balance when running. It was actually Soulofthefoxy who suggested the first half of this this theory, not me, but I wholeheartedly agree. While very a very slow flyer for a dragon, Hobblegrunts are extremely agile in the air or on the ground while sprinting, and I think their long tails and tailfins are one of the main reasons for this agility. Much like Toothless with his missing tailfin, a Hobblegrunt with a damaged tailfin would be compromised in flight, and possibly even in running.

 

Theory 4: Hobblegrunts don't necessarily mate for life. Again, since we don't see any dragons in HTTYD mating for life, I'm assuming most don't.

 

Theory 5: Hobblegrunts use a lot of visual signals for social communication, as well as communicate with their vibrating frills. We know Hobblegrunts can sense and even influence other's moods with their frills, so they can pick up on each other's moods in social situations very easily, but I also think they use a lot of visual signals for communication. This is because they change color with their emotions. Changing color based on your mood rather than because of camouflage or something like that is disadvantageous when hiding oneself from predators and rivals, but it is very useful when trying communicate to an individual of the same species. Since they rely on their eyes for this particular communication, they probably use visual signalling for a lot of their communication.

 

Theory 6: Hobblegrunts have extremely strong eyesight. It's always a good idea to think that, like most birds, most dragons have good eyesight since this is a common feature in birds for use in flight and color display, but we have particularly strong reasons to think the Hobblegrunt may have strong vision, especially color vision. For a Hobblegrunt to constantly pick up on visual cues, especially ones like color changes, it probably has strong eyesight.

 

Theory 7: A Hobblegrunt's blind spot is in front and just underneath their chin. Hobblegrunts have quite a huge chin, and I'm pretty sure they can't really see in front of it. But I also think the Hobblegrunt would still be able to sense you even if you went out of its vision range. A simple vibration from its frill would let it know something was there. So while you may find a Hobblegrunt's blind spot, it'd be useless to actually try hiding in it.

 

Theory 8: Hobblegrunts are diurnal. Hobblegrunts communicate their moods through color changes. Color is something difficult to see in the dark even with animals that posses strong night vision. Color displays are most useful during the day time, so I think it's safe to bet that the Hobblegrunt is diurnal.

 

Theory 9: Hobblegrunts can tolerate extremely cold temperatures. In the Dragons: Riders of Berk comic Volume 2, "The Ice Castle" and the Dragons: Defenders of Berk comic Volume 2, "Snowmagedden," it's revealed that many dragon species can't fly long distances in the extreme cold of arctic regions such as the Northlands and Chilblain. We know there are exceptions, such as the ice breathers like the Snow Wraith and Groncicle, and even some other dragons like the Skrill and Scuttleclaw, who are able to handle even the coldest temperatures, but for the most part, it's shown that dragons can survive very cold temperatures but can't thrive in them or take long flights. Dragons: Rise of Berk has evidence to suggest that the Hobblegrunt is another one of these cold-tolerant exceptions. During an event, the dragon could be found at the Frosttip Peaks, a location in Rise of Berk usually only reserved for cold-loving dragons like the Frozen Groncicle and Coldsnap the Armorwing.

 

Theory 10: Hobblegrunts impress mates through aerial acrobatics and bringing "treasure" to them. As mentioned before, SouloftheFoxy compared this dragon's behavior to that of the black skimmer, a bird that skims the water with its beak to catch fish. They also posses other behaviors that may fit with Hobblegrunts. To attract a mate, male black skimmers will bring their perspective mates a suitable fish that she will judge. Black skimmers also perform aerial "fly-bys" for potential mates, which the Hobblegrunt's great agility and astonishing acceleration would be great for. It makes sense that this acrobatics while flying would be for mating purposes since Hobblegrunts seems to be just as much runners as they are flyers and would probably not need this great agility and acceleration otherwise.

 

Theory 11: Hobblegrunts nest near beaches to be near their food source. In School of Dragons, we see a Hobblegrunt nesting ground on Hobblegrunt Island that sits near the sea. It's an interesting place to put the eggs because it leaves them out in a more open space more available to predators, as opposed to being placed in a forest further inland, but I think they are placed there so the nest mothers can be near their main food source, fish from the sea to feed themselves and their young when they hatch. Their group nesting decreases the dangers that might come with this nesting system.

 

Theory 12: Young Hobblegrunts reach full size quickly. Unless stated otherwise, I'm just going to keep theorizing all dragons grow up very quickly.

 

Theory 13: Hobblegrunts spend at least half of their time on the ground. Hobblegrunts are very agile flyers with excellent acceleration, but despite this, they are super slow flyers. But more interesting is the fact that they are great runners and sprinters. For them to have evolved this trait, running must have served them well for survival, which means that even if they fish by flying, they must spend a significant amount of time running around on the ground.

 

Theory 14: Hobblegrunts are social creatures that live in packs. There's a number of things that we can use for evidence for this. For one thing, Hobblegrunts are Stoker Class dragons, and Stoker Class dragons are often highly social dragons, with dragons including the pack-flocking Terrible Terrors, Fireworms, Night Terrors, Singetails, and Flame Whippers. It's not a stretch to assume the Hobblegrunt has similar pack-like tendencies. Second, we see Hobblegrunts nesting in a group in School of Dragons on a Hobblegrunt nesting ground. And beyond that, the Hobblegrunt traits themselves suggest strong sociability. They change color to match their emotions, a valuable social communication tool. Hobblegrunts must therefore live in social settings where sharing their mood with others may strengthen bonds and prevent conflict. This also explains how they evolved the ability to sense each other's moods and even how they came to figure out how to influence them. They can tell another Hobblegrunt exactly how they feel, and they can calm down a situation when a fight is about to break out among them or rile everyone up when their flock needs protecting. It's practically a form of telepathic communication. The coordination a pack of Hobblegrunts must have must be impressive!

 

Theory 15: The Hobblegrunt only flies at about 55 miles per hour (88.5 km/h) at it's average top speed. The Hobblegrunt has a Speed stat equal to that of a Gronckle and Hotburple: 4. It's basically one of the slowest dragons in the whole franchise. But I have reason to believe I know just how fast that is. But in order to explain, I must first explain a theory on the Speed stat.

 

Now, in the DreamWorks companion book How to Train Your Dragon 2: Dragon Race! by Cordelia Evans, the average racing speeds for Toothless, Stormfly, Meatlug, Hookfang, and Barf & Belch were all given, and these varying speeds to do not match their stats. But since it's for these specific dragons, training and endurance may have an influence here. This brings up a good point about dragon speeds. Despite a dragon having a better top speed, an average speed can be very different based on endurance and circumstances. Now based on the fact that the stats mention the Skrill's speed on lightning, we're given to believe that the stats measure top speed, not average speed. So these average racing speeds don't actually tell us the speeds shown in the stats...except for maybe one dragon: the Gronckle.

 

Gronckles seem fly at pretty much a single speed, whether pacing themselves or going at full speed, and they are known for endurance, so it's not unreasonable to assume that their Speed statistic of 4 is also Meatlug's average racing speed. (Meatlug may be a bit faster than a wild Gronckle due to endurance training, but Fishlegs doesn't seem like an intense trainer and would work more on strategy, and wild Gronckles normally don't have to carry 300 pounds of extra weight on their backs, so I'm assuming the difference between Meatlug's top speed and that of a wild Gronckle negligible.) So if a Speed statistic of 4 equals a top speed of about 55 mph (88.5 km/h), that means the Hotburple and Hobblegrunt also have a top speed of 55 mph. And yes, that seems pretty slow compared to the speeds we've seen in these dragons in this franchise, and it also seems pretty slow when compared to our ability to travel by car today, but when you compare it to getting around on foot or by horse or boat, that's still pretty dang fast. And it still puts them about on-par with many bird species. And seeing as the Hobblegrunt accelerates on a dime, it probably flies at about the 55 mph threshold pretty consistently.

 

Theory 16: The Hobblegrunt can run about 43 miles per hour, and while its sprints are most impressive, it can also run for long distances. The Hobblegrunt is described as a dinosaur-like dragon, and so I looked at both modern-day dinosaurs (birds) and extinct dinosaurs for some inspiration. The extant dinosaur (or modern bird) the Hobblegrunt seems to most closely resemble for me in terms of anatomy (not necessarily behavior) is the ostrich. It has the signature long neck, long legs, upright posture, and fast sprinting ability. In terms of extinct dinosaurs, the dinosaur it most reminds me of is the Ornithomimus, an ostrich-like dinosaur from the area that is now North America. Ornithomimus was a theropod (bipedal dinosuars with hollow bones and three-toned hind feet, like T-rex) that had fluffy feathers, and extremely long legs and neck. Its beak seems to indicate an omnivorous diet, and large eyes indicate keen eyesight. But its the long, strong legs that caught paleontologists' attention. This dinosaur was a runner, made for rapid locomotion. As it just so happens, because of their similar biology, a lot of theories on Ornithomimus behavioral traits are based on the modern ostrich. The ostrich can run at about 43 miles per hour, and the Ornithomimus is thought to have roughly the same speed. But not only can they run fast and sprint; the ostrich can actually run for a long time, and likewise, Ornithomimus to thought to have had great endurance as well. We already know from canon data that Hobblegrunts are fast sprinters and make for strong infantry and ground attackers, but I think comparing the Hobblegrunt to these animals gives us a good idea at just how fast it might run and how much stamina it actually has. If this theory is correct, than the Hobblegrunt can run faster than that of a horse and has a running speed that's not that much slower than its top flying speed. It can also run for fairly long distances.

 

Theory 17: Hobblegrunts have bird-like mannerisms and bond with their riders resembles how pet birds bond with their owners. Hobblegrunts are described as a dinosaur-like dragon, and the only dinosaur we have any real-world exposure to, outside of fossils, is the modern bird. The mannerisms of the Hobblegrunts in How to Train Your Dragon 2 do seem consistent with both bird mannerisms and reptilian mannerisms, a mixture commonly seen in cinematic dinosaurs of the last few decades ever since Jurassic Park was released in 1993. But it's thought that while pet reptiles come to enjoy their human's handling, with the exception of alligators, they likely don't "bond" with their owners. Birds, however, are highly intelligent and social creatures who do form social bonds and have complex behaviors that communicate emotion. Birds often flee, freeze, crouch, or widen their eyes when afraid, tense, or alarmed. Angry birds may puff themselves up, spread their wings to look bigger, and hiss or growl. Some birds bark or chatter when excited. Some birds hum or purr when happy. Pet birds show affection by cuddling and like scratches. Head snaking or bobbing are a behaviors that may be used as a threat but is more commonly seen as an invitation; bird owners often know it as a bid for attention. Birds who have experienced a loss are thought to demonstrate "grieving" behaviors by shutting down, being in active, refusing food, and/or sometimes making sad cries. Now these are all general behaviors, not all birds do them, and some may be more species-specific than others, but overall, these seem to be behaviors the Hobblegrunt may partake in.

 

(Birds will also "click," but the ability to do this is associated with their beak, so I don't think the lipped, toothed Hobblegrunt with the huge overbite would be able to do this.)

 

Theory 18: The Hobblegrunt is the perfect dragon for anyone with a fear of dragons and the best therapy dragon. Calm, sweet dragons like the Gronckle and Hotburple are probably great for the new dragon trainer who is fearful of dragons or the person in need of some good old-fashioned animal therapy, but the Hobblegrunt would be the ultimate therapy animal. This is because it's able to use its vibrating frill to influence the moods of those around it, so if it meets a flustered, frantic, or fearful person, it can use its frill to send out a calming, soothing signal. I think it's the perfect emotional assistant for those suffering from phobias, chronic stress, anxiety attacks and/or mental disorders like PTSD.

 

Theory 19: The Hobblegrunt's closest relative is the Threadtail, followed by the Thornridge, Prickleboggle, Windstriker, and Devilish Dervish. The Hobblegrunt's basic anatomy and model is similar to that of the Prickleboggle, Thornridge, Windstriker, Devilish Dervish, and dragons of that nature, with the Threadtail being the dragon most similar in appearance and therefore likely being its closest relative, perhaps close enough to hybridize. The Shivertooth, Razorwhip, and Raincutter also both have traits similar to some of these dragons in this group that suggest they are also related, though more distantly.

 

Theory 20: The Hobblegrunt species was first discovered on Hobblegrunt Island during Dragons: Race to the Edge after Season 1 Episode 4, "When Darkness Falls" and before Season 3 Episode 7 "To Heather or Not to Heather." When confronted with HTTYD2 species, we often have to wonder when the dragon was discovered. We know some, like the Stormcutter, were already known to the Vikings of Berk while others, like Bewilderbeast, were newly introduced to them. But where does the Hobblegrunt fall in all this? Was this a new species to Hiccup when he met his mother, or had he or his people encountered it before?

 

You may remember in my Shovelhelm theories thread that I assumed that Hiccup knew most, if not all, of the dragon species in Valka's sanctuary. This is because Hiccup shows little surprise at them outside of the Bewilderbeast, the one dragon we know for sure is new to him. This led me to believe that most, if not all, the other dragons in the sanctuary were ones Hiccup had already encountered either in his reading or possibly even in person.

 

Nevertheless, various information in the franchise has told us that a lot of these species are fairly new or at the very least have little information on them. The Raincutter is one where Fishlegs states we "need to learn more." So is the Scuttleclaw. And so is the Hobblegrunt. So if this dragon is new, when was it discovered?

 

We know that Fishlegs has, in multiple Dragons media, including HTTYD2's Blu-Ray, called the Hobblegrunt the "most recent addition to the Stoker Class" (note: the Flame Whipper was discovered after HTTYD2 and therefore does not count for this), so what does that mean? Well, it just means all the other Stoker Class dragons were added before it was added. The Stoker Class dragons, sans Hobblegrunt and Flame Whipper, include the Monstrous Nightmare, Terrible Terror, Red Death, Fireworm, Typhoomerang, Night Terror, Singetail, Moldruffle, and Silver Phantom. Most of these were established as being known dragons; we know the Nightmare, Terrible Terror, Fireworm, and Singetail were known prior by the Vikings before meeting them in the franchise, the Moldruffle's time of discovery hasn't been confirmed but it was released before Race to the Edge came out, and the Typhoomerang and Night Terror were seen to be discovered in the franchise. This makes the Night Terror is the latest unique discovery of that lot. So according to Fishlegs' statement, this means that the Hobblegrunt has to have been found after Dragon's Edge's discovery, which means it must be discovered after the fourth episode of Race to the Edge, which is when Night Terrors were discovered.

 

Okay, so we know it had to have been discovered after Episode 4, "When Darkness Falls," but was it discovered by Berkian Vikings before Valka introduces Gruff to Hiccup in HTTYD2? Well, actually, yes, I think there's evidence that it was! In School of Dragons, Hobblegrunts on Hobblegrunt Island are part of the quests in the Battle for the Edge expansion pack (and some of the other expansions as well, but Battle for the Edge is the first one chronologically). Due to how these events line up, the events of "Battle For the Edge" have to happen after the Race to the Edge Season 2 Episode 13, "Maces and Talons, Part 2" and before Season 3 Episode 7 "To Heather or Not to Heather," as it takes place after the Dragon Eye has been stolen by Viggo but before Heather has joined the Dragon Riders on Dragon's Edge. So that means Hobblegrunts were discovered was during the early summer months before the summer solstice when Hiccup was 19 years old in between Season 1 Episode 4 and Season 3 Episode 7 of Race to the Edge. In terms of the School of Dragons timeline, that's after "Call of the Death Song" but before "Battle for the Edge." And in terms of the movies - based on the seasons mentioned in the show and for the second film - that's about a little over year before the events of HTTYD2.

 

And there is more than enough evidence to prove that Drago's employed dragon trappers knew about Hobblegrunts before they were encountered in HTTYD2. After all, Gruff was rescued from a dragon trap, and in Dragons: Rise of Berk, one of the dragons rescued from one of Drago's traps is another Hobblegrunt. It seems unlikely that the trappers would know about this dragon without the Berkians also knowing about it.

 

Now, I can already see the arguments against this theory, so let me address them:

 

Counter argument 1: Valka called Gruff a Hobblegrunt, so how did she know the species name if it was discovered by Berkians while she was not present? Valka rescued dragons from dragon trappers and hunters regularly, including one of her Hobblegrunts, the blind Gruff. She could have easily picked up the species name from overhearing trappers speak it. Trappers could have gotten the name by association with Viggo's Dragon Hunters, who could have easily discovered the name from the Dragon Riders or vice versa. In fact, the Dragon Hunters and Dragon Riders both could have learned the name from the Dragon Eye, since it is possible that Hobblegrunt Island was discovered before the Dragon Eye was stolen by Viggo. (In fact, if I had to take a guess, I think that's the Dragon Eye is the most likely plot device for the characters discovering Hobblegrunts and Hobblegrunt Island.) Either way, it's perfectly reasonable for Valka to have learned the name from other people, even if it was named while she was away from Berk.

 

Counter argument 2: School of Dragons' plot line has contradictions to the series and therefore isn't canon and can't be used as evidence. First, the definition of canon is anything the creators have made, so yes, it is canon. However, I admit canon is not always consistent, and the HTTYD franchise is one of those franchises with an annoying amount of contradictions. And School of Dragons is the source of a lot of them. So while the game is canon, there are things in it that don't agree with other parts of canon that might be considered "higher" forms of canon, like the movies and show. But here's the thing; up to this point, I have used all game evidence that is in agreement with the rest of the franchise for my theories, only tossing out the bits that contradict, and so I'm just keeping to the pattern here. If you want to call this cherry-picking, that's fine - it sort of is, admittedly - but if we throw out the games for contradictions, then we'd have to throw out anything else that contradicts the movies, too, including the TV and Netflix show, because there are so many things inconsistent between that series and the movies. (Heck, there's a lot of things inconsistent about the series within itself.) I fully understand the sentiment to see anything that contradicts the main movies as company-approved fanfiction - in fact, that is how I view a lot of the inconsistent plotlines like the show's Hiccstrid plot - but for most information, I instead choose to view the whole canon as one entity and, when there's a contradiction, appeal to the movies or those bits of canon that are closest to the movies as the higher correct authority. Ergo, School of Dragons expansion packs are storylines I will include in canon and try to fit into the timeline as best I can. (And yes, the show and games have collectively "broken" the timeline, but...I'm trying here.)

 

So there you: the evidence supports the idea that the Hobblegrunt was discovered during the events of Season 1-3 of Race to the Edge between the fourth episode and the thirty-third episode, and all evidence to the contrary can be easily explained or is just a matter of how you view canon.

 

Theory 21: Hobblegrunts are on the island northwest of the Isle of Night. Okay, while the games have given us home locations for the Hobblegrunt (Hobblegrunt Island in School of Dragons and Skullien Island in Dragons: Rise of Berk), we almost never see Hobblegrunts on all of the official Dragons maps I can find in the movies, show, websites, and merchandise. Almost. There is a Hobblegrunt on the official Race to the Edge Google map accessed through the official website online, and it sits north of the Isle of Night and west of the unnamed island that also lies north of the Isle of Night.

 

Now the Isle of Night is one we talked about before with the Stormcutter, and we don't get anything Hobblegrunts in everything we've seen on it. It features in Dragons: Riders of Berk, but no dragons are seen there at that time. It is a search location in Dragons: Rise of Berk, but Hobblegrunt eggs can't be obtained on that search. The only thing tying the Hobblegrunt to this island is its picture on this map, and technically that picture sits in the middle of the ocean next to a few islands, with no line indicating it to be part of any island. So what conclusions can we draw and what can we theorize?

 

Well, as far as conclusions, all we can conclude is that Hobblegrunts can be found nearby the picture's place on the map. That's it. But I don't think it can be found on the Isle of Night specifically, since this doesn't follow with information we've gotten about the Isle from elsewhere in the franchise. I think it's more likely that the Hobblegrunt is actually on the unnamed green island directly northwest of the Isle of Night. Other nearby islands include Outcast Island and Speed Stinger Island, but I think it's safe to say that Hobblegrunts didn't settle on these islands.

 

On top of that, on Hiccup's map in the second movie, there is no Hobblegrunt, but standing in the Hobblegrunt's place is a piece of Deadly Nadder concept art - one that gives the Nadder small front arms - with the name "Dashwing" written above it, and a line is drawn from the Dashwing to this unnamed island. Assuming the Race to the Edge map replaced the Dashwing with the Hobblegrunt, a dragon actually established in the franchise, this may mean the Hobblegrunts hails from the island indicated for the Dashwing.

 

Theory 22: The island northwest of the Isle of Night is Skullien Island and was discovered right before How to Train Your Dragon 2 and after Dragons: Race to the Edge. Skullien Island is a search location in Dragons: Rise of Berk that is the primary place to search for Hobblegrunts. Though it is based on the Island of the Skullions from the book series, which is an island in the shape of a skull with a sandbar in the shape of crossbones, we know basically nothing about Skullien Island in the franchise, its only description being "This island still holds too many secrets." If Hobblegrunts can be found here, and we are already suspecting they are on some unnamed island...why can't that unnamed island end up being Skullien Island?

 

Hiccup's map and the timeline of the Dragons: Rise of Berk game also supports this. Based on when Toothless is leveled up and quests are given, Toothless is able to search Skullien Island before Hiccup knows about Drago and before Stoick d.ies. Also, this island is part of the chain of islands that runs south to Itchy Armpit and is seen on Hiccup's map at the beginning of the second film, so he obviously discovered it before he discovered Itchy Armpit, but the lack of name indicates it was a fairly new discovery.

 

Theory 23: The Isle of Night and surrounding islands became a safe haven for dragons due to hunting pressure. Now while I have theorized where Skullien Island, a home island of Hobblegrunts, can be found, I don't think they have been there very long and may have only been there sometime in the last five years. I already explained this theory in on my Stormcutter theory's page, so rather than write out and make you read the whole thing again, you can just click on this link to go back to that post for a refresher (will open in a new tab).

 

 

And that's my post on Hobblegrunts! Next week, I'm still going to warn you guys that the next one might not be on time, but either way, I will be doing the Scuttleclaw for OdaNorberg on DeviantArt, so keep on the look-out for that!

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Hobblegrunts!

Oh, i love Hobblegrunts! Great job again! I'll see if i have some theories to add later ;)

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Ah yes, such a cute little Hobble.

Thanks for doing the Hobblegrunt! It's great!

 

Some theories to add:

 

Hobblegrunt Color Change: I agree that along with the basic purple, yellow, and the rare red, that Hobblegrunts can turn other colors as well. I find it amusing that this is the reverse of their spots. Blue - sad vs the purple of the curious. Green for content vs yellow for happy. Orange for scared vs the red for angry. The spots of each are a flip. In one aspect, I've thought that instead of a major color change, that the Hobblegrunt would turn either a shade lighter or darker depending on the mood. A content Hobble would be a darker yellow, extremely happy a lighter shade. Sad a dark purple, or amused a lighter shade. Being scared would be a lighter red vs a darker one because of the 'hey - I'm scared step back from me' factor. A warning sign of sorts.

 

Hobblegrunts mimic the world to understand it: Hobblegrunts are intelligent just like any dragon, but my theory is that they can be ranked with the Strike Class or at least a few slots below it because of its ability to mimic. Along with sensing emotions and changes in the world around them, Hobblegrunts mimic to get a better understanding of their surroundings. We can see this when Valka is talking to Hiccup about 'his Night Fury friend'. Gruff, while blind, mimics Valka's emotions and movements. After turning his happy yellow, he cocks his head in curiosity at Toothless' tail just as Valka does. When Valka is laughing at Toothless and Hiccup with is peg leg, Gruff laughs as well, moving forward and back as Valka does.

 

Hobblegrunts are formidable fighters, even though they are called 'sensitive survivors': There is a reason someone said "and red means ... RUN!!" If that is all it says on a red Hobblegrunt, there is a reason. You're going up against a dragon that can sense your movements before you place them, are fast sprinters, and have a high firepower in both terms of heat and shot limit. A whopping 13. Hobblegrunts also have a very high jaw strength, up there with the Strike Class 'vice like jaws' as stated in Theory 2, last paragraph. Sure glad these are lovers and not so much fighters.

 

Edit Question: So - Hobblegrunts according to your theory of the close relation to the Ostrich, would run like this?

 

 

Or would they run more like this?

 

 

I need answers! :P

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The Running Question

Alright guys, fair warning, finals week just started, and I am in the thick of exams, so I'm kind of out of commission for long replies for the next few days.

 

However, I can go ahead and answer the running question because that requires only a short answer. :)

 

Hobblegrunts would probably run like the first gif of the Gallimimuses (which is an Ornithomimus relative, interestingly enough).

 

The reason is that long neck and relatively large head. The neck is so long and the head so heavy that holding the head way out in front would cause the Hobblegrunt to become top heavy, and it would topple over when it started running. (Actually, how much you want to bet baby Hobblegrunts learning to run make that mistake?) XD In order to keep its center of gravity over its legs, the Hobblegrunt would have to reel back its head with a swan-like curve to its neck, which requires it to keep a relatively upright posture that supports this neck position. Now its finned tail would probably allow it to lean a little more forward than an orstrich would, but yes, it would be the sort of running shape that has been theorized for dinosaurs like Gallimimus and Ornithomimus, body about parallel to the ground with the head reeled back.

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..

Ah, Whisper! Why must you always take the words out of my mouth and say them in a better way? XD

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So I have time to actually

So I have time to actually look these over now! ^_^

 

Honestly, after reading these, I don't have a lot of things to imput or had. All I can really say is, I really like the first one and would totally be behind it, and as for the other two, they're already canon as far as I'm concerned. With franchise going out of its way to call the Hobblegrunt "intelligent," we know it ranks among the smartest dragons outside the Strike Class. Maybe not at Strike Class level but definitely at Nadder and Stormcutter level. And with an Attack stat of 18, it's definitely a dangerous creature if you upset it! XD So overall, agreement all around!

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How does the Hobblegrunt run?

Ow, foxy, hard question; how does the Hobblegrunt run? Excuse me while i go thinking about this in the corner of my room, lol. Speaking of Hobblegrunts, i finally got a Hobblegrunt in Rise Of Berk!

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New Hobblegrunt!

Ooh, congrats! Picked out a name for it?

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Naming? Not my thing XD

Oh, i'm bad at naming dragons! Well, I was thinking that this Hobblegrunt could have a sweet personality, so i was thinking between Foxglove, Harmony or Hawthorn.

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About color changing

About color changing, this is my own theory:

The changewing's skin has only two pigments: red and an other which is invisible.
We all know from the show that the changewing has a red skin and that he can camouflage to become totally invisible. Someone said that it's because it reflects the nearby environment thanks to glass like scales, but it's impossible because it would create a distorted image and also there would be its shadow. Also to control this skin the changewing would use great part of its brain and wouldn't have the intelligence to work in group and coordinated.
So I thought about an effect that was used in the invisible man. The man wore a suit that was blue, and in the cameras there was a mechanism that couldn't see blue, making the man having no shadow and invisible! So what if the changewing has a particular second color that is ultraviolet and or under red? We couldn't see it and this skin would be easy to control

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Ooh, I like this theory! I'll

Ooh, I like this theory! I'll have to do some research into it to see if it works biologically, but it sounds good to me with my current limited knowledge.

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Hi! :)

I have a bit of an off topic question. Which dragon is most similar to my dog's breed?

I have a Portuguese Water Dog and was wondering which dragon seems most similar to mine (like how Winterwind is based off of your horse).

If you've never met one they tend to be hyperactive, impetuous, brave (very adventurous), and friendly (also they love to swim). 

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I don't mind off-topic dragon questions. Let's see!

Uh...to be quite honest, while I think there's definitely logic to matching personality tendencies with dog types, I don't really match distinct dog breeds with set personalities...and when I do, I'm worried about inbreeding. But I can certainly look at what dragons would match the physical traits and energy level of a Portuguese water dog and also look for dragons that have the personality traits you described.

 

So assuming your dog has the personality traits you just described...hmm... If he’s a huge dork, maybe a Raincutter, though they’re not particularly hyperactive. Scuttleclaws are good, too, though those might ironically be too hyperactive and difficult to train to be an exact match-up. Mudrakers bit the bill pretty well: adventurous, brave, friendly, and playful. Near perfect match on the Mudraker personality-wise, actually.

 

Now when we look at physical traits of the Portuguese water dog, my gut's leaning toward Shockjaw. Loves water, very apt swimmer, kind of stout and robust in build, and full of energy! Also, not an aggressive bone in the body of either of them. This lack of aggression is the only thing known about their personality, however, so it's not known if they match the personality traits you described. But here's also nothing saying it doesn't match, either. Another good option is, again, the Mudraker, another stout and robust water dragon with a good dose of energy, plus it comes with the personality you described.

 

Personally, I'd go with the Mudraker if your dog is very energetic most of the time but also enjoys a few couch naps now then, and I'd go with a Shockjaw if he just never seems to tucker out ever. And if you're specifically wanting your dog to match a rideable dragon that fits in canon, I’d go with the Mudraker regardless. There’s nowhere to sit on a Shockjaw, so they actually wouldn’t be rideable (no matter how trainable they are).

 

lol, it's funny you mentioned Winterwind being my horse Jetta, because your question for your dog is much more logic-based than how I ended up doing that. There's nothing remotely horse-like about the Woolly Howl, and it's personality is mostly a question mark. I did try to pick a dragon like Jetta, but I definitely narrowed the field there by making "being an ice dragon" a requirement. It's most accurate to say that the Woolly Howl was the trainable, rideable ice dragon that is least unlike Jetta. Basically the others didn't quite match, and with the Woolly Howl being a blank slate personality-wise, I could make up what I want. XD I think, actually, if I were to pick a Jetta dragon personality-wise from all of them, she'd be a Silver Phantom. (Knew there was a reason I loved those things!)

 

Funny thing, though; my dog Louia was a dead ringer for a Groncicle personality-wise out of all dragons - a lazy, gluttonous, but sweet Gronckle personality type with a bit more tenacity and adventurous nature - and Icevein is also a gender-bent version of her. XD

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Hi! :)

So in a way Jetta resembles an ice dragon? Was she white like one? 

Yes I know not all PWDs are the same and have different traits like not every Monstrous Nightmare is the same but will act similarly. So I thought it was a very general question when I asked which species. 

She is energetic most of the time when she is around people and she also loves food (she'll do anything if you have something edible in your hand). I feel like she naps when she's actually tired not because she's lazy or loves naps. So yes I would agree with your theory on the Shockjaw probably being most like her. 

What would be your theories of riding a Shockjaw then since we do technically can put a saddle on them and ride them in SOD? Maybe there is a part on their back where there is a spot between their fins you can sit on.

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Ice and Shockjaws

Actually, Jetta never resembled an ice dragon. She was actually a little banged-up brown pony-sized Quarter horse. That was just my own stipulation. I've loved icy characters since I can remember, and ice dragons have always been my favorite, since I was five years old and loved Rankin/Bass' Frosty the Snowman and Jack Frost. When I was in second grade, I started making up a story about dragons, and the main character was an ice dragon named Icebreaker. That was...9 years before How to Train Your Dragon came out, I think. So yeah, long before I even met Jetta, ice dragons were my favorite dragons in mythology. For the first few years of HTTYD, I used to joke that, if the franchise had ice dragons, they'd be my favorite. I thought about making my own fan species, but...eh, kind of a canon stickler, as you know. I did have a dragon OC during all that time, which was crafted to be a dragon version of Jetta, but the species of this Jetta-dragon kept changing as I tried to find the dragon that "best matched" me. When rideable ice dragons were released, I knew I had to turn my Jetta-dragon - currently a Stormcutter, thanks to a few personality tests - into one of the ice breathers for my own sake. So yeah, the ice dragon thing had nothing to do with Jetta and everything to do with me. It's more like being an ice dragon, being like Jetta, and being canon were the three stipulations I was trying to meld together. End product was Winterwind the Woolly Howl. Some days I wish I'd landed on something less Night Fury-esque, but it's still the best I could get for merging the three things that mattered to me.

 

Oh, your dog's a she, not a he. My bad. XD

 

As far as riding Shockjaws, I have scowered over them for awhile. I have a Shockjaw OC named Sparky, and he has a trainer named Spitz, an old sailor past his prime. They're part of Dylan and Splashwing's story, with Spitz being a member of Murphy's sailing crew. And I struggled to try to find a way to hook some sort of saddle or even just sit on a Shockjaw. I looked at both Rise of Berk and School of Dragons versions to find a way. The thing is, there's just nowhere to sit on it and nowhere to strap a device to it to make some sort of riding contraption, on either model. There's no sitting between the fins, unfortunately; the back sail goes all the way down the back uninterrupted, and this sail is as tall as person in parts, so it's impossible to sit down on it or wrap something around the body where it is. Even in SoD, your Viking is basically sliced in half by the sail every time you have your Viking sit on it. And the Shockjaw uses this sail to navigate while flying, so you really would handicap it if you tried to flatten it down. I once saw a suggestion to strap a device underneath the dragon, but there's no way to wrap a strap around the back or tail to keep such an upside-down saddle in place. The only place that's available for sitting or straps is the head, and if you sit on the head between the spine and the nose horn, you'll end up with your legs over the dragon's eyes or in front of their eyes. If you have some sort of contraption strapped to them so you don't do this, you'd basically muzzle them. So unless you sit on their face and muzzle their jaw, there's really no way to sit on one without compromising their flight or getting yourself impaled. Luckily for me, Spitz was probably the easiest character to write as being non-flying, and Sparky now just acts like his big, energetic dog (that can shock you), but it was disheartening to find no way to make this dragon rideable. If you or anyone else comes up with something, let me know because that would be awesome! But I tried, and I can't see a way.

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Wiggles the whispering death ate my subject

Maybe the shockjaw could just carry him in his arms?

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Hey, Hypergoof! Welcome! ^_^

Hey, Hypergoof! Welcome! ^_^

 

lol, now I'm just picturing an adorable scene with a Shockjaw cradling their trainer in their arms as they soar through the sky. XD

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Hi! :)

That's cool. I always liked dragons in general when I was a kid too just the big large ones with cool spikes and stuff. 

I see your point although what if the vikings on Berk bred the dragons to have smaller or retractable fins to make them rideable?

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Hmm...Breeding...

I don't know if Vikings have had dragons long enough to breed any traits into them, what with only riding for 5 years and all, but...hmm, wonder if that would happen down the line after a few decades? "I've worked for years breeding a special variety of Shockjaw just for you, Berkians! Step right up and finally know what it's like to ride one! Just a small fee." XD

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Hi! :)

Lol I can see Snotlout be the one doing the one charging everyone to ride an exotic Shockjaw. XD

 

 

Edit: I did a bit of researching and found an old forum post about people discussing how you might ride the Shockjaw

http://forum.schoolofdragons.com/content/how-can-you-sit-shockjaw

^^This could go wonderfully with your theories on the Shockjaw^^ :D

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Shockjaw Saddling

I've actually read that thread. Been along time, though. ^_^

 

But, uh...I don't think Rax's idea would work. I've actually saddle-fit horses before and designed saddles with raised saddle trees in my head for dragons with spines that aren't well-spaced for humans sitting on them (like Shivertooths). But with the Shockjaw, the sail is just too high. It would need to be at most half the height it is for a saddle to work. Otherwise, the apparatus that would be necessary to get above it would be too cumbersome. And because the spine where one would sit is connected, folding down one part of the spine would fold down too much of the spine and compromise the Shockjaw's flight.

 

I'm wondering, though, if that saddling idea might work on the Shockjaw's tail. It still wouldn't work on the SoD version, but I need to take a closer look at the Shockjaw in RoB...

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Trackalackalackalaking cause

Trackalackalackalaking cause this is awesome, i feel like a dragon master after staying up till 8 in the afternoon reading all of this. XD

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                                                                     Hatched  (09/02/2015

                                                                   My thoughts (Spooker my most protective dragon, he turned out to be a

                                                                                        Survivalist since he was a hatchling. Being hatched in the

                                                                                         Middle of the ocean really convinced him to protect every

                                                                                          Thing he had even his egg shell which he floated in. One

                                                                                           Day hiccup sent me on a patrol how boring it was because

                                                                                           Zipple and wipple were banned from flight after setting

                                                                                           The great hall on fire oops,spookers was going to be ran 

                                                                                            Over by are ship but I saw him and took care of him and

                                                                                              Gained trust,but now he thinks he needs to protect me

                                                                                              With his life)

                                                                                   Spook

                                                                           Level (19)

                                                                             Form (none)

                                                                        Species   (Whispering death)

                                                                    Personality  (playful)

                                                                           Gender (male)

                                                                       Hatched    (09/04/2015)

                                                                     My thoughts (ready for play time well spooks the dragon for the job and 

                                                                                          Never stops doing it spooks my most playful dragon ever

                                                                                           He's ready for non stop fun he is the exact opposite of his

                                                                                            Brother spooker.spooker keeps trying to teach spooks but

                                                                                             It's no use censored,is spooks no one can change that)

       I have way more dragons just waiting to have the time to list them

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Welcome!

lol, glad you enjoyed it that much! I hope I continue to please. XD

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Why Babies Don't Have Hive Minds

Why Babies Don't Have Hive Minds

 

Sorry for not having the new dragon theories up by Saturday. I did say it might be late and...well, it is. But I will upload the Scuttleclaw theories now right after this. But first, I have another supplemental theory for all dragons I need to address. (Don't worry, it's short.)

 

We know the Bewilderbeast controls dragons through ultrasonic soundwaves and an intense stare. It can even control a dragon's mind. The Red Death controls dragons using the same mechanisms, though it has less control over dragons than the Bewilderbeast. The Foreverwing is even said to "talk" telepathically. So it's quite clear that dragons have a form of "hive mind" when controlled by an alpha. And we already know, canonically, that babies don't have this. But babies can see and hear like adults. So...why isn't the Bewilderbeast able to take control of them.

 

KingoftheWilderwest on Tumblr actually came up with a short little theory that I think is quite solid. Babies haven't completely developed their brain and all their brain's pathways. So the baby dragons have yet to develop the neurological connects that allow them to succumb to the dragon hive mind.

 

To add to KingoftheWilderwest's theory, I want to hypothesize why this might have become a dragon trait. At first, it seems like it would be helpful for babies to have hive mind so adults could control them and keep them safe. But in the long run, this could be detrimental. Being part of the hive mind and bowing to the same alpha as their parents could prevent babies from leaving the nest, and after a few generations, the dragons in the nest would be in danger of inbreeding. Babies need to be free of the alpha's control to go out and seek their own paths and start their own families.

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Scuttleclaw Theories

Scuttleclaw Theories

 

Wow, that is not a dragon I was prepared for when it came up in my generator last week. While I always thought the Red Death was mega-awesome, I never really gave its biology or any characters that belong to the species much though. The random number generator is testing me, it seems. But I'm sure I can come with some theories. Let's see here...

 

Again, sorry for this coming out so late! It's been a crazy weekend. But guess who's a college graduate now?! ^_^ But now that I'm back to social media things, here's my promised Scuttleclaw theories for OdaNorberg from DeviantArt!

 

Theory 1: Possible Adult Scuttleclaw Statistics: Scuttleclaws have a Speed of 17, Firepower of 10, Jaw Strength of 5, Attack of higher than 10, Armor higher than 8, Venom higher than 2, and Stealth of higher than 10. If you go to the How to Train Your Dragon Wikia, you will find Scuttleclaw statistics. These statistics are...incorrect. Well, not entirely; those statistics aren't for an adult. Those are the statistics for a baby Scuttleclaw, and they were first released on Dragons: Ultimate Guide to the Dragons by Maggie Testa and Cordelia Evans. But what about adult statistics? Well...I have some theories!

 

So babies have the following stats: Attack 10, Speed 16, Armor 8, Firepower 10, Shot Limit 8, Venom 2, Jaw Strength 3, and Stealth 10. And we know they have a Shot Limit of 8, same as babies, thanks to School of Dragons. So what about the rest?

 

We can also estimate for Speed and Firepower from School of Dragons as well. In in that game, Scuttleclaws have a speed of 8.3. Now the Death Song has a speed of 8.1 and an official Speed of 17, so I'm going to say that Scuttleclaws are super fast and have a Speed of 17, too. It also has a game firepower of 5.1, the same as the Triple Stryke, which has an official Firepower of 14. However, the Rumblehorn and Timberjack have a firepower of 5.3 and an official Firepower of 11 and 10 respectively and the Night Terror and Catastrophic Quaken have a firepower of 5.4 and an official Firepower of 10, so the Triple Stryke might be a little low in the game. Also, the Boneknapper has a game firepower of 4.8 and an official Firepower of 9, so I think the Scuttleclaw's Firepower makes the most sense at 10. It seems the baby Scuttleclaws in How to Train Your Dragon 2 had already developed most of their speed, though not all of it, and all of their firepower, which...I'll buy; they were half-grown, after all.

 

As for Jaw Strength, it would probably increase as they grow older, so it has to be greater than 3, and they have very similar jaws to a Deadly Nadder, so I think they'd have the same Jaw Strength as a Nadder, Jaw Strength of 5.

 

As for the rest, we know they would increase as the dragon aged. We just don't know how much. And yes, I think in this species, even venom would increase, for it's closest relative, the Deadly Nadder (Theory 18) is also venomous and increases in venom as it ages.

 

Theory 2: Adult Scuttleclaws weigh about 1600 pounds. In Dragons: Rise of Berk and School of Dragons, Scuttleclaws are shown to have a similar size and shape to Deadly Nadders, so I think they'd weigh about the same. Also, the babies in the second movie appear to half grown, perhaps a little under that, and they are said to weigh 600 pounds. Another 1000 pound seems about right.

 

Theory 3: Scuttleclaw fire is composed of a copper(II) compound, probably copper(II) sulfate, and there is some other material in the fire to start the flames. Scuttleclaws breathe green fire. In a School of Dragons quest, this is stated to be because the fire has copper. And this struck me as odd because in my limited understanding of chemistry, copper is not flammable and most copper salt compounds actually burn blue. But as it turns out, I was not entirely correct in this assumption. Copper(I) salt compounds burn blue, but copper(II) salt compounds do burn green. So I took a look at which of these compounds would make the most sense for a Scuttleclaw to breathe. I specifically looked for a copper(II) compound that was flammable and not strongly toxic to vertebrates, particularly birds and reptiles. As it turns out, across the board, copper(II) compounds are not in and of themselves flammable. In order to mess around with chemicals and make a green fire using a copper compound, you probably need to start with an alcohol-based fire. But taking that into account, I still needed to find the copper compound that fit, something that was an easily-created chemical that won't kill the dragon breathing it.

 

After scoring through chemicals, I kept coming back to a copper salt, copper(II) sulfate, and a copper oxide, copper(II) oxide. Both are only mildly toxic, troublesome in long exposure but overall fairly safe to handle, and both burn green when mixed with an alcohol. However, generating a green flame from copper(II) oxide is less reliable due to the combustion formula. Meanwhile, copper(II) sulfate not only is reliable for producing a colored flame but, like many salts, is also water soluble, which may provide a handy method for the Scuttleclaw to store the chemical in the body without any harm to itself.

 

As far as toxicity goes, in small doses, copper(II) sulfate is generally not harmful to vertebrates; in fact, you could easily cook over Scuttleclaw fire without ill effects to your health. However, it is more toxic to invertebrates, fungi, and some plants, so...keep your pet octopus away from that fire. Also huddle close to that Scuttleclaw fire if you want to escape mosquitoes. Nice little natural insect repellent and insecticide there.

 

One of the really cool things about Scuttleclaw fire is that, regardless of the compound, the copper is not consumed by the fire, so as long as the fire is fueled by something, it will continue to burn green without the need to add more copper(II) compound. A Scutt+leclaw-started campfire is going to remain a green fire the entire time it's burning. (...Someone make a fanart of that. Really. I want to see this. A dragon rider and their Scuttleclaw huddled around a softly-glowing green campfire. Make it happen.)

 

Theory 4: A Scuttleclaw's blind spot is directly in front of their nose horn. Scuttleclaws have a skull similar to a Nadder's and a similar nose horn, so I think it would also serve the same blind spot.

 

Theory 5: Scuttleclaws mainly eat fish but are also diet opportunists. Scuttleclaws are shown being fed fish in How to Train Your Dragon 2, so we know they can live off that. But they are also relatives of Deadly Nadders (Theory 18), who along with fish also love mutton and chicken. I think Scuttleclaws would like similar foods. They're also said in To Berk and Beyond by Richard Hamilton that they are partial to yak jerky, which indicates a tolerance for eating red meat, but they live in a variety of environments (Theory 7) where fish may be the only constant.

 

Theory 6: Scuttleclaws are Sharp Class due to razor-sharp teeth and a sharp nose horn. Scuttleclaws are in the Sharp Class, and that really does need some explanation because there doesn't seem to be anything "sharp" about them. One of the obvious things on them, however, is their sharp nose horn, which may have something to do with their placing if they use it. But another interesting thing is that their "razor-sharp teeth" is mentioned in numerous Scuttleclaw material. Perhaps these dragons have some of the sharpest teeth among dragon kind, up there with their Shivertooth kin. Watch yourself when feeding them!

 

Theory 7: Scuttleclaws live in multiple environments. Scuttleclaws are found in numerous environments throughout the franchise. In School of Dragons, they're found on the icy, glacial wastes of Scuttleclaw Island, and in Dragons: Rise of Berk, they are mainly found in the Drenchwood Forest, a very wet temperate rainforest, and they are also found on the Isle of Night, a dark wasteland with rocky outcroppings and trees, and Wreck Reef, another snow-covered area. It seems along with being dietary opportunists, Scuttleclaws are also environmental generalists, able to live in a variety of environments. The only consistent characteristic is that they seem to thrive in cold locations, but even then, they're found in fairly warm locations for their Barbaric Archipelago. They probably just wouldn't do very well further south near the Mediterranean. But the entire Archipelago seems open to them.

 

Theory 8: The Scuttleclaw's nose horn and colorful hides are used for se.xual display. You have to come up with some reason for Scuttleclaws to have a nose horn and their wide variety of colors, and if there's not an obvious survival use, it's probably got to do with attracting mates.

 

Theory 9: Scuttleclaws are diurnal. For bright colors to attract mates, bright colors have to be seen, and darkness is no good for color vision. Therefore Scuttleclaws are probably active during the day.

 

Theory 10: Scuttleclaws don't mate for life and normally live in gender-segregated, democratic packs. Scuttleclaws live in packs, and Scuttleclaws in those packs each have their own role and work together to perform tasks. ...And okay, that is weird.

 

It's not the behavior itself that's weird; a lot of pack/herd animals do something similar. But it's weird that Scuttleclaws are pack animals. Scuttleclaws are stated to get "zany and uncontrollable" whenever another dragon tries to be the alpha. They're the one type of dragons where even adults have some Bewilderbeast resistance, and they just don't listen to anyone at all. They're tough dragons capable of hard work, but they love to disobey and do what they're not supposed to do. That can be entertaining, sure, but how are they supposed to work as a group? How does pack leadership work? How do they make decisions? How are they segregated into roles? This motley of traits just doesn't add up.

 

I think the best explanation is that Scuttleclaws don't live in family groups but in motley packs made up of the same gender. Much like a number of mammal species such as wild censored, males band together in...well, a rowdy band, and females band together into a nurturing group of mothers. The two groups only come together to mate and then separate again afterward. These packs are more like a group of individuals who enjoy each other's company than a cohesive family group. The "roles" each individual has are determined by what he or she is good at rather than any distinct role designation. They are intelligent enough to know to work together to accomplish certain tasks and to know to let others play to their strengths, but the leadership of their packs is more democratic than most dragon packs. (More and more we are discovering that democracy is actually more common in the animal kingdom than once thought, especially in herds with this type of design, so this is not a completely novel idea for the leadership structure in species other than humans.)

 

Theory 11: Scuttleclaws breed annually. Most dragons whose breeding is mentioned in the franchise do, so I'm assuming Scuttleclaws do, too.

 

Theory 12: Scuttleclaws have claws on the their mid wind joint for mating. There has to be a reason for their wing claws, and they don't seem to be in any position for climbing or walking, so I think they're probably for...well, clasping each other.

 

Theory 13: Scuttleclaws chew things while teething. Baby Scuttleclaws are said to chew on things constantly like puppies. Puppies do this because they're teething, so I think that may also explain the behavior of the baby Scuttleclaws.

 

Theory 14: Scuttleclaws reach full size quickly. All other dragons in the franchise that we've seen/heard of growing up have grown up quickly, aside from the Red Death, so I don't think the Scuttleclaw is any different.

 

Theory 15: When Scuttleclaws eat glowing algae, they glow yellow. It has already been shown that when Gronckles and Rockstompers eat glowing algae, they both glow green. These two are likely related, as the Snafflefang looks like a Rockstomper relative and is said to be a Gronckle relative, so they probably do this because they are related. Therefore I think Scuttleclaws also glow the same color as their relative, the Deadly Nadder (Theory 18), and Deadly Nadder's glow yellow when they eat glowing algae. So Scuttleclaws who have eaten the food of the Flightmare are probably also luminescent yellow lights, too.

 

Theory 16: Scuttleclaws bond with their trainers in a similar way Deadly Nadders do, like dogs with bird-like mannerisms. While we've seen Scuttleclaw mannerisms, we haven't seen how they relate to their trainers. They are probably a lot like Deadly Nadders and so bond to their people like dogs, despite their bird-like mannerisms. However, Scuttleclaws are far less obedient, and unlike most of our wonderful dogs, are probably some of the most disobedient bird-like dogs you've ever had to deal with. Those who don't like ill-mannered dogs, beware.

 

Theory 17: The Scuttleclaw's closest relative is the Deadly Nadder. As I stated in the Deadly Nadder theories, these aren't stated to be relatives, but...come on. They clearly are. Through the Nadder, the Scuttleclaw may also have some more distant relation to the Skrill and Whispering Death (see the Deadly Nadder theories page as to why), and through the Skrill, it also bears very distant relation to the Thunderdrum. It also shows distant relation to the Hideous Zippleback (about as distantly as the Deadly Nadder is related to the Whispering Death, but still there, particularly in the spines and skull shape.)

 

Theory 18: The "mind hive trigger" in the brain of the Scuttleclaw never quite develops because the gene is "broken." While adult Scuttleclaws are not immune to the Bewilderbeast's mind control, they are resistant to it. I think this a) means that the Red Death and Foreverwing would have similar issues calling, controlling, and/or telepathically connected to it as the Bewilderbeast does, and b) that the Scuttleclaw does this because it simply never developed the ability to "hive mind" on the level of other dragons. You may remember my theory on why babies are immune to this "hive mind" in my post above, and I think Scuttleclaws retain some of this immunity. This may be because the gene that causes this to develop in a dragons. While this seems like an ideal trait for the modern Western civilized human who was taught individualism is a good thing, there would be some downsides to it. Dragons clearly communicate throw their eyes and vocalizations using much of the same tools they use for the hive mind control, and they show some tendency toward "silent telepathic communication," according to Dean Deblois. Unless they really put their minds to it (ha, pun), Scuttleclaws might actually be rather poor communicators, at least between dragons of other species.

 

Theory 19: Valka's baby Scuttleclaws were orphaned by Drago's dragon trappers and may even be the offspring of the Defender Scuttleclaw. Scuttlclaws are pack animals, so it makes sense that babies would be with a group of mothers. Yet in How to Train Your Dragon 2, we don't see any Scuttleclaws in Valka's Sanctuary except the babies. This leads me to believe that the babies were orphaned somehow, and given how many Valka's dragons were rescued from Drago's trappers, I think that's how these Tiny Tooths may have lost their parents.

 

Theory 20: Scuttleclaws were discovered before, but not long before, the beginning of the "Battle for the Edge" expansion pack. In the "Battle for the Edge" expansion pack in School of Dragons, which takes place between Dragons: Race to the Edge Episodes S2 13, "Maces and Talons, Part 2" and S3 7 "To Heather or Not to Heather." During this expansion, Astrid and Stormfly discover a new island, which comes to be called "Scuttleclaw Island." Despite this being a new island and all How to Train Your Dragon 2 material saying Scuttleclaws are a fairly newly-discovered species, Astrid seems to show familiarity with the Scuttleclaws when she and the player go to the new island. This means Scuttleclaws were probably discovered before the events of this expansion and therefore before the events of "To Heather or Not to Heather," though they probably hadn't been known for very long. Perhaps they were even discovered by way of the Dragon Eye.

 

Theory 21: The Isle of Night and surrounding islands became a safe haven for dragons due to hunting pressure. I already explained this theory in on my Stormcutter theory's page, so rather than write out and make you read the whole thing again, you can just click on this link to go back to that post for a refresher.

 

Theory 22: Wreck Reef is kept cold by the lack of East Atlantic Current bringing warm water to it. This is a theory from the Flightmare theories page, which you can find at this link.

 

 

And that's everything I have on Scuttleclaws! Please feel free to agree, disagree, or add any additional thoughts you may have. Next week we'll be doing our Christmas/Snoggletog theories special: the Woolly Howl! I may upload it a day early or a day late, as I will be traveling (to family for Christmas) this Saturday, but it shouldn't be too far off from its usual upload date, so be on the look out for that!

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track

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My account, Goldenwolfmidna, Cannot be reached ATM, so this is me. Peh.

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Dragons:

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WIP SIG

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Wiggles the whispering death ate my subject

This makes me wonder if the lack of communication skills has something to do with the scuttle claw's lack of obedience. In humans lacking social skills can easily lead to "trouble with authority" or "disrupting the class" or "Inappropriate behavior" or "has trouble listening". It's possible that a lot of it isn't purposeful disobedience but instead just the scuttle claw not getting the message because they only understand other scuttle claws. It's also possible scuttle claws only truly listen to other scuttle claws because scuttle claws are the only beings that they can fully understand. 

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Merry Christmas!

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Woolly Howl Theories

Woolly Howl Theories

 

I have to drive 11 hours tomorrow, so we're just posting this now to keep to the schedule.

 

So...I have an interesting relationship with this dragon. Basically, the day the Woolly Howl was first released in the franchise - December 5, 2014, on Dragons: Rise of Berk (along with the Groncicle and Shivertooth) - I have had a Woolly Howl OC. At first she was called Frostfur, but I renamed her to Winterwind. It might be pretentious of me, but I'm pretty sure I made the very first Woolly Howl OC, considering I made her the same day as the dragon's release. As a result, since the day of its release, I've spent three years trying to picture what a Woolly Howl would act like and how it would interact with other things and what biological strengths and weaknesses it has, and...honestly, most of the Howl speculation I was able to stumble across on Tumblr and the School of Dragons forum and even the wikia page were my own. (Heck, the ones on the wikia page were ones I put there...specifying that they're just speculation, of course.) So if the Woolly Howl has the most theories I've ever come up with for a single dragon species...sorry, not sorry. XD

 

But why am I doing this dragon for my Christmas/Yule/holiday special? Is it because it's my own? Well, no, nice as that was. Actually, the reason is the Snoggletog Wraith. The Snoggletog Wraith is a subspecies of Woolly Howl and it's the franchises Christmas-themed dragon. Because of this, there was no better species to choose for the holiday. So here is your special HTTYD Christmas dragon, everyone! Or should I say, Snoggletog dragon!

 

Alright, let's get to the theories! Before I begin, let me clarify that these theories will be for the Woolly Howl as seen in Dragon: Rise of Berk and it's body type, not the later, slightly inaccurate School of Dragons version. Also, shout-out to SouloftheFoxy and Brynakh, with whom I've discussed a lot of Woolly Howl theories via PM. Some of our convos will probably show up here. XD

 

Theory 1: Possible Woolly Howl statistics: Woolly Howls have a high Attack statistic, a high Armor statistic, a high Stealth statistic, a Jaw Strength statistic of 6, a Venom statistic of 0, a Speed stat of 18, and a Firepower stat of 14. Woolly Howls are a game-originated dragon, which means it's one of many dragons with unknown statistics. We know they have a Shot Limit of 6, but that's it. But fear not! I shall unravel the mystery!

 

Frankly, it's hard to know exactly what most of its stats are, but we know it has a few that are high. All Strike Class dragons have a high Attack stat, so the Woolly Howl must have one, too. It also likely has a high Armor stat, as that is also a characteristic of the Strike Class, and it has a pretty high health stat in both the Dragons: Rise of Berk game and the School of Dragons game. In fact, in both games it's shown to have a higher Armor than both the Night Fury and Skrill. It also probably has a high Stealth stat. With the exception of the Triple Stryke (and possibly the Threadtail?), Strike Class dragons are very stealthy dragons, and the Woolly Howl has been specifically mentioned to use high stealth and camouflage. Also, Strike Class dragons have vice-like Jaw Strength, and all of them have a Jaw Strength of at least 5, so the Woolly Howl must, too. In fact, given that it has a similar head shape, it probably has the same Jaw Strength as the Night Fury, which would be 6. And finally, most dragons in the franchise don't have venom, including the Woolly Howl's relative the Night Fury (Theory 23), so I think it has a Venom stat of 0.

 

As for Speed and Firepower, we can be pretty exact using, once again, School of Dragons statistical comparisons. In School of Dragons, the Woolly Howl has a speed of 9.2. This is the same speed as the Snow Wraith, which has an official Speed of 18, and only 0.2 points off from the Razorwhip, which also has an official Speed of 18. Also, the Woolly Howl is a Strike Class dragon, and the slowest confirmed Strike Class dragon speed is 18, so 18 makes sense for this dragon. As for Firepower, the Howl has a game stat of 7.2, which is the same game stat as the Hotburple and Hideous Zippleback, who both have a Firepower of 14. So I think the Woolly Howl has a Firepower of 14, too. This gives it the same Firepower as its possible relative, the Night Fury.

 

Theory 2: A Woolly Howl's fur-like scales are like a pterosaur's pycnofibers, and the back scales are somewhat spiky. Yeah, so after the very opinion-based polarized question of, "Which is better/stronger, the Sand Wraith or Woolly Howl?" (why....? I won't even ask), the Woolly Howl's fur-like scales are the most popular topic for Woolly Howl discussion. Woolly Howls have scales that look like woolly fur on their back (hence half their name), which Dragons: Rise of Berk calls "fine back scales" (fine as in thin), and they also have a fur-like texture on the rest of their body, too, in both games. No fan theory page on this dragon would be complete without addressing this. So here's my two cents. You want to know what I think?

 

Nah, man, what you're really asking right now is, what the heck are pycnofibers? Since that is my real-life point of comparison to Howl scales, let's start there.

 

Since pterosaurs have been discovered, they have been seen with fur-like, fuzzy impressions around their fossils that are definitely not typical feathers. However, these were flying reptiles related to crocodilians and dinosaurs, so we know they didn't have fur. Because these strange fuzzy coverings couldn't really be addressed, they were mostly ignored until a few decades ago and were only just named "pycnofibers" in 2009.

 

So what are these hair-like structures on these flying reptiles? Well...we're not really sure. What we do know is that they look a lot like hair, although a little thicker. And just like hair, they were probably thin tubes of keratin. The types of physics they have interacting with each other was probably more like that of fur than feathers...or maybe like hair feathers (yes, those are a thing). But we think that they were rooted more like scales/feathers than hair, which means their development starts in the epidermis, the very top layer of the skin, and then as they grow they root themselves in the top part of the dermis, the second layer of skin. Contrast that to hair, where early in development the follicle buries itself in firmly deep within the dermis layer. What this translates to is that these modified fur-like scales are very close to the surface of the skin compared to hair and really easy to pluck out. The main thing to know is that pycnofibers were not fur. They did not evolve on any line with fur. They were like fur and grew like feathers and were their own body covering that no longer exists in living animals. But they match the Woolly Howl's scale description almost perfectly.

 

However, even if Woolly Howl scales are actually pycnofibers, there is actually another mystery here. There's definitely a difference between the rest of the body's scales and the very long, clumped scales on the back, even though both are portrayed as fur-like. So what is the difference between them? Well, I think most of the Howl's scales are soft, fluffy, and cushiony, like fur or feathers. However, going off of a theory from SouloftheFoxy, I think the back scales might be more akin to porcupine quills. They're not as sharp as porcupine quills, they aren't made to come out, and they aren't barbed like porcupine quills, but they do have somewhat sharp points at the end. And also unlike porcupine quills, I think they're flatter with more rigid, somewhat pointy edges, which would explain why these feather-like scale filaments clump together to appear more like plates than the fur-like scales they actually are. They probably have the texture of steel wool - what I described basically is steel wool, only with scales instead of steel - and would be cushiony as a mat but might be capable of giving you small paper cuts if you wrapped your hand around them and ran down them.

 

One problem with any of the Woolly Howl scales being - well, scales - be they feathers, pycnofibers, or less modified scales, is that they will fall out easily, which means putting a saddle on it and riding for long period of time would be tricky. Having something rub on it for a long time would cause it to lose its body covering in that spot and develop bald spots. Be careful with saddling your Howl.

 

Theory 3: The Woolly Howl's fur-like scales and bulk are to keep the Howl warm. Remember my theory that dragons are endothermic? Well, the Woolly Howl lives in a cold environment and shoots balls of ice (and as I theorized before, a dragon's firepower usually aids in their body temperature control). However, Woolly Howls don't seem to be icy and cold to the touch like many of the ice dragons in HTTYD, including the Groncicle, Shivertooth, and Prickleboggle. So I think they evolved these fur-like scales to keep warm in the winter, just like mammals use fur and some birds use feathers. And of course, having extra layers of fat around the body (that its more southern cousins the Sand raith and Night Fury don't have) help the Howl retain heat.

 

Theory 4: The Woolly Howl's fur-like scales cushion blows. It seems a bit strange the Woolly Howl has evidence of being so well-armored when it doesn't have any plate-like armor, but I think those fur-like sales are still useful. If they are strong and but "fluffy," they may "cushion" blows. This means that, yes, they have strong armor for impacts, but their scales should be easy to pierce with a point. (And my fanfiction just took a dark turn...)

 

Theory 5: The extended scales at the base of the Woolly Howl's tail are to help with flight. If you look at the Dragons: Rise of Berk version of the Woolly Howl (not the School of Dragons version), there are clumps of fur-like scales that stick out like four spikes, two on either side of the tail. (School of Dragons went back and included these on their Titan Wing version.) I think these are meant to be used to help with steering in flight, much like a Night Fury or Sand Wraith might use the second set of fins it has in the same location.

 

Theory 6: The Woolly Howl's hump is filled with stored fat to survive food shortages. According to Ludia, woolly mammoths were a huge source of inspiration when making a Woolly Howl, and much like these arctic mammoths, Howls have humps over their withers (the point where the shoulder blades meet). This hump was used to store fat reserve for when food was scarce or difficult to dig out from the snow. Living in cold environments means food is often not readily available, even if you're eating fish from the sea. This creates desert-like food conditions. (You may think of humps being on camels, and it's for much the same reason.) So living as far north as they do, Woolly Howls need a way to keep fat on their bodies when food is difficult to find or get to, and the hump provides that need.

 

Theory 7: Woolly Howls have smaller eyes relative to a Night Fury due to their snowy habitats. One thing you'll notice about canon Woolly Howls from Rise of Berk is their eyes, like the Sand Wraith's, are noticeably smaller than the Night Fury's. There's a good reason for this. You may notice that animals that live in the arctic or at high altitudes in temperate climates (e.i. places that receive a lot of ice and snow) have relatively smaller eyes. This is because snow and ice are extremely reflective, and high altitudes and the poles also receive more solar radiation than low altitudes and the tropics, so being in these environments means more ultraviolet light is being reflected off the ground and back at the animals, bombarding the eyes. And...well, they tell you not to look directly at the sun for a reason. It's damaging. Animals of snowy locations have smaller eyes so their eyes are bombarded by less solar radiation.

 

Theory 8: Woolly Howls can see UV light. There's a logical stepping stone to this. Interesting thing about Woolly Howls: they can fly through blizzards. It's one of the things they're known for. But how do they see? They can't use sonar, like a Night Fury; the soundwaves would simply scatter in the snow. They aren't stated to have infrared vision like the Snow Wraith, which would allow them to pinpoint differences in surfaces without the need to see color through the wall of white. So how do Woolly Howls do it? It seems likely they are using strong vision. While their eyes are smaller than a Night Fury's, they're still pretty sizable, and they must have vision sharp enough for their long-range sharpshooting abilities. Yet how does an animal with strong eyes see through a blizzard, and even if they could, how do they not suffer snow blindness?

 

Let's talk about reindeer/caribou.

 

Studies have shown that the reindeer can see in ultraviolet light. Scientists believe that they may have evolved this trait in order to see in the midst of a white-out, since the ultraviolet light reflecting off every surface would still be visible. This also allows UV light to reflect multiple times in the eye to build an image rather than being absorbed, meaning much less UV light is bombarding the eye and making snow blindness almost nonexistent. Scientists now theorize that many arctic and Himalayan mountain mammals may possess UV vision for the same reasons, and it's confirmed that many arctic and antarctic birds do, too, so I believe the Woolly Howl does as well.

 

Theory 9: Because of their purple eyes, Woolly Howls have excellent night vision. This theory is also based on reindeer. See, reindeer also have color-changing eyes. In the summer, they are golden, but in the winter, they turn blue. This is because blue eyes reflect less light and therefore scatters the light more as it's reflected out of the eye. This gives the reindeer night vision on par with the night vision of animals with larger eyes, giving them excellent vision even in the depths of the polar night that plunges the arctic into four months of darkness. Now there are no examples of purple eyes in nature - at least not healthy ones - but a purple-colored eye, such as the eye of the Woolly Howl, would be just as effective, if not more-so, at scattering light than a blue eye. It makes sense for Woolly Howls to have this intense night vision as they either live in snowy mountains where the sun sets early or in the arctic where the sun sets for practically four months of the year. This method of vision allows them to see at night without making them vulnerable to snow blindness.

 

Now there is a canon Woolly Howl that has neither purple nor blue eyes: Wise Wind. Wise Wind has green eyes, not good for scattering light. Perhaps the purple-eyed trait is more adaptive due to being useful for night vision, but the green-eyed trait has not been completely bred out yet because it's a recessive gene, like a redhead born in a family of black-haired people. Or perhaps there is a variation in eye color based on where the Howl might be found. More on that later.

 

Theory 10: The blind spot on a Woolly Howl is behind its head. Woolly Howls have eyes set very far forward on their heads. While they have fine vision out in front of them, they're not set to look at anything coming up behind them.

 

Theory 11: Woolly Howl sleep patterns are adaptable; they can be diurnal or nocturnal or both. While stated to mainly be mountain dragons, Woolly Howls are shown to live in a variety of habitats, found at the Icy Wastes to the Everfrost Forest to Outpost Island to Healer Island. Since we don't know the topography of all these islands (aside from Outpost Island), it's possible the Howl has found mountains on all of them, but the Icy Wastes are definitely just arctic ice floes. The Woolly Howl's ability to live in arctic leads me to believe that, like the Stormcutter, they can adjust to be diurnal or nocturnal.

 

Theory 12: Woolly Howls live in the Scandinavian Mountain Range, particularly the Jotunheim Mountain. So far, Woolly Howls are known in the franchise to live in two habitats. The creators at Ludia stated they live in "snow-ravaged mountains," but in Dragons: Rise of Berk, they are also found at the Icy Wastes, which are described as follows: "This cluster of ice floes may be too cold for a Viking, but it’s the perfect home to some very cool dragons! The sundry blizzards and plunging temperatures make this the perfect refuge for the Woolly Howl." So in the Archipelago, Howls apparently live over ice floes. So where are these mountains they supposedly live in?

 

Well, they could live in mountain on other locations they're said to be found in, such as the Everfrost Forest, Outpost Island, and Healer Island. But mainland Scandinavia actually does have mountains, too. Literally called the Scandinavian Mountain Range, this range runs from north to south down the spine of the peninsula, primarily found in Norway but also reaching east into Sweden and north into Finland. These mountains are pretty small; those in the Arctic Circle are only about 4000 ft., more glorified hills than mountains. The ones in south-central Norway, however - the mountains known as the Jotunheim Mountains - are about double that height, which is still pretty small for mountains but rising above the Appalachian Mountains at least. And being as far north as they are, they are snow-ravaged, despite their lack of elevation. The Woolly Howls probably live here on the mainland, as this would be the closest full mountain range to the Isle of Berk.

 

Theory 13: Woolly Howls eat fish and use their weight to break ice and reach the fish underneath. I know I assume most dragons in this franchise eat fish automatically, but I actually have a lot of evidence for this one, outside of the fact that "that's what they eat in the games."

 

So we've already mentioned that Howls are found in at least two known habitats: mountains and ice floes, both very cold and snowy. So we're probably looking for a food source found in both habitats, and if they don't share such a food source, then the two populations will both rely on different food sources, which would mean Howls can have a variable diet.

 

The ideal food sources on ice floes are pretty obvious; the Howls there must be getting food from the sea. This could mean they're hunting mammals like seals but more likely they are hunting fish. So the next question we must ask is, would they also hunt fish in mountains?

 

Well, mountains are not the most hospitable for large fish. The rugged landscape of a mountain habitat as well as the cold temperatures and shallow water of high-elevation streams is just not ideal for most species. But there are species that can handle this and even do rather well. So I decided to take a look at where bodies of water may be found in the Jotunheim Mountains and the native freshwater fish species that may be found there. And actually, there's quite a bit of fish available here, particularly in the summer months. The mountains are broken up by fjords and lush mountain lakes, which often sport fish. Some of these places were stocked for recreational fishing, something we wouldn't really see 1000 years ago, but there were still plenty of waterways that were naturally full of fish even back then. In the summer months, fish like sturgeon, asp, and salmon swim in from the ocean up the fjords and through the rivers and lakes to the shallow streams to breed. Other fish remain in the freshwater bodies year-round, including brown trout and alpine bullhead. Some of these fish will live at surprisingly high and cold elevations in mountain lakes, and given that Woolly Howls are great flyers, even those living down in the fjords are not out of reach. Therefore, fish is a perfectly logical source of food even for this mountain dweller, and seeing as it's the only common food source in both its habitats, I'm inclined to believe it comprises the Howl's diet.

 

Winter will be difficult for the dragons getting food, but they may be able to break ice by rearing back and throwing their weight into the ice, much like a polar bear. This is a strategy the ice floe Howls will also likely employ to make fishing holes in the ice of their home.

 

Theory 14: If a Woolly Howl loses one or both of its tailfins, it can't fly. The Woolly Howl's anatomy is similar enough to a Night Fury's that I think if one lost a tailfin like Toothless, it would become handicapped like Toothless.

 

Theory 15: The Woolly Howl's pale brown coloration on its scales and its eggs helps it blend into its snowy mountain habitat; color variations may indicate a population's habitat. The Woolly Howl's pale belly is confirmed to help it blend in with snowy clouds, but many have given it flack for being brown instead of white, saying that this would make it poor at camouflaging in a snowy environment. But I say it's actually the exact color a Woolly Howl needs to be in its environment. Remember, a Howl's environment isn't just snowy; it's rocky and mountainous. Now the coldest mountains in the world are the snowy Himalyas, and here we can also find a silent predator that blends in with its mountain home: the snow leopard. But this animal isn't white or even grey. If you actually see a snow leopard, it's brown like the rocks of the mountain. And how good is it's camouflage? Here, try to find the snow leopard in the picture below:

 

http://pinpple.com/thumbnails/201412/14199369381_fb.jpg

 

It's there, I promise you. Try looking on the left.

 

The snow leopard is so good at disappearing that it is known as "the ghost of the mountains." Finding one without tracks is nearly impossible. So it seems that, far from being an unideal color, pale brown might actually be the best color for blending in with rocky, snowy mountains.

 

Now there are color variations in the Woolly Howl. The Snoggletog Wraith variety is actually white with some bluish-green wings. The Woolly Howls captured by Nikora Stormheart were a very pale brown, paler than we see for the typical Woolly Howl color. Wise Wind, meanwhile, had fluffy white back scales but was varying shades of green on the rest of him. These color variations may indicate a Woolly Howl's environment. While most Howls will be brown like their mountains, the paler the Howl is in color, the snowier or less rocky its environment (which means the Snoggletog Wraith may live in the least rocky environments of all Howls). Wise Wind might be green with a white top because his population came from mountains covered in snowy forests.

 

Just like the dragons themselves, the eggs also seem to come in brown (or white in the Snoggletog Wraith's case), and so also seem to be colored to blend in with the environment.

 

Theory 16: The Woolly Howl's wing claws allows them to cling to rocky mountainsides. Woolly Howls have long, curving wing claws, so they must be used for something. They clearly aren't used for walking, but they may be used to cling to mountainsides. For a mountain dragon, the Woolly Howl has a really poor body shape for hanging on cliffs, with feet that don't necessarily cling very well, and very little else to latch onto the rocky surface. The wing claws may provide just the extra grip it needs to cling to a mountainside.

 

Theory 17: The Woolly Howl's tusks are used to scrape away ice and show off to mates. The exposed teeth on the Woolly Howl have been a subject for debate. It was actually the School of Dragons forum where I learned that apparently these aren't universally excepted as tusks among fans. These teeth being tusks is the most logical explanation, but it's true that HTTYD is not always logical about teeth. In truth, exposed teeth need to have a different structure than teeth inside the mouth or else they're too fragile when exposed to the elements. Fangs made of enamel and made sharp and for stabbing are simply not exposed in animals. (And before anyone mentions sabre-tooth cats...actually, one of the leading theories is that these cats had an extended lip to cover the teeth because otherwise they would be insanely delicate.) But many dragons in HTTYD have exposed teeth without having an issue, so this part of real-world biology might not apply in this particular fictional universe.

 

Nevertheless, I'm still inclined to call the Woolly Howl's exposed teeth tusks. They aren't positioned properly to be stabbing fangs - otherwise we'd be looking at a saber tooth - and the whole reason Howls sport them is because Ludia based a lot of their design on woolly mammoths. And in our world, the teeth that most resemble the Howl's exposed teeth are the tusks seen on young boars. On top of that, tusks are mentioned being part of the teeth of dragons in the franchise; the exposed lower fangs on a Gronckle are referred to as tusks, and they are analogous to the exposed teeth on Woolly Howls. So I think it's safe to say that these are tusks. Heck, if the exposed teeth on a Gronckle are considered tusks, it seems a lot of dragons in this franchise have tusks, from Monstrous Nightmares to Shivertooths to Eruptodons...any dragon with enlarged exposed teeth. Tusks appear to be a trait that's not uncommon in dragons.

 

But for tusks to evolve, they have to be useful for something. I think, in the Woolly Howl's case, they're mainly there to show off to mates. They're not really big enough or positioned properly to be useful for most tasks, so I'm sure that plays a role. However, since they are found on both genders, I think there must be some tool function for them. Perhaps they scrape away at ice to get at fish beneath the ice or dig up food caches.

 

Theory 18: Woolly Howls don't mate for life. Other dragons don't mate for life, so I don't think Woolly Howls do, either. The fact that they may have physical displays for se.xual attraction in the form of tusks also adds credence to this, as animals that mate for life generally don't have apparent se.xual display tools. We'll revisit this when discussing Woolly Howl social structure.

 

Theory 19: Woolly Howls breed annually. Once again, most other dragons breed annually with only a few exceptions, so I think Woolly Howls do, too.

 

Theory 20: Woolly Howls are comfortable nesting out in the open. Woolly Howls may normally live in mountains, but as we covered, they also live out on ice floes in the Icy Wastes. This leads me to believe that they are comfortable with nesting out in the open. This may be the reason it's so important for their eggs to be a camouflage color.

 

Theory 21: Woolly Howls reach full size very quickly. Most other dragon species reach full size quickly, so I don't think the Woolly Howl would be much different.

 

Theory 22: Woolly Howls have an internal compass they can use to predict barometric pressure, measure trajectory, find their way using the Earth's magnetic field, and have a sense of another dragon's or humans moods. Now this may seem like a weird thing, but hear me out. We already know Woolly Howls can fly through blizzards. Let's look at Wise Wind in Dragons: Rise of Berk. He's a Woolly Howl trained by Gothi. Wise Wind is said to be "so attuned to its surroundings" that "it can predict bad storms and is alert even to changes in Gothi's moods." This tells me that the Woolly Howl must have some kind of way of sensing these kinds of changes, and it's not happening by touch. Somehow it's sensing things like barometric pressure and the waves produced by changes in mood (which we have proven exist, though we still don't understand how those work). Animals that possess the ability to sense these things are normally using magnetic fields to do so and so have an internal magnetic sensory system of some sort, a sort of "internal compass." There's a number of animals with this ability, from migrating birds who use it to find their way each year on their annual flights to sea turtles who is it to return to the place of their birth to lay their own eggs to foxes who use their complex internal magnet to calculate trajectory when leaping for critters crawling beneath the dirt or snow. We're still learning how this compass works in animals and how we might be able to trigger it in humans (for apparently we have this ability, too, though it's only realized if we shut down more cognitive parts of the brain), but I think Woolly Howls have this same internal compass on a conscious level like foxes, sea turtles, and birds. This means they can not only pick up on moods easily and predict barometric pressure but they can also measure trajectory almost exactly, which would aid in the "precise accuracy" of their sharpshooter shots that is characteristic of the Strike Class. And they can find their way to and from almost any location using the magnetic coordinates of the Earth. A Woolly Howl always knows where it will leap or fly and where it's shooting, and it never gets lost.

 

Theory 23: Woolly Howls don't have a split tongue because a split tongue would increase surface area and heat loss. To put it in simple terms, a forked tongue allows a snake or lizard to receive different smells on different sides of the tongue by increasing the tongue's surface area. These two sides are then processed by organs at the roof of the mouth. By having smells processed across the two sides of the tongue, the reptile is able to build a 3-D image of the smells around it and can pinpoint the exact location of a smell.

 

Now the split in the tongue tip has to be pretty substantial to really get the benefits of a forked tongue. Frankly, I don't think that tiny little V at the tip of the tongues of the Woolly Howl's relatives, the Night Fury and Sand Wraith, is enough. I think that the forked tongue might be an ancestral trait, possibly for all dragons. So for the ancestor of these three dragons, the forking wouldn't have been much use and was probably just a holdover from an even older ancestor that actually used it. Why the forked tongue developed into a flabby tongue with a small fork isn't quite known. Maybe because it was relying on other sharp senses like vision, and maybe the flat, flabby tongue was more useful for taste and social behavior (the "kissing" Toothless demonstrates). But the tiny split stayed because...eh, it's not really affecting anything survival-wise.

 

For some reason, that split disappeared entirely in the Woolly Howl lineage. Why? Probably the same reason a forked tongue can be useful: increased surface area. A Woolly Howl has to open its mouth some of the time, so it will expose its tongue to the elements, and more surface area = more heat loss. So since the split in the tongue was not only not useful but also a small frostbite risk, eventually a whole, unsplit tongue evolved.

 

Theory 24: Woolly Howls can eat snow to gain water and make their ice balls by swallowing water and then drawing the heat out of that water by way of pressure or a chemical reaction. Most dragons generate flames within themselves, but there's little mention of how Woolly Howls are generating their hailstones that they shoot. Since these balls of ice are just water, I think the most logical theory is that these are generated by the water it drinks, and then its system draws heat out of the water to make ice that it then shoots. I'm not sure how it is able to draw heat out of the water, but it would need to expose the water to a cold substance - down below, Jarnuvosck ingenuously suggested a conducting fluid of some sort -that has been made freezing cold by either pressure or some sort of chemical reaction.

 

Having to generate its firepower from water it drinks means the Woolly Howl has to consume a good amount of water, but living out over the arctic sea or in snowy mountainous conditions means that there's probably not a lot of freshwater available to them...at least, not in liquid form. Therefore, like many mammals, they are probably able to get their water by consuming snow. They'll eat snow not just for regenerating their shots but also just to get a drink.

 

Theory 25: Woolly Howls are social creatures. Females live in packs, while males are solitary or live in small groups. In terms of design and behavior, the games have admitted to basing the Woolly Howl primarily on two real-world animals: woolly mammoths and wolves. Both of these are/were social animals that live/lived in groups, so I think it makes sense that the Woolly Howl would also be a social animal. But I think their social structure would resemble that of elephantine creatures over canine creatures. Canines like wolves generally live in family units, or clans, led by a leader pair that have basically mated for life. They have no need for things like se.xual displays since they stay with one mate their whole life, and the main reason for these clans is that they hunt game together. Since Woolly Howls are most likely fishers that fly above the water, they likely don't need to work together to collect fish, negating the need for a hunting pack. They also have tusks that are likely used for se.xual display, indicating that they have to attract a new mate every year and therefore probably aren't making family units with a single mate. However, elephants, the closest living relatives to mammoths, have a social structure consistent with their other traits. In elephants, females live in herds led by an old and wise female leader known as the matriarch, who earns her position not through dominance but through her knowledge. The male offspring of the herd split off and go on their own, and they may be seen wandering alone but are more often found in small "bachelor" groups. The two groups come together only to mate before going their separate ways again. I think Woolly Howls would have a similar system, where females live in a group with a distinct wise leader and males live in more gang-like groups.

 

Theory 26: Woolly Howls howl to communicate to one another and also use a lot of other vocalizations and also facial expressions for communication. School of Dragons has concluded that, just as their name implies, Woolly Howls howl. They "howl at the moon" specifically. I think they do this to communicate to one another, much like real canine species do. I also think they use a lot of other vocalizations for communication and that they use a lot of facial expressions. Their relative, the Night Fury, is shown as being very vocal and using a lot of facial expressions to get messages across, but even more importantly, vocalizations and facial expressions are an important form of communication for canines such as the wolves Woolly Howls are partly based on. For vocalizations, canines will bark, howl, whine, growl, and rumble. For facial expressions, they will widen or narrow their eyes, show their teeth, stick out their tongues, open or close their mouths, and lick to convey messages to each other. (In fact, it is the ability of canines to recognize facial expressions that has allowed our domestic dogs to evolve the ability to read us. If you ever wondered why dogs are man's best friend, part of the reason is that they are the animal that is best at reading human moods and gestures. They're even better at it than chimps or bonobos.) Basically, I think, much like wolves and Night Furies alike, Woolly Howls convey a lot of communication through noises and faces.

 

Theory 27: Woolly Howls are dog-like and somewhat elephant-like in personality and how they relate to their trainers. As mentioned before, Woolly Howls are confirmed to be based on woolly mammoths and wolves. For this reason, I think these animals are the main animals to look for when basing the Woolly Howl's personality. I think these dragons would be very dog-like in nature, mostly because wolves and dogs both share a lot of basic canine behaviors and dogs are what Woolly Howl writers and creators (from DreamWorks, Ludia, and Jumpstart) are most likely to be familiar with in terms of behavior out of wolves, dogs, and elephants. This means that they'll probably exhibit dog-like mannerisms (not unlike a lot of Toothless' dog-like mannerisms) and relate to their trainers a lot like dogs do, being loyal and protective and liking to be near their person and bonding mainly through social activity centered around games and activities. Given their tongues (and Toothless' behavior), they may even be a little "licky" from time to time, though it's hard to say. (Actually, most dogs I've met aren't licky, but enough of them are to justify the stereotype.)

 

Theory 28: The Woolly Howl's closest relatives are the Sand Wraith and Night Fury, and their common ancestor was also a mountain-dwelling fish eater. While having a slightly different body shape and profile, the Woolly Howl still clearly has the same basic body type as the Sand Wraith and Night Fury and therefore, those dragons are likely its closet relatives. It may be more closely related to the Sand Wraith due to them both having similarly pointed teeth, though the extra set of fins both the Sand Wraith and Night Fury have leads me to believe that the Wraith and Fury are both more closely related to each other than either is to the Howl. I think these dragons all came from an ancestor that lived in mountains by the coast and ate fish. The Woolly Howl split off from the lineage first from those that lived higher on the mountain. The Sand Wraith evolved from those that began living right by the sea, and the Night Fury evolved from those that remained in the mountains at lower elevations and took to being nocturnal.

 

Being relatives of the Night Fury means that the Woolly Howl is probably more distantly related to the Snow Wraith and Flightmare, and through the Flightmare, even more distantly related to the Skrill. Through the Skrill, it would then be even more distantly related to the Thunderdrum and Deadly Nadder, and through the Deadly Nadder it has weak ties to the Scuttleclaw and even weaker ties to the Whispering Death. (I just need to make a dragon phylogeny sometime, don't I? ...I'll get back to you guys on that.)

 

Theory 29: When a Woolly Howl eats glowing algae, it glows purple. So in the very first episode with the Flightmare, various dragons ate the glowing algae. It apparently makes Flightmares glow blue, Night Furies purple, Deadly Nadders yellow, and Gronckles green. We also know from the Rockstomper Greenkeep in Dragons: Rise of Berk that Rockstompers glow green when they consume the algae. Both the Gronckle and the Rockstomper are probably related through the Snafflefang, so the fact that they both glow green means that dragons of similar lineage probably glow the same color when they eat glowing algae. So since the Woolly Howl is probably a Night Fury relative, it will probably glow purple when it eats glowing algae, like a Night Fury.

 

Theory 30: Woolly Howls can fly at high altitudes. Woolly Howls are mountain dragons. While the mountains of Scandinavia aren't very big, they still have some elevation to them, so we know they have to fly at least that high. I also think they can reach high altitudes in general because, once again, their relatives the Night Furies can fly as high as the clouds, and they probably nest at slightly lower or comparable elevations to Woolly Howls. We also know that both dragons are extremely fast and agile and have similarly sized wing-to-body ratios, so they probably have similar flight abilities.

 

Theory 31: Gothi didn't acquire Wise Wind until after How to Train Your Dragon 2. Wise Wind the Woolly Howl is one of Gothi's three main dragons. There's her Gronckle, which she acquired as part of the A-Team, and her pet Terrible Terrors seen in the second movie that include her very best friend, a Terror only known as Gothi's Pet. But I think she didn't acquire Wise Wind until after the events of the second film because, in the timeline of Dragons: Rise of Berk, the dragon had not been released until it was possible to play past the point of the second movie within the game.

 

Theory 32: The Snoggletog Wraith dresses up in decorations to attract mates. So now we're at the dragon of the hour, the special, beautiful Snoggletog Wraith! This dragon already looks a little different than your typical Woolly Howl. Instead of being brown or green, this dragon is white with bluish-green wings that have specks in them that look like stars. Their eyes are blue instead of purple or green, and they have golden claws. The spike-like fur scales at the base of their tails are tinted blue at the tips. But most striking about their appearance is the Snoggletog-themed decorations covering their body. These may be actual markings, but I highly doubt that. It was actually Hypergoof that came up with this theory two years ago, but I think she might have hit it right on the money: those decorations may be something the Howl dresses itself up in to attract mates. Unlike most Howls, whose coloration is only for camouflage, the Snoggletog Wraith goes out of its way to be eye-catching!

 

Theory 33: The Snoggletog Wraith signals a snowy festive day on Berk because it is actually riding the incoming blizzard's winds. Since Woolly Howls can sense incoming storms, it makes sense that they might utilize this knowledge when flying. The Snoggletog Wraith is said to fly over Berk on Snoggletog Eve, and spotting it is said to guarantee a snowy festive day. This may be because the Snoggletog Wraith is actually riding the winds from the incoming snow.

 

Theory 34: Woolly Howls have oval-shaped red blood cells. This was actually thought up by Jornunvosck. Check it out on their comment down below!

 

 

And that's everything on the Woolly Howl! Let me wish you all a very merry Christmas, a happy Yule, a happy Snoggletog, and just in general, happy holidays! Next week, we'll do the last dragon of the year to celebrate the New Year: the Fireworm! Until then, I'm sending merry thoughts and many tidings of joy your way!

Jarnunvosck
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Wow

Wow. Nice theories about my favourite dragon!
I disagree just a few things:
1) The nature of scales. In my opinion they are like rhino's horns but with lots of micro holes. This is because this type of structure would help the production of fire(I will tell about it later). Also this would explain why it has a so high armor stat
2) The woolly howl's hail producing process. Obviously it must drink a lot of water, but how it freezes it is strange. In my opinion the organ which produces water is between the lungs, which are near the back skin(lots of reptiles have lungs on back because their belly is more exposed). So here the scales start their function. Lots of micro holes full of a conducting fluid would bring freeze to the water which is more hot than the fluid(your theory is nice but doesn't respect the second law of the thermodynamic. Heat cannot be translated into a more hot body by a colder one). Then thanks to its position the organ when hail is formed and needs to be blasted would make it pass through a tube between the lung's ones and then in the trachea.
3) The woolly howl's body structure. Fat would increase its body temperature and vanificate the hail production. So what if it is just heavy muscled, like a Neanderthal? Neanderthals were more resistant to cold than the sapiens because they were heavy muscled and were able to maintain their body temperature. So, with a combination of muscles and scales the Woolly Howl would be able to survive without lack in firepower. The fat will appear in its body but for an other reason.

So these are my own theories to support my sentences:
1) Woolly howls hibernate during winter like snow wraiths.
In their environment food is quite unexsisting during winter. So what if they, like bears, eat a lot during summer and then use this fat to survive winter while sleeping? In the announcement of the titan howl it was said it was sleeping in the snow, maybe to hibernate.
Woolly howl's red globes are sigar like shaped.
You mentioned that howls have to drink a lot of water, but this is impossible with normal red globes. They can't support the pressure. So woollies, like camels, would have modified red globes to support the pressure of 5/6 liters of water. This type of globes is also able to function at extremely cold temperatures, like the one where woollies live.
4) The woolly howl has extremely strong arms to break ice and hunt seals.
It obviously would it fish, but its arms, big and probably strong, would make it able to break ice and find seals under ice. Polar bears use this technique, thanks to weight and force. Woollies have both them, so they would be able to do it. Also its tusks are probably used to cut the resistant skin of seals
5) Woolly howl is a nice swimmer
Its relative is then night fury which can swim well. Woollies are similar to night furies in body shape, so they would be able to swim like them. This also suggests me that woollies would be able to hunt small cetaceans like narvals. They are able to fight them and probably to transport their bodies(woollies are probably stronger than night furies, and toothless was able to transport Hoockfang. A woolly would easily transport a baby or an adult narval)

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Glad you like it!

Glad you like them! And glad I could get to your favorite dragon! ^_^

 

Okay, discussion time! I'll address topics by number like you did.

 

Disagreement thingies:

1) A problem with comparing them to rhino horn is that rhino horn is a clump of modified hair rather than being modified scales like feathers or pycnofibers would be. We do know that Wolly Howl scales are...well, scales and so would need a scale structure. But I guess I see no reason a scale couldn't evolve similar traits to a rhino horn. They could be like little tiny rhino horns rooted like scales. However, the problem here is that such a structure would make the scales rigid, and we know they're not entirely rigid. Their texturing in both Dragons: Rise of Berk art and in the School of Dragons game shows the scales bending and flowing like fur.

 

<br/><a  data-cke-saved-href="http://oi64.tinypic.com/349b5hk.jpg" href="http://oi64.tinypic.com/349b5hk.jpg" target="_blank">View Raw Image</a>

 

So we need something strong but flowy.

 

But the part about micro holes would be pretty neat for the aid in making them fireproof. I like it. I wonder if that's possible to retain in a flowy structure...

 

2) lol, if my theory fails to follow thermodynamics, it's because I didn't explain it very well. XD I guess I'll go back and try to make it more clear because you're right, it doesn't sound right the way I wrote it. I was trying to describe something similar to a biological freezer or refrigerator, where heat is forced out of something by way of some sort of active energy. You can't transfer heat from something cool to something warm unless there's an energy input, such as a chemical reaction or pressure (which is how a freezer does it). Your idea, however, could be part of the mechanism by which this is done. It's a very interesting idea! I do have to wonder what the conducting fluid is and where it comes from, though. It might be easier to cool the water by pressure or a chemical reaction...unless the fluid contains the cooling chemical reaction or is pressurized to be cold before it reaches the water/ice, in which case that would make perfect sense! I have to keep thinking on this...

 

I will say that the placement of most modern reptile organs is because of leg placement. Reptiles have organs away from the belly because they have a splayed leg structure that keeps their belly close to the ground. But Woolly Howls (and most dragons in the franchise) actually have a mammalian leg structure seen in mammals, birds, and dinosaurs, which keeps the belly a bit further off the ground. If they need to keep their lungs warm, a creature like a Howl might actually want to keep them in the middle of their chest cavity so the lungs are surrounded by as much bulk as possible. Still, they definitely could have retained their organ structure from a previous reptilian ancestor if they're able to retain enough heat, so this doesn't disprove your theory on organ placement; I just think there's no evidence one way or the other.

 

3) Well...retaining body heat is the reason I speculated Woolly Howls have more fat to control body temperature. When you live in a cold environment and you have a warm body temperature, maintaining body temperature means retaining heat, whether you do it by muscle or fat. So regardless of which way it does it, it would retain heat, and yeah, this means it has to find a way to work around the fact that it makes balls of ice. (This is why I had the refrigerator hailstone theory in the first place, to explain how a warm creature is making ice.) No matter what way they do it, there needs to be an energy input to draw heat out of the water in an already warm animal. Changing the mechanism of heat conservation from fat to muscle doesn't really change this aspect.

 

And heat retention by way of more muscle rather than more fat...eh, doesn't really match what we see in nature.

 

The Neanderthal thing is actually a good example. The idea of a Neanderthal being stronger than homo sapiens is very common misconception, I'm afraid. Neanderthals were a heck of a lot stronger than modern humans, but modern humans are also little tiny wimps compared to homo sapiens that lived during the time of Neanderthals 20,000 years. In truth, Neanderthals and humans of their common era had similar musculature. Here's an article of Live Science discussing just how strong our ancestors were and briefly discusses how they were comparable to Neanderthals of the same size: link. The reason modern humans do not have the same musculature as Neanderthals or humans of 20,000 years is due to our much easier style of living, not our species.

 

What Neanderthals did have more of compared to humans of their own time was, actually, fat. It is believed that Neanderthals were more apt at making and utilizing fatty lipids and that this is a trait they passed on to Europeans, who normally match Neanderthal DNA in 1-4% of their DNA. This trait was believed to have evolved to help them retain a warm body temperature in the cold.

 

This is seen in other animals as well. A good example is polar bears versus brown bears. Polar bears are actually descended from brown bears, but they actually have more fat on their bodies. In fact, 50% of a polar bear's body weight is fat, which helps them retain their body heat. (And despite this, they don't get heart disease. For this reason, they're currently being studied to see if they hold the cure for human heart disease.)

 

The reason animals in colder environments tend to retain heat by increasing the amount of fat on their bodies rather than the amount of muscle is because fat is much less energy-costly to make and maintain and therefore a more reliable way to keep the body warm. If the animal is already physicaly working out in its environment, muscle production is a difficult thing to for a body to try to increase, especially in an environment with scarce resources.

 

Other theory things:

1) So a few things here.

 

One is that Snow Wraiths don't hibernate in the winter. They hibernate in the summer to escape warm temperatures. But eh, that's a nitpick.

 

As for the Woolly Howl hibernating during the winter, SoD's Titan Wing Woolly Howl being found after a blizzard is actually evidence that they don't hibernate. The Woolly Howl was not there before the storm blew in and was there after the storm, indicating that it had been active during the storm. If it were hibernating, it wouldn't have been active during the winter. Also, if it had been hibernating, it probably would have been in some sort of safe den, not out in the open. So on the contrary, we know for a fact that this is a dragon active during the winter. (In fact, it is often treated as a winter-themed dragon by the HTTYD games.)

 

It's also important to note that predators are almost never hibernators. Hibernators hibernate because food becomes scarce more quickly than they can move to find more of it. This may be the case if you live in a cold climate and eat vegetation. However, if you're eating meat, it's unlikely that your food will leave the cold environment faster than you will. The food either stays in the same place or migrates at a pace you can follow. On top of that, hibernating is hard. You have to store up a lot of fat, and that's difficult to do if you're hunting all of your food. Hibernating omnivores will eat as much meat as they can find when storing up for hibernation, but primarily they'll go after high-fat vegetation like nuts. So all-in-all, it doesn't really help to hibernate if you're mainly a meat-eating animal.

 

Now someone may mention bears, but bears are not actually carnivores. They're omnivores, and a lot of their diet is plant-based. In fact, usually most of their diet is plant-based, though they do enjoy a good helping of meat. And they are one of those omnivores I mentioned that stores up a lot of fat for hibernation from both meat and nuts and seeds. The most carnivorous bear of all is actually the polar bear, and the polar bear doesn't hibernate.

 

Now if someone mentions bats...actually, yup. That is a carnivore that hibernates. But hibernating bats have a very specific carnivorous diet. They eat insects, which don't move or stay when the cold comes. Like plants, they di.e off or go dormant in the winter and become near-impossible to find or move to. So they have a pattern more like plants. This is not something you see when the prey is vertebrate animals like fish or land animals.

 

So yeah, in general, hibernating is just not a behavior you see in animals with mainly meat-based diets, as HTTYD dragons usually have. Unless that meat is insects.

 

As for the Snow Wraith's hibernation, they hibernate for temperature reasons, not food reasons, which...most animals would actually migrate to escape temperature changes, not hibernate - especially flying creatures - but I guess if you already live in the arctic and are trying to escape heat, there's nowhere else to go at that point.

 

2) I think the English term you're looking for is "red blood cells"; it took a moment for me to figure out what you were referring to, sorry. But I like this theory a lot! Ingenious!

 

(lol, the missing #3. Glad to know I'm not the only one who messes up my counting from time to time. I just had to go back and correct mine on the Woolly Howl theories post.) XD

 

4) I like this theory very much! I don't think it necessarily needs to use this to hunt seals over fish, but it certainly could be used hunting either one. Or both. This matches my Theory 13, actually, where I did compare their ice-breaking technique to polar bears and said they probably used it to get to meals within the sea.

 

I will say that tusks are generally not good for cutting or piercing something due to the fact that they are generally worn down due to use and exposure; I think if they do ever eat seal, the sharp teeth inside their mouths probably do the cutting, in which I'm sure their vice-like Strike Class jaw strength would come in handy!

 

5) I definitely agree! Woolly Howls are likely decent swimmers. Though I highly doubt they'd hunt anything as big as narwhals simply because I think that kind of hunting and time spent in the water would qualify them for the Tidal Class rather than the Strike Class. Not to mention that, even though they could probably lift the weight of a narwhal (assuming they could lift a Monstrous Nightmare), that would be a lot to fly all the way up to a mountain nest. But yeah, definitely, I agree wholeheartedly that Woolly Howls are very decent swimmers for their class!

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Nice job! I'm glad you

Nice job! I'm glad you cleared up the camoflage and color thing. I always thought that Wise Wind looked like he could blend into a snow-covered pine tree! I also like your explaination on what material their scales are, as they look like fur, but are said to be scales.

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Fireworm Theories

Fireworm Theories

 

Hello, everyone! Merry 6th day of Christmas and Yule! And...happy New Year! Time for another holiday-themed set of dragon theories with the Fireworm!

 

So why did I pick the Fireworm for the New Year? Well, because School of Dragons did! In December of 2014, School of Dragons released the Fireworm Queen to players by saying that the Headmaster wants these dragons around for the New Year for their ability to breathe fireworks!

 

So this isn't a dragon I've given much thought about in the past, despite the creation of both a Fireworm and Fireworm Queen OC (Flare and Sunheart respectively). And after scouting the Internet for Fireworm theories, I have found that most of the fandom doesn't have much to say on these dragons, either, and the one person on Tumblr who has written quite a bit about them (kingofthewilderwest, he's cool, go check out his stuff) has theories about their social structure that are mostly canon-contradictory...though I do like his other theories, which I'll get to. But anyway, after really thinking about it, the lack of Fireworm theories out there in fandom is almost disappointing on our part, because this dragon is so interesting biologically! It's the only dragon with clear se.xual dimorphism (meaning males and females look different), it lives in bee-like colonies with bee-like honeycombs, it has the ability to cause its skin to burn without any visible flame, it has a very distinct forked tongue, it migrates and has a scouting system when it migrates... Overall, it's just a very fascinating dragon. From here on out, I say we as a fandom should unite in our efforts to give more thought to this homely little creature of such incredible biology! FOR THE FIREWORMS!

 

...No? Just me? Okay, then.

 

Anyway, I took a look at a few different topics for this dragon, including bearded fireworms, naked mole rats, bees, cockroaches, termites, fire salamanders, thermite, flame colors, birds and genetics, lots of cool stuff. I probably used less than half of it, but meh, it was fun. Enjoy the theories!

 

Theory 1: The Fireworm's blind spot is behind its head. Fireworms have forward-oriented eyes that sit on the side of their head, so they have a pretty good vision range, but they still can't see directly behind them. The Fireworm Queen would have an even harder time with this than a male Fireworm due to her frill.

 

Theory 2: The female Fireworm's physical differences are caused by the female gene. So we know, thanks to Dragons: Rise of Berk, that little Fireworms are male Fireworms and the Fireworm Queens (called Fireworm Princesses before they begin breeding) are the only females. But what causes this intense se.xual dimorphism? To know this, we have to figure out this dragon species' way of se.x determination. Se.x determination is the term for males and females are genetically defined in a species.

 

At first, I thought Fireworms might have a similar se.x determination as bees, which have genders determined by the number of chromosome sets. Having one set of chromosomes is called being haploid, and having two sets is called being diploid. In bees, males are haploid, and females are diploid. But this doesn't work so well for dragons. Dragons are vertebrates, not insects, and being haploid...doesn't really work out too well for vertebrates.

 

So how do real-life reptiles usually become male or female? Well, for some, it's based on environment, like temperature, but such environmentally-controlled se.x determination would require the same size eggs for male and female, and that doesn't match what we know about Fireworms at all. The two genders are so different that their very eggs vary in size, despite coming from the same mother. So it has to be a genetic difference, one the Fireworm Queen's body can sense when it makes the egg casing (because the egg is made by the mother's genetics, not the baby's).

 

Rather, I think we should look at genes that determine gender. In mammals like us, there's an X chromosome and a Y chromosome. Two chromosomes of the same type is called being homozygous, and two chromosomes of different types is called being heterozygous. In mammals, being homozygous, XX, makes a female, and being heterozygous, XY, makes a male. But in birds (endothermic reptiles) and many non-avian (non-bird) reptiles, it's the reverse. The se.x chromosomes are Z and W, and all of them have at least one Z. But homozygous individuals (ZZ) are male, and heterozygous individuals (ZW) are female. This means that any traits that are carried on the W chromosome only exist in females and don't exist in males.

 

Therefore I think the Fireworm's W chromosome carries a few significant traits with it. It causes the Fireworm to grow a crown-like frill and multiple nose horns (instead of just one). It also carries genes that increase growth hormone input and possibly genes that also strengthen structural anatomy like the skeleton (to support the much larger size). And finally, it also carries the trait that give the Fireworm the ability to generate the base for its firebreathing (see Theories 3 and 4). The traits of this gene, which also carries the trait of being female, is what makes the female Fireworm so different from the male Fireworm.

 

Theory 3: Fireworm fire is some sort of organic compound (hydrocarbon). This substance is in the Fireworm Queen's sting, and it restarts other Stoker Class dragon's fire by providing a substance to burn that allows them to "recharge" their own flame. So this was actually theorized by kingofthewilderwest on Tumblr, and I agree with him. And since I'm not a chemist, and because even if I was I don't think I could find something accurate to our world that would fit perfectly, I don't really know how to expand upon his theory aside from just making it even more broad, so...I'll mostly just reiterate it.

 

Basically, kingofthewilderwest (or Hiccup Haddock, as he likes to be called) stated that, because Fireworm venom can ignite a Monstrous Nightmare's fire, they must have a similar fire. Monstrous Nightmares have a kerosene-based flame. Now I want to take this a step further and say that, since the Fireworm's venom can ignite any Stoker Class dragon's flames, it must have something similar to the class of fire that Stoker Class dragons breathe. While we don't know the base of all Stoker Class dragon fires, we do know the base of four of them: kerosene (Monstrous Nightmare), propane (Terrible Terror), methane (Red Death), and ethane (Hobblegrunt). These are all organic compounds, or hydrocarbon-based substances. Therefore I (and kingofthewilderwest) believe that the Fireworm must have a similarly-based fire. In fact, I'd extrapolate this to say all Stoker Class dragons have a hydrocarbon-based fire...something to keep in mind for future Stoker Class dragon theory pages, it seems.

 

Now I say this substance is in the Fireworm Queen's sting because this sting can be used to ignite the Stoker Class dragon's fire. We know a Stoker Class dragon can lose its fire by being physically "pushed" in some way by being sick or worn out or simply old age, which probably means its ability to produce the hydrocarbon base of its fire is damaged in some way. The method by which the organic compound is made requires the presence of that compound in the body - a sort of feedback system - so if anything happens to drain the body of this substance - say, drain a Monstrous Nightmare of too much of its kerosene because it overworked itself - it needs more kerosene, or at least more of a similar substance, to jump-start its fire-making process once more. The Fireworm Queen's sting, as well as the substance in its Firecomb, carries its own organic substance that can do the trick.

 

Theory 4: The Fireworm Queen builds the Firecomb with a wax gland and fills the Firecomb with her venom. The Firecomb of the Fireworms greatly resembles the honeycombs of bees, so I theorize it's made in much the same way. Bees secrete the beeswax of the honey comb from wax glands in their abdomen. I think Fireworms may also have such similar wax glands - perhaps in their rear - from which they can secrete the wax and shape it into Firecomb. The Fireworm Queen then fills it with her venom. The venom she has, which is also the source of her firepower, is self-generated in her, but males don't have the ability to generate this venom (they have a Venom stat of 0), so they obtain their firebreathing base from their queen by eating the venom she leaves in the Firecomb.

 

Theory 5: The Fireworm Queen uses her many legs to mold the Firecomb. Fireworms have a huge amount of limbs, 12 total if you count their wings, including 5 pairs of legs! I think the Fireworm Queen, who has to mold the wax base of her Firecomb, uses her 10 legs to help her do so.

 

Theory 6: The Fireworm's wing claws and many limbs are used to climb. Male Fireworms don't have to mold any wax (probably), but their many limbs are probably still useful for something. They likely use their 5 pairs of legs and the claws they have on the mid-joint of their wings to help them climb about on surfaces, even walking up vertical walls.

 

Theory 7: The Fireworm Queen's nose horns and frill are used for intimidation. The Fireworm Queen clearly doesn't need her impressive headgear to attract or fight for mates, so what is it for? Well, the Fireworm Queen has to guard her nest from anyone who may want to harm her baby Fireworm charges or the Firecomb she uses to house them and feed their fire, so I think that impressive headgear is actually used to make her seem even bigger and more intimidating than she already is to anyone who may want to mess with her nest.

 

Theory 8: Fireworms have a pocket in their skin which they set on fire or cause a hot chemical reaction. Fireworms are interesting in terms of Stoker Class dragons. Numerous dragons in this class set themselves on fire. Moldruffles set their wings on fire. Typhoomerangs coat themselves in fire when they make a fire volcano. Monstrous Nightmares can make a complete fire jacket. But Fireworms don't "coat themselves in fire." Instead, they make their skin fiery-hot, so hot it glows. How is this accomplished? I think they have a layer within their skin that's underneath the surface where the source of the heat takes place. They may actually set this layer on fire, or alternatively, and more realistically, they may cause a chemical reaction to occur in this skin pocket that causes the generation of intense heat. The spots that line the sides of the Fireworm may even be the sites where the combustion or chemical reaction is taking place.

 

Theory 9: Fireworm Queens and baby Fireworms eat things brought to them by the adult males. Cartoon Network's website told us long ago that Fireworms, like most small dragons are scavengers, so we know that male Fireworms just eat whatever they can find. Since most dragons are meat-leaning omnivores, Fireworms probably are, too. But what about Fireworm Queens and the baby Fireworms that are confined to the Firecomb? What are they eating, and how are they getting food? Well, they likely eat the same sort of foods that the males eat, but they have to get it somehow. I don't think the Fireworm Queen is leaving to hunt; Dragons: Rise of Berk states this dragon is already sensitive to cold and that one Fireworm Queen, Solar Flare, only comes out of her hive during the warmest days of the year, which is not often enough to be getting enough food for herself and her babies. So I think the males actually work together in a swarm to bring food to the Fireworm Queen and to the young of the hive. This would actually explain why males generally move about in swarms and why its important for them to signal to each other their presence by glowing when they are close to one another.

 

Theory 10: Fireworms hide in caves, burrows, and rotting logs to escape the cold, and they nest in volcanoes so the Fireworm Queen has enough heat. They winter in their Firecomb hive in their home volcano. As mentioned up above, Dragons: Rise of Berk has revealed that Fireworms, especially Queens, are sensitive to cold. I think the reason you generally see male Fireworms hiding in crevices and rotting logs when not safe in their hive is becomes they're in tight spaces where they can heat the interior. This also explains why the massive Fireworm Queen prefers to build her Firecomb hives in volcanoes. And if they are so cold-sensitive, then none of them are going to be out in winter. They probably hole up in their hive for the entirety of winter. Since they are scavengers, there are two survival strategies they could use to survive the winter; they could hibernate or they could scavenge vigorously in the fall and store food in the hive for winter. Both strategies are shown in different types of bees. But either way, once winter descends, any Fireworm not safe in the hive will perish, and those inside won't emerge until spring.

 

Theory 11: Fireworms can't fly at high altitudes or through foul weather. Fireworms have a lot of legs, which indicates they crawl a lot more than they fly. They're even compared to cockroaches by the franchise, and for winged insects, most cockroaches spend most of their time on the ground. Therefore I think Fireworms don't fly a lot compared to many dragons, preferring instead to scuttle around on the ground, and as a result, it wouldn't be surprising if they weren't impressive flyers. They have a stiff spine and poor agility in School of Dragons, so we already know they're not agile, but I also don't think they're soaring to great heights. Since they are cold-sensitive, they wouldn't want to be high up in the atmosphere, and male Fireworms might not even have enough mass to be able to fight the winds of higher altitudes. I also think their lack of agility and inability to tolerate cold, combined with the fact that a dragon with a wet head can't breathe fire, means that these dragons can't fly through bad weather. Be it rain or snow, precipitation is simply too cold and too wet for them to tolerate. If caught outside during foul weather, males will probably take cover in small crevices in the ground or in trees or logs. Fireworm Queens probably rarely stray far from the hive and so will duck into their nest, and should they be in the middle of a migration, they'll probably seek cover at some safe spot her scouts found when they scouted her route.

 

Theory 12: Fireworms grow up very quickly. Once again, all dragons shown growing up in the franchise are shown to grow up quickly, so I think most dragons do, possibly reaching full size within just a year. And yes, this fast growth rate is true for female Fireworms as well as males, though I think males probably grow up more quickly.

 

Theory 13: A Fireworm Princess lives her birth nest in the summer to start her own hive. She mates with numerous males just once in her lifetime and then becomes a Fireworm Queen. So we know that female Fireworms are rare, and it's difficult for them to establish their own nests even after they manage to survive to adulthood, but we don't know by what process this happens. I think the Fireworm Princess - a young female Fireworm - hatches in the nest and is raised by the Fireworm Queen and all the males, who are mostly her brothers. Being such a cold-sensitive dragon, it makes sense she would leave her birth nest in the summer season, giving her a limited window to find a safe home and some mates to start her own nest.

 

If she succeeds in finding a place to establish a hive and males to propagate it, she mates with the multiple little males she managed to find, and...that's the last time she mates. Queen bees have a similar system. When a new queen establishes a nest, she mates with numerous male drones and then never mates again. Instead, she stores their seed, so to speak, so she can fertilize eggs at her own pace. Since Fireworms seem to be largely based off of insects with a heavy amount of inspiration from bees, they may have a similar mating system. Once Fireworm Princess has successfully mated with her little males and built a nice bit of Firecomb for them in their new nest, these now-loyal fathers go out and start finding food for themselves and for her while she starts laying their first brood and officially goes from being a Fireworm Princess into being a Fireworm Queen.

 

Theory 14: A Fireworm Queen lays eggs annually and lays multiple Fireworm Princesses throughout her lifetime. For male eggs, she builds a wax casing around the egg to protect them. The Fireworm Queen probably lays eggs annually. In Dragons: Race to the Edge, we see that she hatches these eggs in summer, which makes sense since that is the time when its easiest for the adult males to find food for the young. Most of these eggs are going to male Fireworms, and their eggs are so small that the Fireworm Queen uses her wax to build a protective casing around each egg, which we also see in Race to the Edge. But she will also lay the occasional female egg, which all the Fireworms of the hive will be particularly attentive to, since the future of the species is largely based on the survival of its females.

 

Theory 15: Green Fireworm Queens, Royal Fireworms, can act as an alpha over other queens. They acquire their physical differences through hormone changes. Many are Titan Wings. In Dragons: Rise of Berk, there's an odd Fireworm Queen individual known as the Royal Fireworm. This Fireworm is green in color and has spikes on her tail. Her description is as follows: "This Fireworm glows a completely different color than most of its breed. Fishlegs theorizes it's due to hierarchy within the species." So my theory is basically that...Fishlegs' theory is correct. Royal Fireworms are Fireworm Queens that are so old and so powerful that they have actually triggered a hormone change that has changed their color, caused the growth of spikes on their tail, and given them the ability to dominate other Fireworm Queens. I think many of these Royal Fireworms are Titan Wings because the Titan Firewrom Princess in Rise of Berk is also a green Fireworm.

 

Theory 16: Fireworms have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to find food, and communicate largely by pheromones. Fireworms have a very split tongue. As explained in the Woolly Howl theories page, split tongues allow the tongue to take in scents on two different sides of the tongue and basically allow the animal to build a 3-D image of the smells around them. This is very usual to animals that navigate, find food, and/or communicate by smell. I think Fireworms not only use this excellent sense of smell to scavenge for food, but they also communicate heavily with pheromones, much like bees and cockroaches (including termites). These pheromones allow the swarms of males to "talk" to each other and the female to "talk" to her males. It also allows Royal Fireworms to establish their identity and dominance.

 

Theory 17: Male Fireworms fear fire because it indicates the presence of danger. Little Fireworms fear fire, and this seems pretty counter-intuitive for a dragon that makes itself an intense ball of fire. I couldn't really find any other fan theories on this. Even the Wikia points out how weird this is but doesn't attempt to throw out any theoretical explanations. Well, I thought I'd give it a go. I think Fireworms are instinctively afraid of fire not because of the fire itself but because of the potential source of the fire. For a Fireworm, fire that does not come from themselves signals danger. Fire comes from lightning strikes that signal bad weather, humans who will probably do nefarious things to the little dragons, or most commonly, from bigger dragons who are behaving aggressively. So outside fire = bad things will follow. This explanation also explains why the Fireworm Queen doesn't seem to be afraid of fire like the males are since her job as the nest and swarm protector is to go after the danger rather than run from it.

 

Theory 18: The Fireworm has no close relatives, but its closest living relative is the Thunderpede. This one might seem a little weird. At first, it seems like the Thunderpede is nothing like the Fireworm. But this has to do with the number of limbs these dragons have. The Fireworm has the most limbs of any dragon, with a staggering 12 limbs (2 wings, 10 legs). Limbs take quite a bit of mutation to evolve into a species, and so it's unlikely that any dragon is closely related to the Fireworm. However, I think its closest living relative is the 10-limbed (2 wings, 8 legs) Thunderpede. The closest relative after that is the 8-limbed (2 wings, 6 legs) Hackatoo.

 

Theory 19: The Night Terrors of Dragon's Edge have seen a Fireworm Queen before...and they lost their last island to her. When the Fireworms were trying to migrate by way of Dragon's Edge in Dragons: Race to the Edge, the Night Terrors of the island knew how to make the shape of a Fireworm Queen to trick the the Fireworm swarm and help save their island. But how did the Night Terrors, especially their leader Smidvarg, know what a Fireworm Queen looked like? The Wikia suggests that Stoker Class dragons may know what the Fireworm Queen looks like instinctively, since her venom can regenerate their flame. I find this...frankly, ridiculous. Instinct tells you to do something but it doesn't plant images in your brain, and I highly doubt that, regardless of the Fireworm Queen's regeneration ability, that knowledge of this regeneration is instinctive. (If that was the case, why didn't Hookfang set out to find a Fireworm nest himself when his flame was going out?) Rather, I think it's more likely that Smidvarg's pack has encountered a Fireworm Queen before and is well aware that the other Fireworms follow her. The most likely scenario as to how this happened is that Fireworms had migrated to their previous home before, and they saw the swarm, the Queen, and all their destruction firsthand. They probably lost their home the first time around and were forced to flee. But they took the knowledge of that first tragedy and used it to save their second home from another Fireworm migration on Dragon's Edge.

 

 

And that's everything I have on Fireworms! As always, feel free to state your agreement, disagreement, or anything else you'd like to add. And most of all, have a happy New Year, everyone!

 

For our very first dragon theories page of the new year, as requested by Flare-the-Night-Fury on DeviantArt, I will be doing the big guns: the Night Fury! Only the most popular dragon of the whole franchise, the species of our main dragon character. No pressure. XD What a way to start the new year!

Jarnunvosck
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Amazing

This is amazing. Just some points:

1) Fireworm uses its legs to walk on her nest avoiding damage. If you notice fireworm nests are not so resistant and may break if a big dragon crawls on them. But if this dragon has lots of legs the weight wouldn't damage the nest. Obviously multiple legs are the best to crawl on the nest, but I think that there is also this reason

2) Fireworm venom is both a catalizator and a source of heat. In the TV show it is said that that fireworms eat firecomb and absorb its heat. Also it is said that fireworm venom can burn its victims. Fireworm fills her nest with her venom and this is absolutely true. So this venom isn't just a type of hydrocarbon, but a substance which creates natural heat. This explains how the fireworm healed Hoockfang: the venom acted as a hydrocarbon and made Hoockfang produce flames. But how could Hoockfang continue producing fire? Fireworm venom acts as a catalizator making his cells restart producing their own hydrocarbon.

3) Fireworm venom acts just when absorbed in the body. If you notice fireworm venom is able to do what it does just in a dragon body. The TV show demonstrates this: it only works in a living organism. I suppose this is because it is like a normal venom: its composition affects just living cells. But how can a fireworm control it if it is in her body? As snakes, fireworm queen has a gland to store it, possibly at the end if her head, near the crown. This gland would also have specialized muscles able to make the venom flow in her tongue or under her skin, to make her bright and hot

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WhispertheWolf
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Nice!

Gosh, I love all of these theories! These are awesome!

 

Did I ever mention how much I enjoy the fact that you found this thread? You have such great ideas! It's wonderful!

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SingingRedFox
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Great!

These were just amazing! I wonder, how does it happen that one female Fireworm (Queen) reaches it's full size that quickly, and what happens to the other females? Now that the Wikia seems to say that all the small Fireworms are males, does that mean that the Queen is the only female? Or did I just miss some part?

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:)

Aw, thanks! ^_^

 

Yes, according to Dragons: Rise of Berk, the Fireworm Queen is typically the only female in her hive...unless, of course, there's a baby Princess currently in the nest. I speculate there's probably only one or a few Princess eggs in the nest at any point in time, and they probably set out to start their own nest the first summer they're able to.

Jarnunvosck
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Nothing

Oh, it's nothing. I just like add something at your theories.

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Night Fury Theories

Night Fury Theories

 

Hi, everyone! I'm uploading a day early again...once again because I have a long day of traveling tomorrow. So...happy last day of Christmas, everyone! And last day of pagan Yule, if you so celebrate! (Wow, it's already been 12 days since the holiday.)

 

So here we are! As requested by Flare-the-Night-Fury, we are starting off 2018 with the most popular and arguably most important dragon of the franchise (what with him being the main dragon character and all): the Night Fury, the unholy offspring of lightning and death itself! Or, as we know them now, giant winged censored-cats with puppy-like energy! XD

 

One thing that's been pretty well known about me is that, in general, it's true that I haven't been a fan of how fans of the franchise have been treating Night Furies and Night Fury OCs or the treatment its gotten in the Dragons TV show. But when it comes to the Night Fury as first introduced to us in the 2010 How to Train Your Dragon film, I actually really like this dragon. Part of it is the fact that Toothless is my favorite character in the movies, but there's also a part of me that just really likes the creature that the first film introduced. And it is simultaneously the dragon species we know the most about, thanks to Toothless, and the dragon species whose life in the wild remains a mystery, since Toothless is the only known Night Fury, so there's a lot to pick apart here while having plenty of evidence to do so! And of course, there was no shortage of other fan theories to find with this guy. While I found many I disagreed with, many of them are also really interesting and worth reiterating, tweaking, and/or adding onto and ended up becoming part of my final thought process on this species. So yeah, I really enjoyed myself with this one. Now I do expect the most amount of disagreement for this one because people get pretty passionate about their Furies, but ya know, 'tis only theories. XD

 

So get ready for my longest theory page in pure word-count...Night Furies!

 

(And I totally did my final edit of this listening to "Forbidden Friendship" on repeat.) XD

 

Theory 1: Night Furies are black due to adaptive melanism. Also, pure-black Night Furies without markings are possible. Melanism is a mutation that causes an animal to have an abundance of dark-colored pigment. It makes an animal very dark in color, usually black, and most forms don't come with any other health effects. This is what causes things like black jaguars and black foxes. Adaptive melanism is when melanism gives the animal a survival advantage and so becomes widespread in the species or population, possibly the only color. Some black snake populations and the black Abert squirrels of Colorado are an example of adaptive melanism. The most famous is probably the peppered moth, which is generally a peppered color to blend in with the lichen on trees, but black melanistic individuals became more common after the Industrial Revolution in England led to widespread population and charcoal coloration on trees and the death of much of the lichen. Similar to these populations, I think Night Furies descended from lighter-colored individuals, but black coloration due to melanism became the predominant color in the species because it was advantageous, probably due to the Night Fury's stealth-bombing and nocturnal nature.

 

Now one thing to address is that Toothless is not completely black. He actually has black and dark grey spotted markings, like many melanistic leopards or jaguars. (The animators were originally going to make him completely black, but his details faded away too much when they did that and made Toothless seem like he wasn't quite tangible in the animation.)

 

Toothless Markings by WhispertheWolfie

https://78.media.tumblr.com/45efbc1d029ece28b0b82c9abc187ec3/tumblr_n8m88ukry91sfrgdbo3_1280.jpg

https://78.media.tumblr.com/87231d431d46a79c36a6e23bfd945530/tumblr_n8m88ukry91sfrgdbo1_1280.jpg

 

Despite this, I think an entirely black Night Fury is completely possible if their dark hide really is due to melanism. Since melanism is incompletely dominant, it appears regardless of whether or not the Night Fury has another color gene, but the melanism might not cover all markings if only one of the melanistic genes is present. With only one melanistic gene, we end up with Toothless' coloration. Two melanistic genes would make the animal a solid black color.

 

Of course, the next question is, if what I'm saying is true, what does it mean in terms of breeding? Well, since melanism is normally dominant, if two pure-black Night Furies breed, they can only have pure-black babies. If a pure-black Night Fury breeds with a black Night Fury with markings, all their offspring will be black, but some might have markings. If two black Night Furies with markings breed, they could have some black babies - who could be pure-black or black with markings - or they could have lighter morph babies.

 

So...what's a lighter morph? ...I think it's time we took this discussion to a new theory.

 

Theory 2: Night Furies of colors other than black, including albino Night Furies, are possible to breed but probably wouldn't survive in the wild. All Night Furies, except the solid black ones, have spotted markings, which are more visible without the melanism. Piebald Night Furies likely don't exist. So this is a long one, but Night Furies with colorations other than just pure black or "colored like Toothless" - you know, the colors that are probably typical in a Night Fury - are of great interest to those who like to make their AU Night Fury OCs. So since exploring all color options for Night Furies is important to the fandom...let's explore all options.

 

Since melanism is generally a dominant gene in animals, it is possible for a Night Fury to be bred with two recessive alleles for the gene and therefore be a lighter color...the "original" lighter color, if you will. This is known as a lighter morph. And given that black evolved to be the dominant color, the original color was probably a lot lighter than black. And because albinism is generally recessive, even albinos are possible in this species. However, I don't think any individuals considerably lighter than black - especially albinos - would be able to survive in the wild because their lighter coloration would be a beacon to predators, rivals, and potential prey. It's likely that few even make it to adulthood. That's probably why melanism was adaptive in the first place.

 

But regardless of what main color they are, I think all Night Furies - except the pure black ones - have the same spotted markings you see on Toothless. These would actually be easier to spot (ha) in a lighter morph. So even in a light morph, they would have black spots, like a jaguar or leopard. On albinos, these markings would be pale and faint but still visible, like the markings on most albino snakes. (Interestingly, the Wyndbain Night Fury dollmaker doesn't have any options to put an accurate Toothless pattern on your Night Fury, black or otherwise. I think the fandom could use an updated Night Fury dollmaker...)

 

Now, what color is the lighter morph with dark spots? Well, we do actually have a few clues. Spotting is one clue. Spots and stripes are patterns that can evolve to attract mates but generally - especially if they're black or brown spots - evolve to break up an animal's outline for camouflage. If an animal has spots for camouflage, it also likely is a camouflage color. So rather than being neon-colored or something like that, lighter Night Fury morphs were probably colors that blend in well with the environment in the daylight, such as light brown or tan, yellow or tawny, sorrel, or green. But they probably weren't colors that blend in well at night, like navy blue or dark green, since then they would have had no reason to evolve into a melanistic population to be nocturnal. Also, colors like light blue, purple or deep red would probably not be seen in the population since these colors tend to stand out in the natural environment and therefore are poor camouflage.

 

Now again, I don't think lighter morphs or albinos would survive well in the wild, so if your heart is set on a lighter-colored, black-spotted Night Fury OC or a white albino Night Fury OC, you probably want to give it some sort of backstory where it's raised by people from a young age. All wild adults are probably going to be melanistic individuals, either pure black or black with faint markings.

 

Now since I have also seen piebald Night Fury OCs, I do want to address that, too. Could Night Furies be piebalds? ...Probably not? Piebalding is something extremely rare in the wild, much rarer than albinism, and it usually doesn't help an animal's survival, with a few exceptions. For an animal trying to blend in with the dark, it would likely be a handicap and have a similar survival rate as wild albinos (extremely low). But more importantly, piebalding is generally a phenomenon seen in domestic animals and captive breeding, especially in reptiles. Many animals also get piebalding from dominant genes, so it doesn't tend to "hide" in the population or be something you can get from two non-piebald parents. On top of that, Night Fury coloration is based on melanistic jaguars, and the only record I have found of piebalding in big cats is in a lynx individual that had partial albinism. Piebalding is, overall, just not something you really see in big cats. So on the question of whether or not a Night Fury could be piebald - particularly a wild one - at this current point in the franchise, I'm going with no. Probably not, anyway. It's not impossible, but I think it's highly implausible. Maybe they could exist in an AU where Night Furies have been bred by humans for generations, but I'd avoid making your wild-born Night Fury OC a piebald if you want to be realistic about its genetics.

 

There you go! All potential Night Fury colors that I think are possible and plausible! Now go flood the world with new Night Fury OC designs! XD

 

Theory 3: The Night Fury's jaw sits low in the gums. With the flick of a hinge, the whole jaw shoots up, and the teeth pop up above the gumline. The jaw can "lock" into that position, which aids in the Night Fury's vice-like jaw strength. Gosh, darn it, retractable teeth theories are hard, okay? If anyone wants to say I'm wrong about this and has a well-reasoned argument for an alternative, I'm all ears because I am not certain about this idea at all. But best as I can figure, I think the whole jaw would have to move for this to work, since teeth are rooted to the jaw (hence why skulls still have teeth). I think the Night Fury may have a locking mechanism for its jaw on a hinge, which, when loosened, allows the jaw to drop and the teeth to sink below the gumline, but when locked in place, the jaw fits snuggly in the gums, causing the teeth to appear. For this to work, the jaw must lock in place whenever the Night Fury is doing something that requires use of its jaw, like eating. The locking mechanism probably aids in giving the Night Fury its signature Strike Class "vice-like" jaw strength.

 

Theory 4: Night Furies use their teeth retraction for social communication and signaling. The reasons why a Night Fury might have retracable teeth are interesting because on the surface, this mechanism doesn't make much sense. Now the reason the movie makers did it is so Toothless could keep the name he had in the book while retaining his new, fearsome Night Fury redesign, and the reason they give for why the Night Fury evolved retractable teeth is that it evolved to protect the teeth from their intensely hot, electrically charged acetylene-oxygen plasma. But while this explains why the trait evolved, it doesn't explain what the trait's use is now because we clearly see Toothless shoot plasma blasts with his teeth exposed, indicating that the Night Furies have since come up with another adaptation that protects their teeth even when exposed. (And remember, teeth physics and biology is...questionable in this franchise.) So what's the deal here now? I think after they evolved this protective mechanism for their teeth, the retraction then became used for social communication. We see Toothless use his teeth just for this purpose. When showing he's friendly, he retracts his teeth, but when he wants to show aggression, his teeth pop out again.

 

Theory 5: The movable plates on the Night Fury's head aid in guiding sound to its ears and are necessary for echolocation. I theorized that the head plates on dragons might be used like mammalian pinna back in the Windwalker theory page, but for those who have forgotten or are newcomers, I'll do a quick refresher. Reptiles and birds don't have any external ear appendages, but mammals have ear extensions that guide sound to the ear. In the scientific field, we call these pinna. Reptiles don't have pinna, but I think the huge movable plates around the Night Fury's ears provide the same service as pinna, guiding sound to the ears. While we saw little plates on the Windwalker, the Night Fury's are probably huge, highly movable, and well-developed because they have to guide noises heard in echolocation to the ear. It is the turn and twitching of the head and plates that allows the Night Fury to hear the exact location of objects its echolocation has bounced off of.

 

Theory 6: Non-albino Night Furies all have yellowish eye color and have excellent night vision. They might have blue eyes for the first few weeks of life. They have excellent night vision but not very good color vision. Now I say non-albino Night Furies don't have this eye coloration because albinos have red eyes...and sometimes mild eye problems to boot. But your typical Night Fury is going to have yellowish eyes, ranging from golden to reddish to greenish (with Toothless' being greenish). The original How to Train Your Dragon mentioned Night Furies having "piercing yellow eyes that glow in the dark, like a cat's," so I believe yellow to be typical of the species. This yellowish range is also the color range we see in large cats, particularly jaguars, the main animal used for the Night Fury's appearance (though it ended up looking more like an Axolotl salamander, but whatever).

 

And like jaguars and other large carnivores with night vision, I think Night Furies are born with blue eyes. The golden color of the eyes of many predators has to do with the amount of melanin in the eye, and this isn't seen in kittens, cubs, puppies, and such because the melanocytes, which provide the melanin in the eye, haven't started working yet until the babies reach a certain age (usually 4 to 6 weeks).

 

The "glowing" part of a Night Fury eye means that, like a cat, they probably have a Tapitum lucidum, a reflective layer behind the retina. This increases the animal's night vision. Cats also have large amount of rods in their eyes compared to cones, which also increases the amount of light their eye can capture, and I think Night Furies have this, too. Overall, like cats, Night Furies have excellent night vision. However, less cones means a decreased ability to see color, probably giving them about the same color range as a cat (mostly seeing in greens and blues).

 

Theory 7: When Night Furies hang upside down, special adaptations prevent the onset of dizziness and difficult breathing most animals feel when upside down. Lord help me, I don't know what all these adaptations are, but I'm going to give this a go because this behavior definitely needs some sort of explanation.

 

Based on Toothless, Night Furies usually sleep curled up on the ground, but like bats (and Speed Stingers...dang it, should have done this theory for Speed Stingers, too), they can sleep upside down, as shown in two scenes, one in the first movie and one in the fourth episode of Dragons: Riders of Berk. And this very odd. See, there's a reason we don't like to hang upside down indefinitely: thanks to gravity and how our organs are structure, hanging upside causes dizziness and difficulty breathing. All the blood rushes to your head, the fluids in the inner ear that aid in balance are sloshed about, and the weight of your other organs starts pressing on your lungs and diaphragm. Overall, just not a great situation for sleeping. So how does the Night Fury do it? Well, I looked at animals that hang upside down in real life, namely the bat and sloth. Now the bat is too small for gravity to really have a huge effect on the body, so it's not a good model, but the sloth had more to offer. The sloth is able to keep the fluids in its ear from sloshing about because it moves very slowly, and it has tape organs attached to its ribs that keep all the other organs in place while it hangs. I think the Night Fury has this, too, and it probably also has a stabilizing mechanism for its inner ear fluids as well. On top of that, it likely has a way to restrict blood flow to its head when hanging upside down. Not only would such adaptations be useful for sleeping upside down, but they might also aid in keeping the Night Fury from getting dizzy, disoriented, or short of breath when performing tricky maneuvers in the air.

 

Theory 8: Night Furies communicate with a lot of facial expressions but generally don't smile. Toothless communicates a lot through facial expressions, so I do believe this is a common feature in Night Furies. And though this behavior isn't very cat-like, it is very dog-like, another animal whose behavior is used for inspiration for the Night Fury. Toothless even seems familiar with the concept of facial expressions being used for communication when he first meets Hiccup, as he gives him lots of facial expressions and tries to read his in return. But despite this, I don't think a smile is a typical facial expression for them. Toothless didn't smile until he tried to mimic Hiccup doing it, as he correctly interpreted it as a friendly human expression, and from there on out uses it as a communication tool, particularly with people. Nevertheless, he had to learn the expression from a human before he started using it.

 

Theory 9: Night Furies dive bomb to catch fish, which they locate using their echolocation. The franchise has stated that Toothless is a very picky eater and really only eats fish (and a few human scraps, but in the wild, fish). So the Night Fury must catch the fish somehow. Since this dragon is known as the stealth bomber of dragons and is shown to be a very adept swimmer for its class, I think it dive-bombs into the water to catch fish, using its echolocation to hear fish near the surface to dive for them (like the fish-eating bat).

 

Theory 10: Night Furies may sometimes use their blast to signal to each other. In How to Train Your Dragon 2, we see Toothless' blast explode at high altitudes, and in both movies and the show, we see he's willing to fire off blasts just for the fun of it. This laissez-faire use of this weapon makes me believe that Night Furies are willing to use their blast as a communication tool to signal from far away. They may even utilize the explosiveness of the blasts at high altitudes for signalling.

 

Theory 11: Night Furies use their echolocation to pinpoint the location of their target when shooting. This is why they almost never miss. When a Night Fury is stealth-bombing, it makes a ballistic sound. However, this sound, while perhaps originally meant to be the sound of its dive (according to the original website), has become associated in the franchise (largely due to the show) for being the sound of a Night Fury about to fire. This is the same sound Toothless sends out when he uses his echolocation. It may be that, before it fires, the Night Fury echolocates its target to pinpoint is exact location in a way it can't with only its eyes. This is why it almost never misses a shot.

 

Theory 12: Night Furies can fly at about 1000 mph (or 1614 km/h) at their fastest speed, but it can't fly at this top speed at just any moment and can't fly at that speed for very long. Hey, someone already did this one for me! Thank you, Mainichi no Hanashi from Tumblr!

 

So basically, Mainichi managed to calculate the speed Toothless is going in the intro of Dragons: Riders of Berk by measuring the angle of the Mach cone Toothless made when he broke the sound barrier. (See, math is useful, kids.) See his full analysis here. His analysis found that, in that intro, based on the Mach cone, Hiccup and Toothless are traveling at 1614 km/h or about 1003 mph.

 

Now would such a speed kill Hiccup in real life? Yes. But in real life, these dragons also wouldn't be able to fly, so...cartoon physics??? (Note to self for OCs: in HTTYD, humans can survive flying faster than the speed of sound without protective coverings.)

 

Point is, yes, the Night Fury has been mentioned going faster than the speed of sound, and this confirms that he can go at least 250 mph faster than the speed of sound!

 

But I don't think this is the typical speed of a Night Fury. I think it can only reach these intense speeds after the right dive, and it can't maintain this speed for a long time. Generally, the Night Fury is way slower. In the How to Train Your Dragon 2 companion book Time to Race!, Toothless' average racing speed is said to be about 80 mph (~129 km/h). That's still wickedly fast for flying and the fastest of all the other dragons' racing speeds, but it's still well below race car speed and way below his highest possible speed. And this inability to go at is fastest speed also explains why the Night Fury is indisputably the fastest species but why Stormfly and Hookfang can still race against Toothless competently.

 

Theory 13: Night Furies live in social groups. Toothless shows a lot of social behavior, not only with Hiccup and other people but also with other dragons. For Toothless to be this social and comfortable in a group, I have to believe that living in social groups is natural for a Night Fury. This also matches the behavior of a lot of animals used for inspiration for the Night Fury's behavior, including cats, dogs, horses, bats, and kangaroos.

 

Theory 14: A Night Fury's nubs communicate its age to other members of its species. There's very little reason for a Night Fury to spend the energy growing those nubs on its chin unless they communicate something. I think they communicate to other dragons its age, which may be a signal to younger, less experienced dragons to respect the older, more experienced ones. This probably occurs in multiple species because Valka was able to age Toothless with them despite indicating that she'd never seen a Night Fury up close before.

 

Theory 15: Night Furies don't mate for life. Other dragons don't, so I don't think Night Furies do.

 

Theory 16: Night Furies grow up very quickly. Other dragons seem to, so Night Furies probably do, too.

 

Theory 17: Night Furies live on seaside cliffs and mountains and nest in caves. Night Furies eat fish, so they likely live near the sea. They also are said by some first movie promotional material to lay their eggs on mountaintops, so they likely live in mountains. Finally, they also can hang upside down to sleep and have echolocation, which indicates they nest in tight spaces with roofs. And what place in a mountain habitat by the sea has tight spaces and a roof? Why, a seaside cave, of course! So Night Furies likely nest in caves found in cliffs or mountains by the shore.

 

Theory 18: Night Furies lay eggs on top of mountains to protect them from potential predators and so they can be struck by lightning to hatch. So if Night Furies nest in caves, why would they lay their eggs at the very tops of mountains rather than within the cave? A YouTuber called Hello Future Me actually has a theory on this in a video you can watch at this link. I don't actually agree with his reasoning that Night Furies are necessarily found at low altitudes, but I do agree with his reasoning for why Night Furies lay eggs on the tops of mountains and his real-life bird comparison that he makes. His idea is basically that the mountaintops are so inaccessible that they keep the Night Fury's eggs safe from predators or scavengers. And not only that, but according to this old promotional material, Night Fury eggs actually require an electrical storm to hatch, and the increased height increases the chances that the egg will be struck by lightning. (That's a really cool way to hatch, too. Man, Night Furies are cool! I suppose that's why it's the "unholy offspring of lightning and death itself.")

 

Theory 19: The Night Fury's closest living relative is the Sand Wraith, followed by the Woolly Howl. Many of the fandom has already theorized this, so I'm basically throwing in my grudging agreement...grudging because I'm not really a fan of people trying to attribute Night Fury traits to Sand Wraiths and Woolly Howls just because they have a similar appearance. But on this point, I concede. As I stated in the Woolly Howl theories page, their similar appearance does, at the very least, denote a very similar relationship. In fact, if we're to believe the franchise saying things like the Snow Wraith being a Night Fury relative and the Monstrous Nightmare and Terrible Terror being related, then the Night Fury, Sand Wraith, and Woolly Howl are probably closely-related enough to be in the same genus, maybe even crossbreed and produce hybrids (though I still think they're too different to produce fertile offspring). Night FUries are probably slightly more closely related to the Sand Wraith than the Woolly Howl because both the Fury and Wraith have fin-like appendages at the base of the tail (though they're shaped differently in each species).

 

Theory 20: The Night Fury has a split at the end of its tongue because its ancestors had a split tongue. I already explained this pretty well when I explained why the Woolly Howl doesn't have a split tongue, but I'll just give another quick overview. The split in a reptile's tongue is to allow the animal to take in smells on both sides of the tongue to give the animal a 3-D image of the smells around it. But the split has to be a bit more significant than Toothless' split tongue for this to work, so I don't think Toothless actually gets any smell advantage from his split tongue. More likely the Night Fury evolved from an ancestor that had a split tongue but then started to not use it and started evolving a big flabby tongue for taste and possibly social behavior, and the current little split in the tongue is just retention of a trait that's no longer useful.

 

Theory 21: The Night Fury's alpha glow is a dominance display. Also, debunking the "Night Fury is an alpha species" theory and debunking the "Toothless is a Titan Wing" theory. So if there's one topic that people like to discuss when discussing Night Furies...it's what happened to the other Night Furies, but after that, it's the topic of Toothless' glow at the end of How to Train Your Dragon 2. And ooh, boy, do fans get divided on this! Some like it, some hate it, some think it has certain implications for Night Furies as a species, others see it as something more specific to Toothless, the implications on the species vary depending on who you ask...it's just all across the board. So what would be my take on all of this?

 

Well, first, to understand Toothless' glow and challenge of the Bewilderbeast alpha, there's two things we have to do. 1) Collect all canon information on the phenomenon. 2) Dissect this first as a character moment and Toothless' motivation and character growth in that moment. Only then can we get down to the biology and biological behavior.

 

So here's what we do know: Toothless generally doesn't glow (duh), and his plasma charges are usually purple and sometimes bluish. He also didn't know how to split his spines before Valka showed him how, which happens when he starts glowing. The glow is specifically down the length of his spine, and the hot firepower triggered for this glow allowed him to explode the Bewilderbeast's ice. (He also fired more than 6 shots, but he also did that in the first film against the Red Death, so I'm just going to ignore that part.) And we got a lot of information from the HTTYD2 companion activity book, To Berk and Beyond by Richard Hamilton. According to that book, Toothless "underwent changes" when he saved Hiccup from the Bewilderbeast's ice. He glowed "blue-hot" and his dorsal blades popped open to vent his body temperature, which melted the ice enough for Toothless to shatter it with a plasma blast. The blue column down his back channeled heat to his throat, "allowing him to unleash more firepower than any of us ever thought possible." The other dragons soon "sensed the power shift" and flocked to Toothless' side, instinctively knowing he was their new alpha. This section of the books ends with Hiccup speculating what changes we would have seen if "any other dragon could have stood up to the Bewilderbeast the way Toothless did? What would happen if Stormfly became the new Alpha? Or Hookfang? Or even Grump?" All this indicates that Night Furies are not the only dragons that would undergo changes when taking the alpha position. However, we also see Toothless go back to "normal" afterward, so we know this change is not permanent. In the HTTYD graphic novel, The Serpent's Heir, Toothless only employs this glow and intense firepower when showing off his alpha position to a stampeding Thunderclaw and later a group of Foreverwings to get them to back down and listen to him. And finally, in the games - who's canon need always be taken with a grain of salt - he has a permanent glow display at all times, which School of Dragons calls his "Alpha Toothless" look and which Dragons: Rise of Berk gives Toothless when he is leveled up to "Titan." There's also a quest in School of Dragons' Return to Dragon Island expansion pack when, before the game gave Toothless his permanent "Alpha Toothless" look, Toothless showed off his glow to make the Green Death bow to him. As to what this glow is called, one of the toys called it Toothless' "super charged power glow." (Not "alpha mode." That's a fan-made, non-canon term...and personally, I think it makes him sound like he's a machine instead of a living creature, so no "alpha mode" term for me, thanks.)

 

Now from a character moment, this is actually pretty big. If we are to analyze this moment in terms of Toothless as a character, we first see that it all begins when he jumps between Hiccup and the Bewilderbeast's ice, covering him with his wing to protect him. His whole intent is to protect Hiccup, and he is so scared, so angry, so determined to protect him that he basically breaks dragon code. He stands up to the Bewilderbeast, breaks his control and challenges the king of all dragons to protect his best friend. The other dragons snap out of it thanks to his challenge and agree that leadership under Toothless sounds like a much better gig, and they join him in defeating their evil overlord. Toothless took leadership not out of a desire for power but out of love, to protect his friend, and the other dragons join in to help him win on their own accord because they also aren't happy with the current leadership. But most surprising of all is that Toothless did something normally unthinkable; he was a little dragon that stood up to the Bewilderbeast. From the way Hiccup talks about it in To Berk and Beyond, any other dragon could have challenged the alpha, so this isn't a Night Fury-exclusive thing. But most wouldn't have done it because challenging a Bewilderbeast is probably normally a death sentence and goes against the natural social order of dragons. Toothless being willing to do this is meant to show the depths he will go to protect his best friend. The moment isn't as strong as it could have been since it doesn't complete any character arch set up earlier in the film, but it is a very strong moment for defining Toothless not just as a character but as a hero in his and Hiccup's story.

 

So now we have all the info and all the context and we're back to the question of what this glow in Toothless actually is and how it's triggered.

 

To Berk and Beyond cleared up a lot of our questions on the biology, like the fact that Toothless' glowing indicated fire/plasma within him and the heat it was generating and the fact that the dorsal blades open up to vent his body temperature because it gets so hot (which is probably why maintaining it for a long time would likely not be good for Toothless' health). But we still don't know if other Night Furies, and other dragons, can do this. But I think we can make a few solid assumptions. I don't think Toothless is different from any other Night Fury biologically, so I think that any Night Fury could potentially have the ability to trigger this super-charged power glow. But it's clearly very rare; Toothless didn't even know about it before he triggered it. So it's probably not something most Night Furies do. And it goes away when he no longer needs it, so it has to be triggered by something. To Berk and Beyond says these changes happened because Toothless challenged the alpha for the leadership position, and we only see him show off this ability again when getting other dragons to recognize him as alpha. So it seems the super-charged power glow is...an alpha dominance display.

 

Now it's not just a display. Toothless really is triggering his hottest and most powerful plasma blasts when in this state. It was a brief power upgrade in order for him to have enough real power to back up the statement made by his display. But it wasn't until he was willing to challenge for an alpha position that he discovered this ability, and he still continues to only show it when he has show off his leadership to other dragons. So it's only used to assert alpha dominance.

 

Does this make the Night Fury an alpha species, however? Definitely not! All Night Furies may have this ability, but they rarely show it if Toothless wasn't even aware that his dorsal blades could split. Also, it would undermine the whole incredible devotion he showed to Hiccup if Night Furies were meant to be alphas. If a Night Fury becoming an alpha was typical, there would be nothing special about Toothless breaking the Bewilderbeast's control thanks to his love for Hiccup and eventually standing up to the Bewilderbeast to protect him. It would be a standard, ordinary challenge. If the Night Fury is just some other alpha species, we strip Toothless of what makes his character a true hero. I thoroughly believe it was his actions and his heroism that made him the king of all dragons, not his species, and I would be disappointed if that were not the case.

 

And on top of all that, To Berk and Beyond even mentions that any other dragon could have done the same thing, and had they held off the Bewilderbeast long enough, they probably would have even succeeded once they got the other dragons on their side. A simple Gronckle or Deadly Nadder could have done what Toothless did if they had the motivation and same amount of luck. And in doing so, they also would have shown some sort of power upgrade when they tried to take the position that also included some sort of alpha dominance display. To Berk and Beyond even asks us to theorize what these power upgrades might have looked like in other species.

 

But wait! There's still more to clear up here! In Dragons: Rise of Berk, Toothless gets his power glow when he is leveled up to Titan. So does that mean Toothless is a Titan Wing and that's what's actually causing the glow?

 

Eh...no. Definitely not.

 

The franchise has been pretty clear on what a Titan Wing is, but it also has been inconsistent on what it is. I didn't make a theory page on it because it's not theory; it's canon and a matter of sifting through canon inconsistencies to explain it. But we're going to have to do that sifting now if we're going to explain why Toothless isn't a Titan Wing.

 

The first, and most movie canon-agreeing, source mentioning Titan Wings is the HTTYD short Book of Dragons. In the short, it's shown that the Titan Wing is the fifth stage of development seen in older dragons. It's rare to have dragons live to be that old and that large "but a site to behold." Titan Wings are shown to be quite a bit bigger than Broad Wings (mature adults) but are otherwise shown to look exactly the same. We see this again in the 5-chapter story posted on the official HTTYD Facebook and Tumblr To Tame a Titan, where the gang meet a Titan Wing Hideous Zippleback that the twins name Sparks & Spew. In Dragons: Race to the Edge, we also meet a Titan Wing Monstrous Nightmare and a giant, probably Titan Wing Singetail, that also fit this description, although they have a louder coloration and, in the Nightmare's case, hotter fire than Broad Wings. The games Dragons: Rise of Berk and School of Dragons have a slightly different interpretation, though. In the games, you can train up a dragon to Titan level, like evolving a Pokemon, and this leveling can drastically change the dragon's appearance. Dragons: Defenders of Berk also further muddied the waters by referring to the young Short Wing Screaming Death as a "Titan Wing" simply due to its size. The Red Death also gets this same designation in some of its material, and the Bewilderbeast and Luminous Krayfin are both said to be Leviathans, the "Tidal Class version" of a Titan Wing.

 

But despite all this contradicting info, whether the Titan Wing is a growth stage, an ability you can be trained into that changes your body, or simply a size class, there is one thing it always is: permanent. Once you become a Titan Wing, you stay a Titan Wing. But Toothless' power glow is not permanent. He returns to "normal" when he has no need of it, and indeed, as I mentioned before, since the alpha display is so hot that it makes him have to vent the heat out his spine, it would probably even be a health hazard to always be charged up like that. On top of that, it's definitely not a growth stage because we know Toothless is only the equivalent of a young adult male, since he's the same age as Hiccup in dragon years. And finally, he's definitely not a Titan Wing in size because he's still rather small compared to other dragons. He doesn't even rival Hookfang in size. So according to every definition of a Titan Wing, Toothless simply can't be one. The reason he has a power glow when he becomes a Titan in Dragons: Rise of Berk is simply because the game needed to give him a recognizable but changed look after you performed the Titan leveling mechanism on him within the game.

 

So there we have it! Toothless' super-charged power glow, as it's canonically called, is his species' specific alpha dominance display that comes with a brief power-up. It does not make him an alpha species or a Titan Wing. (It just makes him a hero and leader.) :)

 

Theory 22: Night Furies generally live further south, and the Barbaric Archipelago is at the northern tip of its range. It's been hypothesized across the fandom by many different people that Night Furies live further south than the Barbaric Archipelago, and I quite agree with the evidence for this. For one thing, it's indicated that they were naturally rare in the archipelago even before they started "disappearing." For another thing, Toothless is one of the dragons shown to not be comfortable flying for very long distances in extremely cold conditions in various comics (along with dragons like the Deadly Nadder, Gronckle, Monstrous Nightmare, and Hideous Zippleback, which do live in the archipelago, but...still, my point stands that, even though he's well-able to tolerate cold, he doesn't particularly like it). Toothless also heats the ground before he lies down to sleep, which may not indicate anything specific but does show that he likes to be warm. But the strongest evidence of all is that no Night Fury graves were found at Vanaheim, the resting place of most dragons on the archipelago. Even if Night Furies were declining, their skeletons from ages of old would have to be found on Vanaheim if they used it as a final resting place like the other species of the archipelago. But there's no Night Fury bones at all, indicating they hail from another location altogether.

 

Theory 23: Night Furies are naturally rare due to large territories but have been in decline only recently. Also, debunking the "they were hunted to near-extinction" theory and the "Drago's cape is a Night Fury hide" theory. So people rarely ever see Night Furies. In fact, before Hiccup caught Toothless, no one even knew what they looked like. So I think they might be naturally rare. Sure, I theorized they live in social groups, but perhaps these are small social groups with very large territories, which means there's not a lot of Night Furies in a particular expanse of space (i.e. natural rarity). And even with this, and even with the Barbaric Archipelago possibly being on the edge of their range, I think the species declined in the archipelago rather recently. Eret says "I thought they were all gone for good," indicating he knows a time when they were more numerous. Valka says about Toothless that "he may very well be the last of his kind." In the first movie, Stoick even asks Sven when Sven is giving him a report if there have been any Night Furies in the raid...Night Furies plural, indicating he wouldn't be surprised to see more than one. So Night Furies used to be slightly more numerous than...well, just the one.

 

If it's recent, you may ask, how did we get down to just one individual so quickly? Well, when something disrupts the population of an already naturally rare species, it can blink out in a local area pretty quickly. So I do think whatever recent thing is affecting them could potentially have the ability to limit the archipelago's known exposure down to a single individual pretty quickly, especially if it was on the edge of their range to begin with. And even if Night Furies have declined in the archipelago, if they really are from other locations originally, their populations may be fine in a more suitable locale. It may be just the archipelago population that's been affected.

 

Now here, I bet, is where you're expecting me to theorize on what happened to the Night Furies in the archipelago. I am about to disappoint everyone, and I mean everyone. I bet this is the theory you wanted me to really sink my teeth into. Well...I'm...not going to?

 

Okay, see, here's the thing: I don't feel like there's enough evidence to really have any idea what's happening to the Night Furies. Off the top of my head, I can think of numerous scenarios: migration away from a threat, competition with another species, or even the fact that their presence in the archipelago was a small population that was a fluke to begin with since they originally come from elsewhere. I simply don't have enough clues to narrow it down. And I don't really want to sit here and postulate something so broad when the answer is supposed to be given to us in third movie. That completely negates my need to come up with an explanation and ensures that just about any explanation I think of will be wrong in some way. Feel free to go crazy with your own ideas on what's happening to the Night Furies in comments or replies - may this thread be filled with Night Fury disappearance theories, if you wish, you have my blessing - but I don't have my own explanation for you.

 

But even though I can't say what is happening, I can rule out a few possibilities for the cause.

 

First, let's rule out the theory that Night Furies were hunted to near-extinction. I think they most certainly weren't. The Vikings of Berk and all the people known to them didn't even know what a Night Fury looked like before Toothless was introduced to them. This was the one dragon you couldn't kill, the one dragon you had to run from and "hide and pray it does not find you." These things weren't hunted; no one could hunt them.

 

But what about Eret and his dragon trappers? Eret recognized Toothless immediately as a Night Fury. That means he has to at least seen one before, correct? And the dragon trappers never met Berkians before, so they could have been hunting them even while Berk didn't know what they looked like.

 

Well...not necessarily. Eret heard the ballistic sound Toothless made and asked aloud, "Is that what I think it is?" He knew from the noise that it was probably a Night Fury, the same noise that had everyone on Berk calling "Night Fury! Get down!" before they even knew what it looked like. He may have recognized Toothless as a Night Fury when he saw him because he had heard the sound and saw that this was a dragon he had never seen before, which left only one possibility as to its identity. There's no solid evidence to say he'd ever actually laid eyes on one before. He may have, he may not have. We just know he's heard one before. (And Thor knows that if he has seen one before and Hiccup realized he did, he would have peppered him with questions of "Where?")

 

Eret also says something else that makes me think they couldn't have been hunted. He claims that Drago doesn't have one of those in his dragon army. If dragon trappers and Dragon Hunters could have been hunting Night Furies, wouldn't Drago already have some?

 

"But wait!" says the straw man. "Drago does have evidence of hunting Night Furies on his person! He has a black dragonscale cape! There's only one black dragon: the Night Fury!"

 

First, my respectable straw man, just to clarify, Night Furies are actually not the only black dragon in the franchise anymore. Night Terrors and Devilish Dervishes are also black. But yes, at the time of the second film's release, the Night Fury was the only one. Still, I don't believe Drago's cape is a Night Fury skin at all. If you look at the patterning of the skin, it doesn't match the scales and scale patterning we see on Toothless. Either Night Furies are really different at another stage of growth or that's not a Night Fury. The scales more closely resemble those seen on Stormfly. I'd say it's more likely a Deadly Nadder skin or some other dragon skin, maybe even a Monstrous Nightmare (since that is the dragon on Drago's symbol and it's used to protect him from fire blasts).

 

So, if that's the case, why is it black? Well...dye. If we can successfully dye alligator skin, I see no reason we couldn't dye dragon skin. And black dye was available to Vikings, very much so, and depending on where Drago came from originally, it may have been even more readily available in his homeland. Black was also an intimidating color, so it makes sense for him to dye that cloak to make himself seem grander.

 

"But wouldn't the dye burn away when struck with fire?" you may ask. Possibly, but we don't really know what mechanism makes dragon scales fireproof in the first place, so it's hard to say whether or not the dye would be compromised by flame blasts now and then.

 

Or heck, maybe DreamWorks will decide it actually is a Devilish Dervish. Or a brand-new black dragon altogether. That'd be something. XD

So, yeah, point is, being black doesn't mean it has to be a Night Fury skin.

 

While I'm on the topic, I also don't think disease has caused the Night Fury decline. If it had, we would probably see evidence of dead Night Furies at some point. But Hiccup and Toothless, in all their exploring, have failed to even come across remains of a Night Fury. So I don't think they're all dropping dead. They're just gone. And hopefully the third film will tell us why.

 

So yeah, I don't know why Night Furies are declining in the archipelago and I'm content to wait and see, but I don't think they were numerous to begin with, I think the decline is rather recent, I don't think it was caused by hunting or disease, and I don't think Drago's cape is a Night Fury skin.

 

Theory 24: Night Furies only ever served as cover for other dragons and scouts for the Red Death, not feeders. At the beginning of the first film, Hiccup claims the Night Fury "never steals food." A lot of people say that this indicates Toothless didn't grow up with the Red Death or was different than other dragons or was silently already rebelling against the dragon queen...but here's the thing. Hiccup didn't say this Night Fury doesn't steal food. He listed it as a general trait of the dragon species. And as mentioned before, Stoick asked if there were any Night Furies plural when asking for a list of dragons attacking the village. So apparently, no Night Fury has ever stolen food. Now ain't that odd? What we do see of Toothless' raid, however, is that he only targeted watch towers and nets. Some may say this is because we don't want to show death in a children's film, so Toothless didn't shoot anyone dead because...well, animated family film. And we're supposed to relate to this dragon later, so you don't want the first thing the audience sees him doing being shooting people dead. But within the universe, this is still curious because a Night Fury "never misses." If it was shooting the tower and the nets, that's what it meant to hit. The tower was being used as an attack point upon the other dragons, and the nets were holding other dragons. Toothless' attack was entirely protective. I think that the Night Furies of the Red Death's nest have mainly served as the air-bombing cover for the other dragons when they raid and as his scouts, since they can't be seen in the night. This is why the Night Furies never stole food.

 

Theory 25: Toothless acquired his scars when Hiccup shot him down. Toothless has a number of scars on him, if you look closely enough. There's two prominent ones on either side of his neck and one across his left foretalon. And if you look at where the ropes wrap around him when he's tangled up in Hiccup's bolas, those scars are in the same spots as where the rope was wrapped around him. Therefore, seems pretty clear to me that those scars came from Hiccup shooting him down. (Boy, Hiccup sure banged him up. That dragon is very forgiving.)

 

Theory 26: When Hiccup and Toothless met, Toothless was younger than Hiccup...in both human years and dragon years. When Valka meets Hiccup and Toothless, we finally get an insight on Toothless' age. Valka looks at his nubs and claims he's about Hiccup's age. The official website clarifies this by saying he's Hiccup's age in dragon years, so what Valka doesn't actually mean he's 20 years old; she means he's a young adult male like Hiccup himself.

 

What's interesting about this is that a very old "in-universe" interview with "Hiccup" released online by DreamWorks (and since taken down, sorry guys) had Hiccup answering a bunch of questions sent in by fans. The interview revealed things like the fact that he was stealing fish from Phlegma to feed Toothless when he was hiding him (and Phlegma about had his hide for it) and that Hiccup didn't ever think the Red Death was trainable and other cool stuff like that. But it also had a question that was, "How old do you think Toothless is?" Hiccup admitted that he wasn't sure but "He often seems like he's about my age, but sometimes he acts like a big baby, so he might be younger." So Toothless was probably either the Night Fury equivalent of a mid-teenager or possibly even younger 5 years ago. Heck, he could have been closer to the equivalent of a 12-year-old! It seems that the Toothless we met in the first movie was only a Short Wing (teenager or adolescent). (And he was still super dangerous! How about them apples?) But that means that, much like Hiccup, it took him about 5 years to go from an adolescent into an adult! That's a rather slow aging rate for dragons compared to others we've seen in the franchise. Night Furies certainly aren't breeding by the age of 2 the way Deadly Nadders are, and they aren't taking over for their parents within the same year the way Eruptodons are.

 

So yeah, Night Furies either age faster than humans or at the same rate. I'm going to say they age slightly faster than humans but only slightly. I think Toothless is younger than Hiccup in actual years but not by much.

 

Theory 27: Toothless became "sillier" and less standoffish as he aged because he became more confident. So admittedly, this is less of a theory and more of a response to complaints by giving my interpretation of something. Since it's an interpretation, I guess it counts as a theory, right?

 

One of the complaints I often see from fans is that Toothless got a whole lot...sillier in the sequel. Here's the thing, though. As someone who worked with training animals, especially feral animals, I thought that transition was pretty natural.

 

In the first movie, Toothless appears..."grumpier," shall we say. He frowns, he scowls, he has sass and attitude, and he responds pretty aggressively to new things and new people, at least at first. In the second film, he's a giant puppy-dog bouncing all over the place happily and greeting anyone who has proven not to be of ill intent. The way I saw it, first movie Toothless was a wild animal being tamed, so he spent a lot of his time being frightened. New people and new things were scary and prompted him to protect himself and ward off the danger. As he became more confident and more trusting, that urge to ward off all dangers fell away, and we got to see the goofball a more relaxed version of Toothless was able to be. Rather than being out-of-character, I think Toothless' character change between movies is easily explained as just the growth in trust and confidence he gained from becoming a tamed animal comfortable with his situation.

 

Theory 28: Toothless and Toothless' Rival fought over nesting territory. So who here remembers Toothless' Rival? The Whispering Death that attacked him in Dragons: Riders of Berk? Yeah, so...what was that all about?

 

On the surface, it seems like there's not really enough evidence to really know what history Toothless and his Rival have. All we have to go on is a bite mark and a grudge. But I think, because of an earlier theory, I might actually have enough here to give this theory a shot. So what could Toothless have done that made the Whispering Death so angry with him that he hunted him down all the way to Berk likely at least a year after the incident?

 

Before I theorized that Night Furies probably live in caves in cliffs or mountainsides near the ocean. Whispering Deaths are tunneling dragons that can chew through solid rock. It's possible that Toothless, having found one of these tunnels in a cliff side, thought that it would make a great cave to live in, and tried to settle it, but it was actually an already-occupied Whispering Death tunnel...and we all know how Whispering Deaths feel about strangers in their tunnels! The two fought it out, and somehow their home was destroyed in the process. Toothless, having been the newcomer, simply fled to find a new home, but we know from elsewhere in the franchise that Whispering Deaths are a bit more attached to their homes. They'll actually come back to the place of their birth just to claim it as their home. So Toothless' Rival may have been living in his birth home, and with that home destroyed, he could never live there again. He tried to dig a new tunnel, but whatever destruction the two had wrought upon the island prevented the Whispering Death from doing so. Distressed, the dragon may have finally given up on his own home and sought a new one, and at that point, he set out. While searching for a new home, he came across a clue that allowed him to track down Toothless to get revenge...and so that's exactly what he did. Toothless, having also been salty about losing a potential home, was more than happy to battle the Whispering Death with equal ferocity.

 

Now interestingly, Hello Future Me came up with a similar theory in a video that you can find at this link here. I don't actually agree with his conclusion that the Whispering Death forced Toothless into the servitude of the Red Death, but I can't also say it's not possible. Mainly I disagree with his conclusion that Toothless had the biggest grudge out of the duo. While Toothless did actually sneak out in the night to hunt down his Rival, but it was his Rival that came all the way to Berk just for revenge, so I think the Whispering Death was the one who actually lost his original home, not Toothless. But otherwise, our theories are very similar. And once again, I'm just going to encourage you all to go check out Hello Future Me's stuff, because he just makes some awesome HTTYD videos!

 

Theory 29: The makers of the Dragon Eye knew about Night Furies. At the end of the Race to the Edge episode "Maces and Talons, Part 2," we see something very interesting: the Dragon Eye projecting an image of the Night Fury at the center of some sort of writing or code. I think that this means the makers of the Dragon Eye - the ancestors of the Dragon Hunters - were familiar with Night Furies. They already have shown to have knowledge of dragons that had been unknown to other cultures and even lost to the current Dragon Hunters over time, such as species like the Razorwhip. So while every other culture may have never known what a Night Fury looked like, those who built the Dragon Eye probably did.

 

Bonus: Debunking the"Night Furies are diurnal" theory. Many believe that the Night Fury is diurnal because Toothless is active during the day and sleeps at night while living with Hiccup. But the franchise outright tells us that Night Furies are naturally nocturnal, so this theory is canon-contradictory. I think the best explanation for Toothless' behavior is the same explanation we see for it on the Wikia page; Toothless has adjusted himself to be diurnal to match Hiccup's sleep pattern, same as some humans will adapt to be nocturnal for a job or simply for the night life.

 

 

And there we are! Night Furies! ...Probably going to have to edit some of this theory page when the third movie comes out, but that's what I have for now!

 

Next week, we will be doing another request, this one from Goldagon from DeviantArt: the Sword Stealer! Gosh, there's, like, hardly anything on that dragon. That means there's a lot of room for theories! But also not a lot of evidence to use. Hmm... Honestly, I have no idea how this is going to go. I guess I'll find out!

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ITS MY FAVORITE DRAGON AAAHHHHHH

Your theories are so cool and spot on!

I have a couple theories to add to yours:

1) Night furies don’t exactly have a strict shot limit, because they can control how powerful and large their blasts are, thus controlling how many shots they have. So six is just an estimate.

2) Night furies are like the rangers in Ranger’s Apprentice. They act as scouts, invaluable shots and backup forces for the alphas. (That’s only if they serve an alpha. They tend to keep to themselves.) However, they are also like the judges and guardians of dragons. If an alpha is abusing its power, then the night Fury can challenge the alpha for its position. Other than that, it tends to obey the alpha just like any other dragon. (This is not limited to night furies. Other dragons can and may challenge. However, night furies are probably the most likely to come out alive.) 

3) This is my brother’s theory. There are certain “alpha species” of dragon that are the only ones that can become alphas. I was going to laugh at this when I realized there is actually a bit of evidence for this:

          1) Dragons show a natural deference to the alphas

                  I noticed that this isn’t just true for the bewilderbeast, but Toothless. Dragons tend to defer to him as their leader.

          2) Both the bewilderbeast and toothless have the same legs

                  If you look at the bewilderbeast’s legs, they have the same fins and shape as toothless’s legs. This is a point in favor of the alpha species. It would make sense for them to share some similar characteristics.

          3) There are classes within the alphas

                Valka actually pointed this out: “Some nests may have their queens, but this is the king of all dragons.” There is a hierarchy within the alphas. Thus, it makes sense that there could be more alpha species. Night furies are probably at the bottom of this list, but they’re probably there.

          I know that you’ll probably disagree on this particular theory, but here’s one last piece of evidence for it:

          4) It makes sense with the plotline

                  The whole second movie was about hiccup growing up, about him coming into his role as leader. He and toothless seem to parallel each other in the movies, so it makes sense with the plot. Plus, there’s the whole “the best, most powerful” vibe around night furies. That’s why they made hiccup have one, after all. :)

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Ah, thanks!! ^_^   And cool,

Ah, thanks!! ^_^

 

And cool, more theories!

 

1) This would explain why Toothless' amount of shots fired upon both the Red Death and the Bewilderbeast don't match his stats, so yeah, seems reasonable to me. :)

 

2) I still believe that making Night Furies the most likely dragons to challenge the alpha lessens the impact of what Toothless did and makes him less heroic, so we'll have to agree to disagree on this.

 

3) I'm afraid your brother's theory that only certain "alpha species" can become alphas has been disproven by To Berk and Beyond, wherein it is stated that any dragon can become an alpha if they win the position. It's not just a particular species thing, though we've certainly seen that there are certainly species that are more likely than others due to their massive size.

 

And you're right, I'm afraid I do disagree on it working with the plot. The Night Fury being a formidable creature is why he worked for Hiccup's story in the first movie, and his ascension to leadership over the other dragons was made to parallel Hiccup's story of becoming chief in the second movie. But we have those aspects regardless of whether or not the Night Fury is an "alpha species," making that gratuitous to the parallel at best. In fact, having him born to be an alpha species kind of undermines his heroic moment by making it typical of Night Furies instead of having it be something unique and special that he did to save Hiccup. It makes his protection of Hiccup and his fellow dragons more of a duty than a choice and undermines the "David vs. Goliath" aspect the director said he was going for. Sorry, I hate shooting down well-thought-out ideas, but I just don't think this works as well for the story. Either that, or I'm wrong and Toothless is a lot less cool of a character than I thought he was. (Heck, maybe he is just behaving like a typical Night Fury and I'm just trying to make a hero out of a cheap dues ex machina.) :/

 

With that said, it's interesting you bring up Valka's statement because I actually find that to be evidence against the idea. Valka calls the Bewilderbeast is "the alpha species." There is no indication that there are multiple of these; the Bewilderbeast is the alpha. Now this is confusing, because we know other large dragons often can become alphas of multiple dragons similar to the way the Bewilderbeast, yet they are not seen as being on the same tier or being born alphas. I think the best justification here is that all dragons instinctively bow to the Bewilderbeast (except other Bewilderbeasts), but all other draogns ahve to win the position the old-fashioned way, and the very big ones are just so big and powerful that there's rarely anyone willing to challenge them. (I honestly think it would make more sense to call all the big dragons "alpha species," but that wouldn't really match what Valka says. ...Wish DreamWorks would clear up some of this stuff, eh?)

 

I'd also be careful with using legs as a basis for relationships. Legs are a common body feature to experience convergent evolution, wherein two unrelated individuals evolve the same traits. Actually, usually your best indicator for relationships between vertebrate species is the skull. ...And now I'm wondering if the Stormcutter possesses any Bewilderbeast traits. 'Cause, ya know, they both have those flat, noseless muppet faces. XD

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Hi! :)

Oooh yay Night Furies the "mystery dragon" of the HTTYD franchise. I love all your cool theories about them especially the Toothless' Rival which I wish we got more of an explanation for. Your theories sparked two questions from me.

What would you consider a Night Fury titan?

Something with a lot more fins? Like the night fury on the right below. Or just simply bigger?

 

Going slightly offtopic: What's your theory on how Hiccup lost his leg? Did you think it was Toothless or the fire?

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Ooh, Hiccup's leg theories XD

I believe that when Hiccup was about to fall in the Red Death's fire, Toothless had to save him, but in order to do that, he had to "pull" Hiccup back/hold on the leg, but the power of Toothless's strong jaw strength and sharp teeth he used, Hiccup's leg was possibly.. Bitten off?

To me, it seems to be unrealistic that the fire itself caused Hiccup to lose it's leg. I would think that at least both of his legs should've burned then.

I think that this will always be a mystery, but hey, good that theories exist!

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Ah, thanks!   Questions! I

Ah, thanks!

 

Questions! I like questions!

 

So for me personally, when there's canon contradictions, I always side with what's closest to the movies, and in terms of Titan Wings, that means I side with Book of Dragons in that Titan Wings look just like Broad Wings, only bigger. So I think a Titan Wing Night Fury would just be a very big Night Fury. (Monstrous Nightmare-sized, maybe? ...With lots of chin nubs, because apparently they get those when they age.)

 

Ah, Hiccup's leg! I do actually have a theory on this. I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with SingingRedFox on this. While I like the idea of Hiccup's leg being bitten off by Toothless for pure poetic semetry - since Hiccup is the reason Toothless has no tailfin - I'm actually going to say it's the fire...sort of. More accurately, I think it's purposeful amputation.

 

I personally don't think it makes sense for Toothless to have grabbed Hiccup's leg with his mouth given where Hiccup ended up. If Toothless had caught him that way, he still wouldn't have been able to reach for him with his talons to pull the boy against his chest and wrap his wings around him. And if he bite off his leg completely, he would have failed to catch him at all before they hit the ground or were coated in the fire, given their velocity.

 

Rather, I think Hiccup's leg was badly burned...not burned off, just burned. Second or third degree burns, I'd say. In the Dark Ages, burns of this caliber were really bad. They had a pretty high infection rate, especially if the burn was extensive. A common way to deal with this if the burn was on a limb was amputation. It was safer to cut off the damaged-beyond-repair-limb and try to stem the blood loss and risk that life-threatening infection rather than keep the damaged, useless, painful limb and basically guarantee life-threatening infection. (And as many of you know, when medicine became standardized, this even became standard practice.)

 

I think Hiccup came back with a badly burned, basically dead leg, and Gothi and Stoick and possibly Gobber made the correct call to amputate it. (Given what risky business this is, it probably gave Stoick and Gobber and everyone else a pretty good second scare.)

 

Now as to why it was just that leg, I have a thought on that as well. Movie magic! ...Okay, serious answer, I think we can explain that away by simply assuming Toothless had only just caught Hiccup when they "hit" the fire, and they "hit" it in a certaint position. Toothless had Hiccup mostly covered by the time they were engulfed in flames but not completely. If he had pulled Hiccup against him with the boy's right side against his body, the legs would have been dangling out the most because Toothless legs were wrapped around his arms and torso with the left leg dangling the right side was up agains thte body. As Toothless pulled his wings around him, he didn't quite cover the furthermost dangling leg in time, and...flame. The left leg would have protected the right from the fire, and Toothless' wings would have protected the right leg on the sides. And before the fire could get past the left leg, Toothless covers him completely.

 

...Admittedly that is not the most pleasant image I've thought up for these theories. *shivers*

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Right..

That theory i told was just found on the HTTYD Wikia Site. I was just wondering that that wouldn't make a lot of sense.

Amputation might be the answer then, but when Stoick said (at the end of How to train your Dragon) "You saved my son.."
Gobber said "Well uh.. most of him.."

Would that mean that Hiccup had already lost his leg during the rescue? Or then he just meant that it was in such a bad condition that it should be amputated.

Wow, i can't believe that i'm discussing about a lost leg from a kids' movie. Oh well!