Dragons are common in the myths and legends of many countries, but there is no scientific evidence that any such creatures ever existed. A species of very large lizard in Indonesia called the Komodo dragon can grow to 10 feet in length and may be a basis for the myth.
Dragons and other giant serpents have been a part of folklore since ancient times. The "Epic of Gilgamesh," dating back to 1800 B.C., features a dragon-like creature, and artifacts from as early as the 16th century B.C. in China depict dragons. In some cultures, dragons are simply monstrous beasts, while in others they have magical powers and abilities. In antiquity, most dragons were portrayed as serpents, but since the Middle Ages, it has become more common to show them with legs like a giant lizard.