The guy at the s8int.com blog linked to the Penn Museum, which has recently opened up a vast archive of artifacts for internet searching. One of his favorite things to do is look at artifacts like dragons and try to pick out what ancient animal (or dinosaur) it might be based on.
I searched “dragon” and turned up this gorgeous bowl within a minute.
Kind of looks like one of these, doesn’t it? Not to mention being very pretty.
Then I ran across this trumpet.
I went, “Well, gee, that’s obviously an elephant. Look at the trunk. Why do they have it marked as ‘dragon’?”
It does have funky teeth instead of tusks, though. So I wondered if it might be an ambelodon.
But that’s not quite right. As I saw when I looked at one of the slightly different angles of the trumpet.
The sucker has fangs. It also has ears like a hippo, and little horns. I’m fully aware that it might all be artistic license, but if you were making an elephant, wouldn’t you include tusks instead of fangs?
I don’t know. This one stumped me. The more I stare at it, the more dragonish it looks. Do we know of any elephant or trunk-wearing animals that also have sharp teeth like that?