Shen-Lung Picture

This is the legendary Chinese dragon known as Shen-Lung. This is as the dragon appears in an illustration in the book “Dragons: Fearsome Monsters from Myth and Fiction”.

Description from the book:

In China, Shen-Lung is the spiritual dragon who is responsible for making weather. He controls rain, clouds, and wind, all of which are important in a country with so many farmers. The right amount of rain is essential for healthy crops, so his power over rain gives Shen-Lung the authority over life and death in China. Offerings to Shen-Lung assure a bountiful harvest. He must be approached with the utmost respect and reverence. It is important not to offend Shen-Lung because if he feels neglected his anger is aroused. The result of his wrath is terrible weather in the form of floods or drought, which could destroy the life giving crops upon which the Chinese depend.

Because of his great power, Shen-Lung grows lazy over the years. He shrinks himself to the size of a mouse in order to hide and avoid work. When lightning strikes a house or tree, it is because the thunder god is sending his servant to search for Shen-Lung. Shen-Lung floats across the sky, his body stretching farther than the eye can see. He is benevolent but bad-tempered. The worst floods in Chinese history were unleashed by Shen-Lung when he was offended by a mortal.


Head: Chinese Dragons have the head of a camel, eyes of a rabbit, horns of a stag, and ears of a bull.

Jaws: Shen-Lung exhales a breath that can become fire or rain. He basks in the Sun with his whiskered jaws hanging open, hoping that a delicious sparrow will land in his mouth.

Body: Shen-Lung is a shape-shifter who can change his body into human form, stretch from heaven to Earth, or reduce himself to the size of a mouse.

Claws: Tiger paws bear the claws of an eagle. When Shen-Lung rakes his claws across another dragon during a midair fight, storms result.


Shen-Lung’s voice is heard in hurricanes and his claws can be seen in flashes of lightning.

When Shen-Lung is sick, the rain has a distinctively fishy smell.

The dragon is the emblem representing the Chinese emperor and the phoenix represents the empress. Together, the dragon and the phoenix are used as symbols of marital harmony.

All Chinese Dragons have nine distinct features: the head of a camel, scales of a carp, horns of a stag, eyes of a rabbit, ears of a bull, neck of a snake, belly of a clam, paws of a tiger, and the claws of an eagle.

The dragon ranks first in the Chinese mythology of 360 scaled creatures.

Glass was thought to be solidified dragon breath

Note: I do NOT own the book “Dragons: Fearsome Monsters from Myth and Fiction”.

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