What in the world is this creature?!

See what you can discover using evidence and math! Let's get started!

**The Egg Is Discovered!**

Here’s what we know: a very large egg – possibly a *dragon egg* – was discovered near Walt Disney World in 1971. The egg was approximately 3.5 feet tall.

What we’d like to know: how tall is the creature that could lay an egg that size?!

Since the egg could belong to a dragon, let’s look at the mother-to-egg ratio of the largest flying creature to have ever existed: the pterosaur. Pterosaurs were prehistoric flying reptiles, and some of them were larger than any flying animals on earth today. A recently excavated pterosaur fossil shows that the height of the mother was roughly 8 times the height of the egg, or 8:1.

Assuming the mother-to-egg ratio of the dragon egg is the same as that of the pterosaur, how tall is our (possible) dragon mother? Note: the height will not include her tail length!

**Known Variables:**

Egg Height (3.5 feet)

Pterosaur Mother-to-Egg Ratio (8:1)

Assumed Dragon Mother-to-Egg Ratio (8:1)

**New Clue – A Footprint!**

A footprint was just discovered not too far from the nest – it looks like the clues could be leading us to a dragon after all!

Here’s what we know: the footprint measures 2 feet long and 1.8 feet wide.

What we’d like to know: how big is this particular dragon? Based on the mother’s estimated height from Challenge 1 (28 feet), is the dragon fully grown?

Once again, we’ll need to base our estimate on other information we know. Let’s start with a large reptile whose footprint is a similar size – the Tyrannosaurus Rex. An Adult T-Rex has a foot length of approximately 3 feet (although its footprint was much smaller because it walked on tip-toe). Its total height was five times its foot length, or 5:1. Its total body length, including its tail, was 13 times its foot length, or 13:1.

Assuming the dragon’s body ratios are the same as the T-Rex’s body ratios, see if you can estimate the following:

- the dragon’s height
- the dragon’s total length, including tail
- the length of the tail only

**Known Variables:**

Length of Dragon Footprint (2 feet)

T-Rex Foot Length (3 feet)

T-Rex Height to Foot Length Ratio (5:1)

T-Rex Body Length to Foot Length Ratio (13:1)

Assumed Dragon Height to Foot Length Ratio (5:1)

Assumed Dragon Body Length to Foot Length Ratio (13:1)

Mother Dragon’s Height (28 feet)

**How Much Time to Reach Full Size?**

Wow! The creature we are tracking is pretty big – it is looking more and more like a dragon! But since we figured out that the dragon is probably still growing, is there any way to determine when it will finish growing?

Here's what we know: based on our earlier calculations, the dragon's mother (who we are assuming is fully-grown), is 28 feet tall; the dragon we are tracking is 10 feet tall. We also know the dragon hatched in 1971, which means the dragon is about 41 years old.

What we'd like to know: when will the dragon reach its full size (assuming it grows at a constant rate)?

All right, we know the dragon egg was 3.5 feet tall, which means the dragon, like all creatures that hatch from eggs, was slightly smaller than the egg. Based on this information, it is safe to assume that the baby dragon was approximately 3 feet tall when it hatched. This assumption means that between 1971 and 2012, the dragon has grown 7 feet in height (for a total of 10 feet as of today). Unfortunately, we don't know if the dragon will exceed its mother's size, but we can assume that it will be at least the same size. See if you have enough information to answer the following questions:

- What percentage of the dragon’s growth has already been completed?
- What percentage of the dragon’s growth remains?
- Can you estimate how long it will take for the dragon to reach its full size?

**Known Variables:**

Mother Dragon’s Height (28 feet)

Dragon’s Hatchling Height (3 feet)

Dragon’s Current Height (10 feet)

Dragon’s Age (41 years)

Dragon’s Growth Over 41 Years (7 feet)

Assumed Dragon Height at Full Size (28 feet)

**New Clue – Poop Discovered!**

We might not know exactly what this creature is, but you would be amazed at the things you can learn from poop! A very large poop was recently discovered, and it does not belong to any of the creatures native to Florida.

Here's what we know: the creature, which we still think is a dragon, loves Florida's oranges and orange tree leaves.

What we'd like to know: how much does a creature of this size need to eat every day in order to survive?

It looks like the dragon only eats fruit and leaves, so it is an herbivore. Keeping in mind that the dragon is currently 10 feet tall, it would make sense to find an herbivorous creature that is about the same size as our estimates for the dragon. An elephant is probably too big – an elephant is so heavy that it would be really hard for it to fly (except for Dumbo!). And a deer is probably too small. So how about something in-between, like a giraffe? An adult giraffe eats about 75 pounds of foliage per day. **If we assume the dragon eats approximately the same amount of food as the giraffe, and the dragon is only eating oranges (which, on average, weigh about 7 oz. each), how many oranges a day is the dragon eating?**

Hint: 16 ounces equals 1 pound.

**Known Variables:**

Amount of Food a Giraffe Eats Daily (75 pounds)

Assumed Amount of Food a Dragon Eats Daily (75 pounds)

Average Weight of an Orange (7 ounces)

Number of Ounces in 1 Pound (16)

**A Real Wing-Dinger!**

The more we discover, the more this creature appears to be a dragon! So aside from breathing fire, what else makes dragons awesome? Their massive wings!

Here’s what we know: our dragon is pretty large, and it is only going to get bigger. This means that its wings need to be large enough to hold it up when it is flying, but not so large that the dragon can’t flap them to get off of the ground.

What we’d like to know: how wide is the dragon’s wingspan?

It's time to go back to our favorite prehistoric flying creature, the pterosaur. Pterosaurs actually came in all different sizes – some of them were the size of small birds and others were apparently the size of F-16 jets. One average-sized pterosaur's fossil showed that its wingspan was approximately 3 times its height plus 2 feet.

Assuming our dragon’s wingspan follows this same formula, what is the dragon’s wingspan in feet?

**Known Variables:**

Pterosaur’s Wingspan Ratio (3:1 + 2)

Assumed Dragon’s Wingspan Ratio (3:1 + 2)

**Hear the Dragon Roar!**

Yesterday, one of the Disney Imagineers heard what sounded like a dragon roar. The roar seemed to be coming from the direction of a wooded area located about 5 miles away from where the Imagineer was working.

Here's what we know: although the speed of sound varies depending on location, sound travels at an approximate speed of 1,116 feet per second. We also know that there are 5,280 feet in a mile.

**What we'd like to know: assuming the dragon roar was coming from the nearby wooded area, how long did it take for the sound to reach the ears of the Imagineer?**

Keep in mind that you will need to use the Distance Formula to solve this challenge!

Distance Traveled = Rate x Time

**Known Variables:**

Distance Between Dragon and Imagineer (5 miles)

Speed of Sound (1,116 feet/second)

Number of Feet in a Mile (5,280)

Distance Formula (Distance Traveled = Rate x Time)

**Speed Dragon!**

There have been two recent dragon sightings! An Imagineer reported seeing a dragon take flight at 6pm from the east side of New Fantasyland; a local man reported seeing a dragon land around 9pm in a wooded area about 65 miles away from New Fantasyland.

Here's what we know: if both sightings were of the same dragon, then the dragon was flying for 3 hours and traveled a distance of 65 miles.

**What we'd like to know: how fast was the dragon flying?**

In order to solve this problem, we have to assume that the dragon was flying in a straight line and at a constant speed for the duration of its trip.

**Known Variables:**

Number of Hours the Dragon Was Flying (3 hours)

Distance the Dragon Traveled (65 miles)

Distance Formula (Distance Traveled = Rate x Time)