The question of whether dragons are real is a difficult one, made complicated by the fact that we don’t really have a working definition of the word “dragon.” Everyone knows that it refers to some sort of large, scaly, reptilian creature; however that is an apt description of a dinosaur. Is a dinosaur a dragon? Many people do believe that the bones of dinosaurs, found by ancient peoples, gave rise to the belief in many of the large mythic beasts that were commonly believed in.
However, most would agree that the term dragon actually represents a mythical beast. The dinosaurs were a sub category unto themselves and have their own distinct place in the collective human imagination. But dragons are different, they are special, they are secret.
The essential quality of a dragon, which sets it apart from Komodo dragons, or Dinosaurs, is magic. That is why so many dragons fly, or breathe fire, or cast spells. It is this impossible element that delineates the dragon from other members of the reptile family.
The weird thing is, it is this distinguishing quality, magic, which makes it impossible for dragons to exist. Magic is almost by definition something which is impossible. As soon as something becomes possible, it is no longer magic.
The question that must be answered then is if a species of reptile was found, that had wings, and could somehow breathe fire, and it all operated according to real natural scientific law, would they be dragons? Or upon discovery, would they immediately become just another species in the catalog of animals?