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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CH712.1:

Job 41 describes Leviathan, a dinosaur-like creature, as fire breathing. This suggests that some dinosaurs could breathe fire. Humans lived at the time as these dinosaurs and preserved the memory as fire-breathing dragons.


Gish, Duane T., 1977. Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards. El Cajon, CA: Master Book, pp. 51-55.


  1. If dinosaurs could breathe fire, they would have had adaptations around their mouths to protect their mouth and throat from flame. Nothing resembling such an adaptation has ever been seen.

  2. Fire breathing in myth and legend is not limited to dragons. There are also fire-breathing snakes from the Chippewa (Norman 1990, 127-131), fire-breathing bulls from the Greek (Ovid 1958, bk. 7), and fire-breathing horses from the Bible (Rev. 9:17-18). Fire breathing is a folkloric motif not to be taken literally.

  3. Not uncommonly, dragons have other fantastic properties not found in dinosaurs, such as multiple heads (such as in the Grimms' story "The Two Brothers," and the basmu from Akkadian myth; Dalley 1989, 323). Legendary creatures are poor evidence for biblical literalism.


  1. Dalley, Stephanie, 1989. Myths From Mesopotamia, Oxford University Press.
  2. Grimm and Grimm, 1944. The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales, New York: Pantheon Books.
  3. Norman, Howard, 1990. Northern Tales, Traditional Stories of Eskimo and Indian Peoples, New York: Pantheon Books.
  4. Ovid (transl. by Horace Gregory), 1958. The Metamorphoses, New York: Viking Press.

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created 2003-9-22