So I found myself working on my draconic growth chart and contemplating, at the simplest level, whether the males would tend to be larger, or the females would. My initial tentative hypothesis was that females would, partly because I like the idea of dragon society tending to have matriarchal characteristics (it is technically geriarchal, although it would be more specific if I were to construct a word for ‘rule by the largest’ but since age and size are directly correlated in dragons, it is close enough). Theoretically, one could achieve similar effects by having the females live longer.
But! I took that initial idea and started investigating the realism/feasibility of it, and found in cursory research some good evidence supporting the thought. Some quotes from Wikipedia:
In some species such as insects, spiders, many fish, reptiles, birds of prey and certain mammals such as the spotted hyena, and blue whale, the female is larger than the male. As an example, in some species females are sedentary and sparsely distributed, and so males must search for them.
The difference in size is believed to be caused by natural selection for a large female size due to a fecundity advantage. … The fecundity advantage hypothesis states, that a big mother is able to produce more offspring and give those offspring more favorable conditions to ensure their survival. This is true for most ectotherms. Another reason why females are believed to be larger is due to the fact that they provide parental care for a substantial amount of time while the offspring matures.
Those both work well for the ideas that I have for how dragons breed, nest, and develop, and the line regarding ectotherms is particularly comforting. (although fully adult dragons are more gigantotherms) So I think I am going to go with that.
Other forms of sexual dimorphism such as coloration or decoration are, sadly, irrelevant.
Ooh! I want this book, even if the reviewer found it poorly cited and maddeningly formatted.
Pleasures and Pastimes in Victorian Britain by Pamela Horn
Oh my gosh I love academia. I want to just sit down and go through them all. I wonder if the local university has them available without a student ID?
So anyway, let’s see. Shopping. Annual faires/festivals. Public dances, possibly. What sort of accompaniment would be socially expected to things like the theatre or concerts? Picnic-type outings outside of town. Various sporting events. How many different sports do they have, how many would have spectators, and what would the comparative respectability be of each?
Then there’s the important question of: how much does Dallowton in particular have? I didn’t even mention museums because they definitely wouldn’t have one. Probably a theatre and/or concert hall, though, as it is a decent-sized city in relative terms. It isn’t really a touristy sort of place. I am sure it has sporting events. Horse and dog racing for sure, as well as a couple of field sports I need to make up.
Small private parties or gatherings, of course, but while Juli would go to those, they won’t come up. I’d be effectively limited to things she needs a chaperone/reliable companion for, but nothing that requires it to be an older guardian type person.
Relatedly, I decided I should have more family meals. I could work some plot or exposition into them and it’d be nice. I tend to have too few visible characters.
Sam’s parents are just so much harder to write bleh bleh