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Like any predatory creature a dragon has acute senses. These remarkable senses become even better as the dragon grows and ages, mostly because a dragon’s mind becomes ever more perceptive as the centuries pass. A dragon’s eyes, ears, and nose may not become more sharp with age, but the dragon’s prodigious intellect can sift increasing amounts of information from its environment.
Dragons have vision superbly adapted to hunting. They enjoy excellent depth perception, which allows them to judge distances with great accuracy, and they have outstanding peripheral vision as well.
Dragons can perceive motion and detail at least twice as well as a human in daylight, and their eyes adapt quickly to harsh light an d glare. A dragon can stare at the sun on a clear summer day and suffer no loss of vision. Eagles and other birds of prey can perform similar visual feats. Such creatures often have poor night vision-and it may be this fact that leads some scholars to conclude that dragons don’t see well in the dark.
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In fact, dragons see exceedingly well in dim light. In moonlight, dragons see was well as they can in sunlight. In even dimmer light, a dragon sees four times as far as a human can under similar conditions. Dragons can even see with no light at all.
When any illumination is present, a dragon sees in color. Its ability to discern hues is at least as good as a human’s, and in the absence of light a dragon’s vision is black-and-white.
A dragon’s sense of smell is nearly as well developed as its vision. This refined sense of smell is only partially dependant upon the dragon’s sensitive nose; it also uses its forked tongue to sample the air, just as a snake does. A dragon’s ability to sense the presence of other creatures by scent makes it difficult to catch a dragon unawares, and hiding from a dragon is nearly impossible once a dragon is close enough to pick up the quarry’s scent.
A dragon’s ears are about as sensitive as a human’s ears, and the range of tones a dragon can hear is similar to what a human can hear. Even the youngest of dragons, however, has sharper hearing than a typical human, thanks to its ability to recognize important sounds for what they are and to filter out background noise and focus on significant sounds.
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One outstanding example of a dragon’s sensory prowess is its blind sense- The ability to “see” things that are invisible or completely obscured. By using its nose and ears, and by noticing subtle clues such as air currents and vibrations, a dragon can sense everything in its immediate vicinity, even with its eyes closed, shrouded in magical darkness, or when swathed in impenetrable fog. Of course some phenomena are completely visible (such as color) and a dragon that can’t see, can’t perceive these phenomena.
A dragon’s sense of taste is highly discriminating. Dragons can note the slightest variations in the taste of water or food, and some dragons develop peculiar culinary preferences as a result. Copper dragons for instance, relish venomous vermin. Perhaps the most infamous draconic taste is the Red dragon’s preference for the flesh of young women.
Curiously, dragons don’t seem to respond well to sweet flavors. Whether this is because they don’t like sweets or because they have difficulty discerning sweet flavors is unclear. Most dragons refuse to discuss the matter.
Thanks to its thick, scaly hide and clawed feet a dragon has very little tactile sense. Smaller, younger dragons who have yet to develop impressive natural armor have better senses of touch than older dragons, making touch the only sense that gets less acute as a dragon grows older. A dragon interested in an object’s texture might touch or stroke an object with its tongue. Even so, a dragon’s tongue proves better at tasting than touching.
A dragon’s muted sense of touch might explain its preference for nests made of piles of coins, gems, and other treasure. A bed of small, hard, sometimes pointy objects might prove highly uncomfortable to a human, but to a dragon such an arrangement offers a comfortable tickle, kind of like a knobby wool blanket.