Dragons are creatures with nearly unlimited life spans. They can survive for long periods of time, and no one has found a dragon that has died of old age. Adolescence is usually marked by the growth of a hatchling’s wings, although not all breeds of dragons grow wings and some breeds have other traits that indicate the beginning of maturation. Once they hit adolescence, hatchlings change quickly, maturing to their full forms in only 2 years.
Dragons don’t communicate with each other verbally, but they will growl to scare off predators and frighten prey. Young dragons will emit an extremely high-pitched squeal when they are frightened. To communicate, they use telepathy with each other and to speak to other creatures.
Guardian dragons have large shields on the end of their tails. Although the shields appear to be heavy, they are light, yet nearly unbreakable. Guardian dragons use their tail-shields, as well as their wings, to deflect attacks and protect others. Often, they will guard the eggs and hatchlings of a nest while others are away. They are generally peaceful, and will not retaliate unless necessary. They have no need to forage or hunt, as they are fed by those they protect.
Mal, while not the Alpha of the Clan, is often regarded as one of the most respected by both the hatchlings and the older dragons. When new eggs are found and adopted by the Clan they are often left in the care of Mal, who protects them until they reach the hatchling stage, where another member of the Clan takes over raising the dragon. She is known for her protective nature, a calm mind when others are panicking, and the only one with enough patience to put up with her mate Macrochelys Temminckii's boasting.