Month 15

Feeding: Dragons are permitted to hunt wild game. Partners are responsible for ensuring their dragons follow the same hunting regulations human hunters must follow. Dragons eat every 4-5 days and may consume medium-to-large carcasses.

General Care: Dragons and their riders grow accustomed to flying together and may be seen in the air above New Landing and the surrounding area.

Oiling can be reduced to twice a week. Bathing is one once weekly, or as necessary. Riders are now in the habit of keeping a close eye on their riding straps, which their lives depend on maintaining.

Greens begin to show signs of sexual maturity and are expected to mate soon, which may worry the scientists, with the older group, since the golds do not seem to be progressing towards sexual maturity as rapidly as the greens.

Training: Dragons and their riders practice formation flying this month, finally utilizing those formations theyÕve been studying for previous months. TheyÕll begin in groups of three during the first week, each taking turns leading. Groups are assigned randomly and change each day. Riders will learn to give and receive orders through their dragons while in the air, although there may be issues with the bronzes and golds obeying the smaller colors. Dragons and their riders only spend about two hours together in the air at this point. They are still learning to handle the weight of their riders, and riders must be careful not to over work them. Dragons will also practice catching "injured" dragons without harming the riders on their backs.

The rest of the month is spent in larger drills where the entire group flies together in formation. Everyone gets a chance to lead in the second week, although a rest day about halfway through the month will be spent deliberating permanent flight leaders among both the scientists and the dragon partners.

After the dayÕs drills are through, the gold partners will become reacquainted with the flame thrower in preparation for next monthÕs aerial flaming drills.

Size: Dragons reach 6 feet in height at the withers, which is considered their adult size. The larger colors may have an inch or two on the smaller in height, which can translate to a few feet in length difference, although the first generation of dragons are fairly similar in size with the larger greens and blues overlapping the smaller golds and bronzes. Bronzes, golds, and browns are generally stockier than the blues and greens and may continue to fill out in the next few months. Dragons are unable to carry passengers larger than young children small enough to fit on the riderÕs lap.

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