Jiaolong

Jiaolong or ‘jiao’ is a polysemous (having more than one possible shape or meaning) aquatic dragon in Chinese mythology. Edward H. Schafer describes the jiao:

Spiritually akin to the crocodile, and perhaps originally the same reptile, was a mysterious creature capable of many forms called the chiao (kău). Most often it was regarded as a kind of lung – a “dragon” as we say. But sometimes it was manlike, and sometimes it was merely a fish. All of its realizations were interchangeable. (1967:217-8)

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