|This article is about an older version of DF.|
Dragons are predatory Megabeasts which are extremely hostile, larger than elephants, and quite resistant to damage. In addition to bite and claw attacks, they can breathe extremely hot ( hot) dragonfire over a considerable area, which can cause things such as grass, equipment and people to ignite. This fire is apparently magical in nature, and can hurt many creatures who are otherwise comfortable in the fire. Note that if your Dwarves are wearing shields, they can sometimes block the Dragonfire.
When a dragon enters your area, the game will announce its presence and its name, though it will not pause or zoom the camera to its location (as it does in later versions). It will then attempt to eat you. Quickly.
Dragons are building destroyers which means among other things that doors are useless as defense. Even their breath is able to destroy (deconstruct) workshops and turn paved stone roads into dirt.
 Defense strategies
It takes from 3 to 10 stone-fall traps to kill a dragon, though weapon traps loaded with piercing weapons work well too if they get lucky and destroy internal organs. Considering their fire-breathing ability, traps are probably the safest way to manage this creature.
Despite all its advantages, it is possible for relatively small groups of dwarves (even as few as 8) to take down dragons, especially if there are high proportions of relatively well trained marksdwarves available.
Additionally, dragons can be caught in cage traps and then tamed or sold to traders.
While the dragon itself is usually fairly easy to deal with, if you are not quick in doing so, it will likely set a large number of objects (and dwarves) on fire. Given that dwarven AI doesn't understand being on fire very well, this can quickly lead to dwarves inadvertently spreading the fire throughout your fortress.
Timing can make the difference between success and failure. One strategy is to pile a large squad of melee dwarves and marksdwarves on the dragon while it's crossing a bridge over a river. If you're lucky, the barrage of bolts will send the dragon falling into the water and you can have your way with it. If done correctly, this is possible to pull-off without a single casualty.
Siege weapons can also work well against dragons -- one shot from a ballista is quite likely to kill or at the very least seriously injure a dragon.
Dragons can be tamed only with the help of the Dungeon master noble. Any dragon that has already tasted dwarven blood and received a title for doing so will never be truly tamed. Dwarves will believe the dragon to be tame, and will not run away in fear from it, but the dragon will continue to happily devour them. This bug/feature exists for all creatures that have killed your dwarves, not just dragons.
Even in the case of taming a dragon that has not killed any of your dwarves, beware that dragonfire does not discriminate between friend or foe.
[CREATURE:DRAGON] [NAME:dragon:dragons:draconic] [TILE:'D'][COLOR:2:0:0] [MODVALUE:50] [DRAGONFIREBREATH][FIREIMMUNE_SUPER] [FANCIFUL] [MEGABEAST] [GENPOWER:5] [FREQUENCY:5] [PETVALUE:10000] [GRASSTRAMPLE:50] [BONECARN][PET_EXOTIC] [BUILDINGDESTROYER:2] [NOFEAR] [LIKES_FIGHTING] [PREFSTRING:terrible majesty] [BODY:QUADRUPED:TAIL:2EYES:NOSE:2LUNGS:HEART:GUTS:ORGANS:THROAT:NECK:SPINE:BRAIN:MOUTH] [BODYGLOSS:CLAW_FOOT] [SIZE:20] [ATTACK:MAIN:BYTYPE:MOUTH:bite:bites:1:6:GORE][ATTACKFLAG_CANLATCH] [FAT:10] [ALL_ACTIVE] [BIOME_ANY_LAND] [STANDARD_FLESH]