Chinese dragon pictures most often depict a creature that is serpent like and very seldom do these pictures show wings. I find it interesting that one of the oldest civilizations in the world show the dragon as a creature very similar to creatures we know today.
The Chinese dragon pictures you are sure to find if you search look very much like two known species of our modern world. One of these is of the serpent. Snakes to be simple.
We know there are some extremely large snakes in some parts of the world. Snakes big enough to eat a human, and in fact there are stories of such things happening.
The other animal that is in existence now that is very reminiscent of the Chinese dragon (or vice versa) is the Oarfish. This strange looking fish can indeed get very large and if seen can be quite a startling thing to see.
The oarfish is said to reach lengths of about 7 meters but some reports put it close to 10 meters long. It lives in waters as deep as 1000 meters often so it is rarely seen and so little is actually known about it. The fish has many resemblances to Chinese dragon pictures.
It is interesting that the Chinese dragon usually depicts creatures that are known to us today. There are so many striking similarities to the oar fish that it seems very likely one of the origins for such pictures. It is also likely that different snakes were the inspiration behind these pictures.
Whatever the inspiration you can be sure that the final image is one that is often beautiful and interesting in what it portrays. Whether these pictures were created to portray a real creature or one that was made up for a myth is uncertain but the fact that there are so many similarities to known animals is very interesting in deed.