I'm just beginning to learn Mandarin and I have an excellent teacher. She tells me a lot of stories of how the characters came to be. Today we talked about the character for dragon, but she doesn't know how it changed so drastically from the traditional version to the simplified version. I'm very curious because the two characters are not at all alike.
However later, variants (there were too many!) 𢅛 and 尨 appeared:
Dictionary 集韻 (1037 AD)
The ancient forms for 龍 are [...] 𢅛(帝+尨) [...].
Dictionary 金石文字辨異 (1810 AD)
尨: appeared in the inscription of Longzang Temple (Sui Dynasty, 581–618 AD).
And after the establishment of the PRC,
尨 was further simplified to