Throughout entertainment history, lizards have inspired some really great and memorable characters. Some are big, and scary, and inspire monsters like Godzilla. Others are small and inspire endearing characters like the Geico gecko. Still others are frighteningly real, and become living legends as their stories spread and grow. Here are 10 of the most well known lizards in folk lore and film.
10. Two-Toed Tom
Stories first emerged of this 14 foot long alligator terrorizing the Florida/Alabama border in the 1920s. He was said to have lost all but two toes, on one foot, to a steel trap, and got his name from prints he left. Tom survived being shot, and in the most famous of his exploits, even survived a dynamite attack, during which he reportedly ate half of his attacker's granddaughter.
9. Gustave, The Killer Crocodile of Burundi
Gustave is nothing short of a real life monster. Experts estimate he is about 20 feet long and could weigh more than a ton. Gustave is rumored to have killed as many as 300 people, and is covered with scars from the attacks he has survived.
In 2011, Johnny Depp brought the character of Rango to life. This spirited chameleon finds himself in a little, old west style town called Dirt, after an accident. Desperate and thirsty, he agrees to become their sheriff in exchange for a little water.
7. The Visitors
One of the biggest television events of the 1980s was the made for TV movie "V", and its reptilian alien invaders gave people the creeps for decades. The first time one of the visitors peeled back his human face to reveal the lizard underneath, audiences were stunned and horrified.
6. The Lizard
Fans of Spider-Man have known who the Lizard is for decades, but in 2012, he made his first appearance on the big screen. Played by Rhys Ifans, Dr. Curt Connors became the Lizard while trying to regrow his lost arm using an experimental derivation of lizard DNA.
In 1988, "The Land Before Time" introduced us to Littlefoot, a baby brontosaurus who loses his mother to a violent attack. Alone in a frightening world, Littlefoot seeks the Great Valley, making friends and learning how to deal with the loss of his mother along the way.
4. Geico Gecko
For more than a decade, the Geico Gecko has been shilling insurance for the Government Employees Insurance Co. His starring role in a remarkably successful marketing campaign has made him recognizable all over the country.
3. Tick-Tock Croc
In many tellings, he is just known as the crocodile, but Capt. Hook's nemesis has recently been given the name Tick-Tock Croc for Disney's series, "Jake and the Never Land Pirates." Presumably this name is taken from the tick-tock coming from the croc's belly after he swallowed Capt. Hook's hand, and watch, whole.
2. Puff, The Magic Dragon
Originally the title of a Peter, Paul and Mary song, Puff, the Magic Dragon eventually became so well known that he starred in his own short film in 1978. The song, and Puff, himself, have been a favorite of children for decades.
Is there any lizard larger, more famous, or more terrifying than Godzilla? Appearing in his first movie in 1954, this monster has since appeared in dozens of others. At almost 60 years old, this king of the monsters is still thrilling audiences.
- ExploreSouthernHistory.Com: Two-Toed Tom - Alligator Monster of Florida and Alabama
- National Geographic: Adventure; Gustave the Killer: Have You Seen This Crocodile?
- IMDb: V (1983)
- IMDb: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
- IMDb: The Land Before Time (1988)
- GEICO: A Word from Our Sponsor
- IMDb: Jake and the Never Land Pirates (2011-)
- IMDb: Puff the Magic Dragon (1978)
- IMDb: Godzilla (1954)
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images