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Lizardmen are reptilian humanoids who are known to be intelligent, supernatural, or highly developed reptile-like humanoids in mythology, popular fiction, pseudoscientific theories and in the writings of New Age conspiracists. They appear in some conspiracy theories, most notably those of Riley Martin, John Rhodes, David Icke, and in science fiction. Reptoids, a portmanteau defining Reptilian-Humanoid beings, is the most popular name used to describe these beings, although some authors also refer to them as dinosauroids, lizardfolk or lizardmen. Other names include Draconians, Saurians and Sauroids. They are often described as being green, blue or gold colored.
Several ancient people all over the world have described reptilian humanoids. Common in numerous mythologies are tales of reptilian creatures (usually not humanoid) who are often, but not always, hostile to human beings. Also rather common are myths of "Serpents of Wisdom" who enlightened humanity before the dawn of civilization.
In the Americas, Native American mythology refers to lizardmen in many of their myths and tales, including those of transformation into snakes. Greek mythology sometimes depicts the Titans and even the god of the northern wind as being reptilian men.
In other parts of the world, lizardmen have been referred to as everything from naga to the Syrictæ. Oriental tradition refers to dragons assuming humanoid forms. These "Dragon Kings" depict the lineage of humans to be from a race of dragons, a lineage claimed by Asian Emperors, who were believed to be able to change from human to dragon form at will, much like the modern concept of shapeshifting reptilians.
In the Fertile Crescent, lizardmen appear often in Arabian to Jewish texts. In the Book of Genesis, the serpent that deceived Eve is sometimes portrayed as having a humanoid form before he is punished when God decreed, "Upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of your life" (Genesis 3:14 KJV). The serpent lost its form and became today's version of the snake. Today many demons are traditionally depicted as having reptilian form, a tradition from early Medieval art. Satan himself is commonly referred to as "the dragon" or as a serpent.
Some individuals, doubting claims of reptilian humanoid sightings or contacts, suggest that the mythological preeminence of reptilian forms could stem from a genetic memory of instincts developed millions of years ago, when mammals were the prey of the reptiles which dominated the Earth. Dreams of reptiles are often interpreted as symbolizing "ancient drives" and "instinctive responses".
Lizardmen can often be found in various works of fiction or other places in our culture today. In many fantasy novels, such as Conan the Barbarian, heroes are often pitted against evil races of lizardmen. In stories involving a hidden land where dinosaurs survived, lizardmen have often been shown as being the equivalent of cavemen, suggesting that had the dinosaurs not died out, reptiles would have evolved into the dominant species of the planet.
Other sightings of lizardmen include the Gorn from Star Trek, the Trandoshans and the Tarasins from Star Wars and the Unas from Stargate SG-1. A popular character from the Soul Calibur series of fighting games is a human-turned-reptile named Lizardman.
Lizardmen are also a common fictional humanoid species in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game. Lizardmen first officially appeared as part of the original D&D game in the 1975 Greyhawk supplement booklet authored by Gary Gygax and Robert Kuntz. The lizard man artwork that appeared on the inside front cover of that supplement was used as part of the official TSR, Inc. logo from 1975 through 1978. Lizardmen are also found in the Warhammer fantasy setting, and are seen as almost alien beings led by the toad like slann mage priests.
In real life, lizardman sightings are still reported. The popular Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp is described as a naked three-toed anthropomorphic lizard living in the swamps of the Scape Ore area in South Carolina. It is said[who?] to be openly hostile and very strong, towering at seven feet tall. The most recent sighting was made in February 2008.