|Habitat||Remote Swamps, Bogs, Sewers, and Forests|
The term Lizard Men is not specific to one specific cryptid; instead it is used to describe a broad spectrum of bipedal hominid-like reptilian men, sometimes referred to as Homo-subterreptus. Sightings of Lizard Men are reported all over the globe, including the Intulo of South Africa, the Cherufe Lizard Man of South America, the New Jersey Gator Man and the Loveland Frogmen of Ohio, Lizard man of Scape Ore Swamp, Canadian Lizard Man, Nagas of India, Kappas of Japan, and other. On Mountain Monsters, there is supposedly a Lizard Demon that roams the rivers running through Wood County, West Virginia.
Many theories have been presented in relation to the identity of the Lizard men, theories such as living dinosaurs, and even off shoots of evolution in which the reptilian hierarchy continued to evolve along the same path as early primates. At one point in time reptiles ruled the earth, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the most dominate species on the planet could continue to evolve in small numbers unseen by mankind. Although no reptilian species known to man have shown signs of such advanced evolution, the reptile is the oldest and most successful species on the planet and could hold secrets that have yet to come to light.
Another theory in regards to lizard men is that they may be reptilian aliens. Many UFO and alien abduction cases have made note of aliens being reptile-like and since have been declared "reptilians". Many cryptozoology-related reptilian sightings may have a tie to the evolution of dinosaurs, so the alien theories are more stray from science.
How Could Lizard Men Exist?In 1982, Dale Russell, curator of vertebrate fossils at the National Museum of Canada in Ottawa, conjectured a possible evolutionary path that might have been taken by the dinosaur Troodon had it not perished in the K/T extinction event 65 million years ago, suggesting that it could have evolved into intelligent beings similar in body plan to humans. Over geologic time, Russell noted that there had been a steady increase in the encephalization quotient or EQ (the relative brain weight when compared to other species with the same body weight) among the dinosaurs. Russell had discovered the first Troodontid skull, and noted that, while its EQ was low compared to humans, it was six times higher than that of other dinosaurs. If the trend in Troodon evolution had continued to the present, its brain case could by now measure 1,100 cm3; comparable to that of a human. Troodontids had semi-manipulative fingers, able to grasp and hold objects to a certain degree, and binocular vision.
Russell proposed that this "Dinosauroid", like most dinosaurs of the troodontid family, would have had large eyes and three fingers on each hand, one of which would have been partially opposed. As with most modern reptiles (and birds), he conceived of its genitalia as internal. Russell speculated that it would have required a navel, as a placenta aids the development of a large brain case. However, it would not have possessed mammary glands, and would have fed its young, as birds do, on regurgitated food. He speculated that its language would have sounded somewhat like bird song.
Russell's thought experiment has been met with criticism from other paleontologists since the 1980s, many of whom point out that his Dinosauroid is overly anthropomorphic. Gregory S. Paul (1988) and Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., considered it "suspiciously human" (Paul, 1988). Darren Naish has argued that a large-brained, highly intelligent troodontid would retain a more standard theropod body plan, with a horizontal posture and long tail, and would probably manipulate objects with the snout and feet in the manner of a bird, rather than with human-like "hands".