Lizards don't seem to have many visible defining traits. All that I could find is the shape of the body, which would be changed for a humanoid, and the jaws. Are there any other visible features of lizards that would translate to a humanoid frame?

  • $\begingroup$ how are scales not a defining trait? $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 14 at 4:10

I'll assume your lizard folk have mostly traits found in monitor lizards for the majority of this:

  • A lizardfolk with a muscular tail would likely need to maintain a more hunched posture than a normal person, maybe even using the tail for balance while standing.

  • they'd most likely still have claws at the end of every digit, as well as having a different number of phalanxes in each finger, resulting in the fingers closer to the back of the hand being likely longer, or at least more jointed than the ones closer to the front, unless the fusion of phalanxes occurred.

  • their bodies would be covered in scales rather than "normal" soft skin, and these scales would probably begin to become pale as the time for shedding approached much like in normal lizards

  • they would most likely have a different head shape than ours, probably maintaining a long snout, also non-specialized teeth.

  • they'd have long tails. No need to elaborate.

  • nictiating membranes in addition to the normal eyelids.

  • no external ears whatsoever.

  • they'd have long tails. That's awesome!

  • they'd potentially have forked tongues, using them to smell (not applicable to some species. A gecko lizardfolk could potentially have no eyelids or nictiating membrane and simply lick their eyes regularly like their tiny counterparts).

  • big head + big muscles = powerful bite. Also a potentially venomous bite. The claws would not be the only reason not to pick a fight.

  • a potentially different group of relations and world views depending on how their brains evolved sapience. They might have less "warm" relationships with each other and other sapient beings, or they might not understand emotionbwell, or not view the external impacts of the world with the same impact (as in they don't feel less valuable or less capable if they screw up or have a limb bit off. They just keep going along like it doesn't matter because life won't wait).

  • they'd have long tails. And they might be able to use it as whips! Seriously give them a long tail it'll be worth it.

These are only a few examples. Depending on how much lizard and how much folk you add to your species you can get something pretty alien to a human or something really relatable, but a little different on the outside.


Nictitating membrane.

This is their "third eyelid", some birds, fish and mammals have them still but humans' have shrunk to almost nothing in the corner of your eye.

Blood colour.

Most lizards have red blood like ours in appearance, some however have green liquid circulating around their systems - if they blush, it won't be a human blush.

No earlobes.

Pinae are conspicuous in most mammals including humans, lizards never got around to developing them.

Claws not nails.


No hair.

This follows on from the claw point as there's an evolutionary link between the two, and lizards haven't gotten as far as us humans in this regard.

  • $\begingroup$ Aren't most of these traits of reptiles in general? $\endgroup$ Aug 14 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ Well, there's more than one colour changing lizard, but the vast majority of lizards and reptiles don't do that. Is there a particular characteristic/set of characteristics that you're interested in exploring? @IchthysKing $\endgroup$ Aug 14 at 18:12

Lizards have scales and tails and can climb vertical structures, clinging to them even at incredible angles.

You can use the Geico gecko as an example and add a mane of scales to the individual similar to that of Murlocs found in the game Hearthstone.

You can set their posture with e a slight hunch and further exaggerate it when they don armour, a helmet, and are equipped with a spear and shield.

Good question, I like the idea of how some animals can be made to look humanoid (or a human made to look animalistic, or in this case... lizardly)


The easiest way is to look at how a lizards legs attach to the body. The legs come out to the side. This would pose a problem for a humanoid lizard since walking and running would be slower with leg that come out of the pelvis to the side instead of down (as ours do).

Another way is to have them travel on all four legs by preference and only take an upright stance when they need the height or need to use their hands while moving.

A combination would work as well (especially if that means that they wouldn't have to try to run upright with legs that stick out to the side).


For a lizard person, I think the Komodo Dragon is the best template. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Cold blooded. Lizard people become very slow in cold weather, but become highly active and aggressive when it is warm.
  2. Toxic bite. These lizard people's mouths are home to countless virulent bacteria. I wouldn't want to mess with them.
  3. Ambush hunters. Komodo dragons hunt with a ferocity akin to lions. They've been known to attack humans without provocation.
  4. Incredible upper body strength. Lizard people can climb anything, and their claws are brutal in a fight.
  5. Group hunting. Lizard people work together to bring down massive prey.
  6. Scaly skin. Lizard people have a natural armor in the form of their skin. This gives them significant protection from slashing and piercing.

There are a lot of options here, and you don't need to use all of them. However, a Komodo Dragon type of person would be incredibly unique.

  • $\begingroup$ Most of these don't seem that specific to lizards $\endgroup$ Aug 14 at 17:53

Two penises, with spikes and hooks.

Lizard males have two penises. This is a characteristic trait which I think could be used to set lizard people apart. It is not limited to the males.

Why Snakes Have Two Penises and Alligators Are Always Erect: From spiky penises to an extra clitoris, reptile reproductive parts don’t lack for variety.

And it’s not just males that are doubling up. Female lizards and snakes have two clitorises, or hemiclitores, which were first described in female monitor lizards in 1995 by W. Böhme as “miniaturized mirror images of the hemipenes of the males.” Hemiclitores and their functions are still “poorly known” but should be considered a defining characteristic of female lizards and snakes, researchers Soledad Valdecantos and Fernando Lobo of the Universidad Nacional de Salta in Argentina reported in a 2014 study.

In addition to being double, the penises of lizards have spikes and hooks.

Scientists have a few ideas about why hemipenes exhibit this sort of ornamentation. According to one hypothesis, male and female genital form has adapted so that mating can occur only between a male and female of the same species. The genitals of males and females of the same species fit together.

Consider also that the spikes and hooks might have evolved to attract mates.

The conventional scaly lizard man has been done, done, done and @ProjectApex covered all of the typical features. Double penises and clitorises has not been done so much and the time has come! That would set your lizard people apart from dull prior renditions. Remember: both spikes and hooks! I am not sure if the clitorises of lizards also have spikes and hooks but for fiction you can make it whatever works.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.