Reptile Awareness Day lands of Monday the 21st of October and is everyone’s chance to reflect on the importance that these scaly, often misunderstood, creatures play within our environment.
RAD was organised by a bunch of reptile enthusiasts who wanted to change the way people think about our cold-blooded cousins. The aim was to endear reptiles to the general public, to end the fear and to begin a reptilian love-in.
Snakes and the Scale of it all
From a 20ft Australian salt-water crocodile to a one-inch Madagascan leaf chameleon the variety of different reptiles is truly astonishing. They live in deserts, jungles, woodlands, mountains, in seas and in rivers. There is almost nowhere on earth where you cannot find a reptile of some shape of size.
If there is one variety of reptile that needs to sack its PR team then it would have to be snakes. They bite, they squeeze, they poison, they slither and they slide. Our perceptions of snakes are so poor that calling someone a snake is deemed a major offence.
But ask anyone who really understands them and they’ll paint a very different picture. They’ll start by explaining just how beautiful they are. You’ll nod in time to their suggestions that the colours and patterns on their skins are stunning, that their eyes are bright and vibrant, that it is their movement and not how they look that scares you. You’ll nod, but you won’t buy it for one second.
Then they’ll explain the important role that snakes play within our eco-systems. That snakes help to keep vermin populations down. They’ll tell you that hoards of cute little fluffy mice are much more problematic to the environment than the snakes who keep their numbers down and would only ever bite you if they felt threatened. They’ll tell you that most snakes wouldn’t bit you because most couldn’t possibly begin trying to eat you. Again, you’ll listen but you’ll never consider swapping Timothy the adorable Russian Hamster for Sirius, the killer grass snake.
If there’s a whiff of insincerity about your pre-programmed nodding, a snake enthusiast might point out the diseases that rats and other vermin have been responsible for helping to spread. They’ll quite possibly quote you some numbers like the loss of 60% of Europe’s population, hundreds of millions of people dying in the 14th century because of the disease spread by the fleas living on rats. They’ll compare this to the meagre numbers who die each year from snake bites and you’ll need to do whatever you can to supress the yawns that desperately want to slither their way from your disaffected mouth.
They’ll go on to explain that most snakes are not poisonous, that they have their own little personalities and if all that fails to get you on board, they might even throw in something about how our early evolution was accelerated thanks to our fear of snakes. That’s right, they’ll tell you that actually being afraid of them is what made us who are today.
Truth is, it’s unlikely that those of us who are a bit scared of reptiles will end the 24 hours on the 21st of October loving the creatures that, up until that point, had put the fear of God into us, but hopefully it will give us the time needed to form a new found respect for them.
Let’s not forget that at one time reptiles were top dog. That millions of years ago dinosaurs were in charge and that the reptiles that we have around us today are a link back to that time, when mammals hadn’t even got started.
Some of the best entertainment out there comes from the imagination that certain reptiles inspire in us. Huge film franchises, like Jurassic Park or the fictional reptile Godzilla, have helped to define a huge section of popular culture. And that fictional adaptation of reptiles doesn’t end with giant skyscraper smashing monsters, with dragons finding their way into all sorts of popular cultures, winging their way from China right through to Celtic countries in the north-west of Europe.
Facts about Reptiles
Whether you like them are not here are a few facts about reptiles that should be, at the very least, sort of cool:
The scales on reptiles help to protect them from predators, forming a layer of natural armour that they can replace at frequent times, something that helps place certain reptiles, like crocodiles at the very top of the food chain.
There are over 8000 species of reptile and they live on every continent on earth other than Antarctica.
Reptiles are ectothermic. This is a fancy way of saying they cannot regulate their body temperature and need to find external sources to feel warm.
They are some of the longest living animals on the planet. For example, certain breeds of tortoise have been known to have lived for more than 150 years.
Two thirds of all the snakes in the world are not venomous. Only, roughly, 500 types of snake are poisonous. However, if you happen to live in Australia then things are a little different as most varieties of snake are actually poisonous there.
That does mean if you don’t live in Australia that the majority of the snakes you could encounter will not be poisonous. In fact, if you live in America, you are more likely to die from a bee-sting than from a snake bite.
Certain types of snake can go an entire month without having to eat. This is more common with larger varieties of snake that are capable of snacking on bigger prey.
Snakes and lizards smell with their tongues and their sense of smell is the most profound and detailed way that they view the world.
Chameleons do not change colour to meld into their surroundings. However, they do alter the contrast of their colours that are already patterned in such a way as to allow them to meld into the background.
Not all snakes lay eggs. In fact, one fifth of snakes give birth to live young.
This list could easily go on and on, but I thought it would be best to leave it there, with some examples to show you that reptiles are very interesting creatures that we need to take more time to stop and apricate, even if some them to strike clod-blooded fear into out soft and fuzzy little hearts.
Top Reptile Themed Slots
I’ve already touched on the influence that reptiles have had on popular culture, which is something that will become more evident when you consider just how easy it was for me to find 10 slots that have been inspired by them.
This list of the Top 10 Reptile Inspired Slots will contain plenty of snakes and lizards, along with a healthy dose of extinct reptiles and reptiles that have only ever existed in our imaginations. Dragons, dinosaurs and maybe even a Medusa or two make their way onto this stunning list of slot games.
Any slot based on a movie as huge as Jurassic Park needed to good. When the Jurassic Park slot was released all those years ago by Microgaming, the designers had to juggle a lot of expectation, something that they managed with what now appears to have been relative ease. This was a classic era for branded slots, with a Terminator 2 slot hot of the press just a matter of months before this classic saw the light of day. What made this slot such a triumph was in part down to how good it looked. I mean, how could it not, when it was taking stills from the film to use as symbols? The difficult part was always going to be the features, which are absolutely nailed thanks to a stunning Free Spins game that comes with 5 different possibilities. Add to that the exciting T-Rex Mode feature and a competitive house edge and you have one of the best reptile inspired slots available to play today.
The Dragon’s Myth slot is another from Microgaming and in this instance it is one that we gave an impressive score of 10 out of 10 after reviewing it on its initial release. Back in 2015 this slot became an instant classic for everyone at ThePogg and this is by no means the first time that this slot has made it onto a best of list. In this instance our reptiles are of the mythological variety, but there’s a lot more to this slot than just the odd dragon or two. Your central character is a young girl who has the skills needed to capture huge terrifying dragons. Taking inspiration from films like “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Brave” the game is set in a rugged, cold landscape that only dragons and their hunters can survive in. Along with Free Spins and a Bonus feature there is a “Capture the Dragon” feature that asks for certain symbols to land in certain parts of the reels. These symbol combinations add the perfect link between the slot and the theme, and is the primary reason we love this slot as much as we do.
Yggdrasil know how to make their games look good and the Jungle Books slot is one that is right up there with the very best looking slots on the market today. Each of the characters is exceptionally well designed and comes with their own bonus feature. Actually, scrap that last bit, because each character comes with their own realm and within that realm there are 2 features that are specific to that character. You can have random Wilds added to the reels, reels that play in both directions, reels that are duplicated from each other and lots lots more. The reptile in question is a snake, and his features included those aforementioned reels that play in both directions and additional Wilds that come with a x3 multiplier.
The Jumanji slot was released by Net Entertainment in 2018, which along with the infamous charging rhino also has a crocodile or two helping to populate those reels. The slot is, of course, based on the 1995 Robin Williams cult classic, that has since seen a rebooted version staring Jack Black and Dwayne Johnson reinvigorate the brand. You get the Sticky Vines feature which sees certain winning symbols stick in place as the reels spin again. You get Monsoon Wilds, another random feature that will see entire reels fill with Wild symbols. And if you like the sound of that there are still another 2 random features plus 5 different Free Spins features. To say that this slot comes with plenty of features would be an absolute understatement. Add to this a very competitive house edge and you have a slot that deserves its place on the many best of lists it appears on.
The Jurassic World slot is, strangely enough, much better than the Jurassic World movie and seen as the Jurassic Park slot has already made it onto this list, you don’t need me to explain how it meets the required criteria. This slot is less heavy on the features than the Jurassic Park slot but you still get Wilds and Scatter symbols and you get 3 different Free Spins along with the wonderfully titled Indominus feature that is triggered completely at random and can reward up to 200 times the bet multiplier. The slot looks incredible and offers excellent value for money, which along with the features that I have already mentioned make this a cracking slot, one worthy of an inclusion in out reptile themed list.
The Medusa II slot is somewhat unusual, in part down to the unorthodox nature of the reptiles but also because this is the first slot to be included on any of our lists to have come from NextGen Gaming. When we reviewed this slot we gave it a score of 10 out of 10. A perfect slot doesn’t come along very often but when it does you know a few things: First of all, you will have a slot that looks incredible. Second of all you will have a slot that has some excellent features. And last but not least you will have a slot that offers genuine value for money. You get Free Spins, locked reels, fully stacked Wilds and you get an excellently valued set of Scatter symbols. However, the best thing about this slot is the house edge. At less than 3% this is a slot that is offering excellent value for money.
Rage to Riches
The rarest thing about the Rage to Riches slot is not necessarily any of fun features that are on offer but the value comes with it. Play ‘n Go don’t do house edges that are less than 4% very often, so when they do you have to sit up and take notice. This has to be one of the best value for money slots that the software giants have in their back catalogue and for the purpose of this list it is a slot that comes with its very own giant lizard. Based on the likes of King Kong and Godzilla, this is a slot that has some excellent characters and with those characters come some excellent features. The most entertaining element of this slot is triggering the key bonus feature and heading off into the city as one of these giant monsters and beating all sorts of hell out the skyscrapers that you need to flatten during it.
Jungle Spirit – Call of the Wild
The Jungle Spirit – Call of the Wild slot takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where bears, elephants, tigers and crocodiles await anyone who can trigger the stunning Free Spins feature. This Net Entertainment release scored an impressive 9 out of 10 from us on initial review and is quite simply a stunning looking slot. I love how you get to choose your Free Spins options based on one of the five different animals and then that animal becomes the centre of the Free Spins. Along with the impressive animals that live in the jungle the most important animal in this slot appears to be the humble butterfly who can appear at any moment and trigger either of the random features that are available.
Play the game here for free
The Rainforest Magic slot is the most recent entry on our list and the second to come from Play ‘n Go. The snakes that make it onto the reels are of the cute and cuddly variety and are accompanied by a number of fun and colourful looking animal symbols. In this slot you get Mystery symbols, Free Spins and Wilds, which are also the slot’s scatter symbol. Those mystery symbols work their way into the Free Spins and if you are very lucky you might just manage to land the full 30 spins.
The final entry on this list goes to the Dragon Shard slot. Released in 2019 by iSoftBet, Dragon Shard lives up the usual standard set by the software gurus, who have yet again handed us a slot that looks utterly incredible, with detailed symbols and a stunning background to give the eye a real feast. Then there are the mystery symbols, the free spins, the mystery symbol reels during the free spins and the stacked high paying symbols. Add to this a very reasonable house edge and there is a lot to like about the Dragon Shard slot. The slot also comes with a booster button which can increase your wins but only at an additional price, one that you have to consider before pressing it.
There you have it. On Reptile Awareness Day, a list of slots that all contain some sort of reptile, be it real or mythological.
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