11 Wacky 'Star Wars' Creatures We Love

Is there any creature cooler than the varactyl? © HowStuffWorks 2016

Chicken-lizard sounds like a silly combination for a sci-fi animal. That is, until you see a varactyl up close and personal – then it's not so funny anymore, particularly if you like your head connected to your body.

Varactyls, which originated from Utapau, are a type of giant lizard that are more than 12 feet (4 meters) tall at the shoulder, and nearly 50 feet (15 meters) long from the tip of their vicious-looking barbed tails to the tips of their equally scary snouts. In homage to their bird-tinged evolution, they feature a mane of brilliant blue-and-green feathers that add a regal air to what would otherwise look like nothing more than a meat-eating machine.

In fact, varactyls aren't nearly as ferocious as they appear. They're herbivores imbued with incredible climbing skills that help them scramble up even the steepest slopes of their home world. They're also easy to domesticate and extremely loyal. Their speedy footwork makes them perfect mounts for anyone who needs fast terrestrial transportation.