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What is the Golden Knights mascot? Five facts about gila monsters

Chance debuted at T-Mobile Arena on Friday, some fans have questions @NHLdotcom

The Vegas Golden Knights mascot, Chance, is not a dinosaur, not a gekko or a yellow version of "The Thing" from the "Fantastic Four" comics.

So, what exactly was that big yellow guy that debuted Friday night?

Chance is a gila monster.

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: Introducing the Golden Knights mascot, CHANCE!

We imagine your next question is, "What's a gila monster?" If you don't know, here are five facts to get you up to speed:

1. Scary name: Although it may be called a monster, it is actually a lizard (and pronounced HEE-la). It is one of just two known species of venomous lizard in North America. They are usually orange and black or pink and black, but Chance obviously matches the team's colors.

2. Desert, baby. Desert: Although images of neon lights and casinos usually fill the brain when the city of Las Vegas is mentioned, the state of Nevada is largely desert, including a portion of the Mojave, the driest desert in North America. It is the gila monster's ideal climate.

3. Their hiss is worse than their bite: According to the San Diego Zoo, which houses some of the reptiles, the gila monster's bite is very painful to humans, but not fatal. Gila monsters usually avoid humans and larger animals. They use an open-mouth hiss to try and ward off potential predators. We're confident that Chance won't bite or hiss at anyone, though. He's a friendly gila.

4. Slow, but steady: Not known for their speed, gila monsters are excellent climbers which can be helpful in tracking prey.

5. If you see Chance, be nice: In 1952, the gila monster became the first venomous animal to be given legal protection as the species is classified as "Near Threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They typically live 20 to 30 years.

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