Mozilla (mascot)

From Academic Kids

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Mozilla.jpg
The original Mozilla mascot for Netscape
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Mozillalizard.gif
The current Mozilla mascot for the Mozilla Suite and Mozilla Foundation

Mozilla (or Mozzie or Moz) was the mascot of the now disbanded Netscape Communications Corporation.

Mozilla takes the form of a cute green and purple cartoon lizard. He was designed by Dave Titus in 1994.

The name "Mozilla" was already in use at Netscape as the codename for Netscape Navigator 1.0. The term came from a combination of 'Mosaic killer' (as Netscape wanted to displace NCSA Mosaic as the world's number one web browser) and Godzilla. Initially, the mascot took various forms, including that of a helmeted astronaut or 'spaceman', but the eventual choice of a Godzilla-like lizard was no doubt thought to go well with the Godzilla-like name.

Mozilla featured prominently on Netscape's web site in the company's early years. However, the need to project a more 'professional' image (especially towards corporate clients) led to him being removed. Mozilla continued to be used inside Netscape, though, often featuring on T-shirts given to staff or on artwork adorning the walls of the Netscape campus in Mountain View.

The name "Mozilla" later became more prominent when it was used for the open source browser of the same name. While the Mozilla mascot was originally used on the mozilla.org website and as a logo within the browser, he was eventually replaced by a larger, fiercer red dragon (who has never been given an official name but is often also called Mozilla).

When Netscape acquired the website directory NewHoo in 1998, they rebranded it the Open Directory Project with the nickname "dmoz" (Directory of Mozilla) due to its similarility to the Mozilla project. An image of Mozilla was placed on every page of the site, which remains the case today, despite Netscape's disbanding after its acquisition by AOL.

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