What's A Horned Frog?

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The Horned Frog (actually a lizard) has been TCU's mascot longer than TCU has been the university's name. Four students helped make the decision in 1897, when AddRan Christian University (renamed TCU in 1902) was located in Waco. Here are some other facts about the horned frog, one of the country's most distinctive mascots:

The scientific name for this Texas reptile is Phrynosoma cornutum; in Greek, phrynos means "a toad" andsoma means "body";in Latin, cornutus means "horned."

Their primary diet is red harvester ants; they'd like 80 to 100 a day. Unfortunately, red ants are falling victim to insecticides and to more aggressive fire ants in much of Texas.

The typical Horned Frog is three to five inches long.

Horned Frogs are cold-blooded animals and have an unusual pineal gland, resembling a "third eye" on the top of the head, which zoologists believe is part of their system of thermoregulation.

When angered or frightened, horned frogs can squirt a fine, 
four-foot stream of blood from their eyes.

The Horned Frog was named the State Reptile of Texas in 1992.

In stories of Native Americans in the Southwest, horned frogs are depicted as ancient, powerful and respected. Archaeologists find horned frogs on petroglyphs, pottery and other crafts painted hundreds of years before Columbus set sail for America. In some parts of Mexico, folklore persists that these creatures which weep tears of blood are sacred.

To find out more about the horned frog, visit the Horned Lizard Conservation Society.