Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Town Monday: The Horned Frog

Since the Cowboys are breaking my heart, I thought I'd switch topics for today's My Town Monday post, and introduce you to a particular Fort Worthian icon: the horned frog.

The horned frog is the official mascot of Texas Christian University, a private school located in the heart of Fort Worth. In 1897, four students helped decide the school's mascot and chose the horned frog. Wonder why? Here are a few tidbits about this colorful creature, gleaned from www.collegefootballhistory.com.



The horned frog is actually a lizard, and Texas named it the State Reptile in 1992.

The horned frog's primary diet is red harvester ants--they would like to eat 80 to 100 a day. (Which makes me think Texas needs waaaaaay more horned frogs.)

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.

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

Stories of Native Americans in the Southwest depict horned frogs as ancient, powerful and respected.

In some parts of Mexico, folklore persists that horned frogs which weep tears of blood are sacred.

The mighty horned frog: a powerful, sacred, blood-squirting, state-recognized really-a-lizard mascot. Ah, the things you learn through My Town Monday. Visit Travis Erwin's blog for a list of other my towner participants.

Question: What's the oddest mascot you know? Does your state have an official reptile? Please share.

*photos from TCU's website.

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