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Texas State Reptile & Amphibian

Texas State Reptile

Texas has two official reptiles and a state amphibian. Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was designated the official sea turtle, while the official amphibian is the aptly named Texas toad.

However, the boss of the ranch is the state reptile, the legendary Texas horned lizard. This creature is often called a “horned toad,” though it doesn’t hop.

The most famous Texas horned lizard is an animal named Old Rip. The lizard was placed inside a cornerstone during the 1897 dedication of a courthouse in Eastland, Texas. In other words, Old Rip was buried alive.

A Texas horned lizard starred in the Walt Disney movie Old Yeller.

When the courthouse was demolished three decades later (1928), people were amazed to discover that Old Rip was still alive.

Of course, there’s no way of knowing if the story is true. But when Old Rip died the next year (supposedly of pneumonia), his body was embalmed and placed in a tiny casket.

There are rumors that Old Rip was kidnapped, and the lizard in the casket is an impostor. There probably isn’t another lizard in the world so shrouded in conspiracy.

While the armadillo expands its range, the Texas horned lizard is sadly declining.

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