Meet This Miniature Wannabe T. Rex

Collared Lizard Open Mouth - 3RF May 2020 Logo

Iguanas and Jurassic Park in the Rolling Plains of Texas? What’s that?


Here’s your chance to meet both all in one. This famed iguana and little dinosaur, the Eastern Collared Lizard.  This lizard is a member of the iguana family. Plus, you can say they are little dinosaurs because they can run up to fifteen miles per hour balancing perfectly on their hind legs like miniature Tyrannosaurus rexes.


These lizards adapted to wag their tails which are twice their body length. The tail wagging is like how you’d see the tail of cat or dog waving their tails in a half-hearted greeting. The tail-wagging allows these lizards to trick potential prey making it easier for them to capture their meals. Because everything must eat just like we do and insects and lizards smaller than them are their favorite foods.


Another interesting name of these lizards is Mountain Boomers. You think boomer – loud sound – but even with its mouth open, like it is in this photo, this lizard cannot make a sound. The historical story goes that early pioneers mistook these colorful lizards as making the loud sounds they heard that echoed through mountain valleys. It was later to be found it was frog making all those noises.


A cool trivia fact the collared lizard is recognized as the state reptile for Oklahoma.