Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Lizard Named Rex

The Arizona guys will recognize this fellow. He's a great horned lizard that I found in the desert today when I was out in my truck prospecting, getting into mischief and generally running around on old trails. 

Rex, the Great Horned Lizard.

My grandson, Griffin, is coming over for dinner on Sunday. He will have the opportunity to meet Rex (King of the Lizards because of his horned crown) and then we will go up into the hills and release him. They don't do well in long term captivity but they're kind of fun to play with. I lived in Arizona when I was a kid and I kept them and played with them. To feed them I put them near an ant hill and let the lizards go to it. They can eat a LOT of ants.

Rex is about 4 1/2 inches long and when he's puffing and making himself look bigger to the predator (me), he's about 2 1/2 inches wide. I found a water snake in a creek too, but didn't bring him home (this time). That might have been too much since the girls are none too fond of reptiles. Of the pantheon of reptiles, snakes are their least favorite.

Griffin, temporary reptile owner.

When Amanda, Griffin's mom, was a little girl, she had a pet rat named Whiskers. Now she vetoed the lizard as a constant companion for little Griffin, which is okay. I offered to corner a snake on my next trip to the desert and the offer was also rejected. 

Safely caught and released, the Great Horned Lizard can run free and Griffin can enjoy the experience.

But maybe she'll say YES to a rat? I'm not talking about a harbor wharf rat - a rodent raised in captivity. What do you think? A boy and his lizard - a boy and his rat...it is part of being a BOY. (boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, my daughters suggested that also applies to grandfathers)

The Scorpion, a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

8 comments:

WoFat said...

I had flying squirrels. Kind of airborne rats.

Opus #6 said...

Amanda has her hands full with Cannon. I imagine if you and she can agree on a pet, she would appreciate the offer of room and board for the pet at your house for the next year or so.

LL said...

Wo- I think a flying squirrel would be VERY cool!

Opus - I have resistance from other girls to a snake, lizard or other reptile. I even offered an iguana or chameleon as a sort of compromise but no domestic reptiles would be welcome. They could live in a terrarium in the den since it's more or less my only exclusive space...? But what to do when I'm out of town? That's always the difficulty with pets.

Opus #6 said...

Is there a reptile kennel nearby?

LL said...

I'm going to release the guy today. For a Great Horned Lizard, Rex is quite large. He's the largest one I've ever seen (therefore the name) with an impressive crown of horns. He looks like a little dinosaur - even though they were warm blooded, not reptiles.

When I woke up this morning, he was hanging out, waiting for Griffin to show up.

Race Bannon said...

As a child in AZ, I learned the hard way that they don't live well in captivity. I used to catch them all the time.

True Story: My sisters and I rescued a baby robin that had fallen out of its nest up in Forest Lakes. It was still pink - no feathers. We fed it with an eye-dropper, and brought it home to the Valley. We raised it down there, and let it fly around. It always came back. We let it go back up in the mountains, and it came back the following year. We wanted to use it to get on the Wallace and Ladmo show...but no Ladmo Bag for us.

LL said...

Race, If I had time to take him to ant hills and run around with him, it MIGHT work out. As it is, I let him go in a good spot in the desert and he'll thrive again.

Azra said...

Aw man! Griffin is too cute for words. That lizard freaks me out though as "cute" as it may be... there aren't many things that crawl that intrigue me. Well, except babies :) I bet Griffin was a cute baby. Tell your daughter she's a lucky lady!

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