Texas Horned Lizard

Personal memory by Mary Ellen Gabriel

1974Big Spring, TX 79720, USA

In Big Spring, Texas, when I was a girl, we caught "horny toads" in the bushes beside our house. They were so plentiful that we could catch half a dozen in half an hour. We made shoebox houses for them and played with them, then let them go. I remember they would sit calmly in our hands while we stroked their spikes down, like petting a cat's fur. Unfortunately their docility made them desirable as pets and they were captured and exported in great numbers. Pesticides have also played a role in their decline.