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First North American Captive Breeding of the Giant Horned Lizard

Texas horned LizardHorned Lizards of various species, usually sold as “Horned Toads”, were US pet trade staples in the 1950’s and 60’s.  Looking much like minute dinosaurs, they needed more heat and UVB than most could provide, along with an ant-dominated diet, and fared poorly.  As a boy, I was able to keep them going in the summer, thanks to natural sunlight and plentiful ants, but they declined in winter (I discovered they did not like the “house ants” I collected in local stores!).  As I moved into zoo work, the key to keeping most species remained elusive.  So I was very happy to hear that the Los Angeles Zoo had recently (January, 2011) succeeded in breeding the largest species, the Giant Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma asio. Read More »

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