- n Phrynosoma horned lizards
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n phrynosoma A genus of lizards of the family Iguanidæ, including the curious creatures known as horned toads or horned frogs, as P. cornutum, P. orbiculare, P. douglasi, etc. Some of them are very abundant in most parts of the western and southwestern United States and southward. Some attain a length of six' inches, but they are usually small. The body is very flat, and more or less orbicular, with a short tail tapering from a stout base, and shorter legs than is usual in related lizards. The head is surmounted with several pairs of stout spines, largest in some of the southerly and Mexican forms, and the whole upper surface of the body is roughly granular or tuberculous; the under side is smooth. The coloration of the upper parts is variegated with black, brown, gray, and reddish, in a blotched pattern, and varies greatly, not only with the different species, but in different individuals of the same kind. The creatures have nothing of the agility of most lizards; they are clumsy in their motions, rather sluggish, and cannot jump. They are perfectly harmless, become tame as soon as handled, and are often kept as pets for their oddity. They feed on flies and other insects, but can fast long, and may be safely sent by mail alive to any part of the United States. They bring forth alive. One species (P. douglasi) occurs as far north at least as the British boundary of the United States.