Thursday, May 3, 2012

Then The Little Dinosaur Jumped Up And Ran At Us

The State of Oklahoma has an official reptile.  It is the Mountain Boomer, a.k.a. Collard Lizard (Crotaphytus Collaris).

Adopted in 1969.
Collared Lizard (Mountain Boomer) Crotaphytus collaris. The Mountain Boomer, or Collard Lizard, is a pretty turquoise blue collar except for its head and neck, which is bright yellow with black stripes along its neck. It was adopted in 1969 as the Oklahoma State Reptile.

Say what?  I never saw one like that.

Key Characters: Large head; narrow neck; long, round tail; two black collars on the back of the neck.

Similar Species: A distinctive species not easily confused.

Subspecies: Eastern collared lizard, C. c. collaris.

Description: A large (up to 35 cm TL), green, blue-green, or straw yellow lizard with a light belly and an orange or yellow throat. Back usually covered with small light spots (except in juveniles, which have dark crossbands). Male much brighter than female.

Habitat: Bluffs, rock ledges, and rocky forest openings (glades).

Natural History: This lizard looks like it would be more at home in the deserts of Arizona than in Illinois. Male frequently sits on the top of the highest rock in its home range as if to advertise its presence. Mating takes place in the spring and eggs are laid in late June to July. Clutch size is normally 3-10 eggs and the hatchlings (ca. 9 cm TL) appear in August or September. Collared lizards feed on insects (especially grasshoppers) and small lizards. The main predators are snakes and hawks.


 Animalia -- animals
PhylumChordata -- chordates
ClassReptilia Laurenti, 1768 -- répteis, reptiles, Reptiles
OrderSquamata Oppel, 1811 -- Amphisbaenians, amphisbènes, lézards, Lizards, serpents, Snakes
SuborderIguania -- Iguanas, iguanes
FamilyCrotaphytidae -- Collared Lizards, Leopard Lizards
GenusCrotaphytus Holbrook, 1842 -- Collared Lizards

Crotaphytus collaris (Say in James, 1823) -- Collared Lizard, Eastern Collared Lizard, Lagartija-de collar común

l OK maybe some mountain boomers are turquoise some parts of the year, maybe.
But, I looked at all the official State images of the Boomer.  They all show a multi-color lizard laying on a rock.  That is not a Mountain Boomer, not any Mountain Boomer I've seen.

My Mountain Boomer would jump up and run on his rear legs with his tail out straight. (20 years late they would decide that's how real dinosaurs ran).  My Mountain Boomer is brown and dark brown and tan and lives in the boulders of the Wichita and Quartz Mountains in SW Oklahoma.  He will run at you with his mouth open.  He runs upright on two legs.

Where is this Oklahoma symbol?  How did it get lost.

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