The TCU football team will have some new — and tiny — fans this season.
Thursday, the Fort Worth Zoo announced the hatching of 37 Texas horned lizards, each about the size of a bottle cap.
The zoo posted a picture on Facebook of one of the baby lizards — yes, they’re technically lizards, not frogs. But they still have a slight resemblance to TCU’s horned frog mascot, minus the shades of purple.
The Fort Worth Zoo was the first in the country to successfully breed horned lizards, which are a threatened species, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
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The zoo has 16 male lizards, 18 females and 90 juvenile lizards, zoo spokeswoman Chelsea Adler said. Since 2005, more than 300 lizards have been hatched at the zoo and 94 have been released into the wild.
The lizards are typically found in West Texas and survive on a steady diet of red ants. Fully grown, they are 3 1/2 to 6 inches long. And, as the TPWD website notes, they are known for their ability to shoot blood from their eyelids.
So if you’ve ever noticed a trace of red on TCU’s football uniforms, that’s probably why.