The Rose Bowl 2011: What Is a Horned Frog? The TCU Nickname Explained

horned frogs
What is a Horned Frog?

Lions, tigers, and bears.  Oh my!   What about horned frogs?

Most of today’s sports teams come with intimidating nicknames and mascots.  Not so with the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs!  While the nickname tends to be a wee bit on the ‘cute’ side, the horned frog is actually fierce in the world of reptiles.

What exactly is a horned frog?

A horned frog isn’t a frog at all.   It is actually a horned lizard found in the Southwestern United States and in northern Mexico.   It is commonly referred to as either a horned frog or a horned toad depending on which part of the country you happened to be visiting.  The amphibian nicknames come from its facial resemblance to both the frog and the toad.  When you add on some wicked looking horns, it becomes one tough reptile!  It uses those spikes to fend of predators and can even spray out blood from its eyes to confuse its potential attackers.  The Texas horned lizard (aka the horned frog) is the official state reptile for the state of Texas. 

While not exactly intimidating at first glance, the horned frog is proving to be some intimidating competition in the 2011 Rose Bowl.  They currently lead the Wisconsin Badgers by a score of 21-13.