Concept

Ol' Rip the Horned Toad

Summary
Ol' Rip (died January 19, 1929) was a Texas horned lizard⁠—commonly referred to as a "horned toad" or "horny toad"⁠—famous during the Jazz Age which supposedly survived a 31-year hibernation as an entombed animal. The reptile's name was a reference to American writer Washington Irving's fictional character Rip Van Winkle. Following its alleged exhumation from a cornerstone in Eastland, Texas on February 18, 1928, the lizard became a national celebrity and appeared in 1920s motion pictures. The same year, a Texas political delegation led by Senator Earle Mayfield presented the docile lizard to President Calvin Coolidge at the White House for his inspection. Following the creature's fame, horned toads were sold by the thousands as souvenirs at public events including the 1928 Democratic National Convention. The ensuing mass capture and export of the horned toads resulted in the genus' abrupt decline in West Central Texas and prompted an intervention by the Texas Department of Agricu
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