Large, unknown Lizards of North America.
Variant names: Canip monster lizard, Crosswick
monster, Giant pink lizard, Gowrow,
Mini-rex, Mountain boomer, River dino, River
Physical description: Various sizes and descriptions.
Behavior: Some are bipedal, others quadrupedal.
Tracks: Three- or four-toed.
Distribution: British Columbia, Canada; Colorado;
Texas; South Dakota; Ohio; Kentucky;
Significant sightings: Prior to 1820, when a
drought exterminated them, pink lizards 3–8
feet long were said to inhabit “Catlick Creek
Valley,” which Mark Hall has identified as
Scippo Creek in Pickaway County, Ohio. The
animals were said to have horns like a cow’s.
In the late nineteenth century, two young
boys fishing in a stream near Crosswick, Ohio,
were attacked by a lizard that stood 12–16 feet
tall. Three men rescued the boy, but the lizard
escaped into a huge hollow tree. Later in the
day, townsfolk came to cut the tree down, but
the animal ran away on its two hind legs.
Myrtle Snow claimed to have seen five “baby
dinosaurs” near Chromo, Colorado, in May
1935 when she was three years old. John Martinez
had shot one a few months earlier after it
killed some sheep. It was 7 feet tall, gray, had a
head like a snake’s, short front legs with claws,
large hind legs, and a long tail. Snow saw similar
animals near a cave in 1937 and October
Several reports of smallish, bipedal lizards
have come from Vancouver and Texada Islands,
British Columbia. In one instance, railroad
workers came across a nest of 12-inch-tall lizards
that scampered away on two legs.
In July 1975, there were several sightings of a
large, black-and-white-striped lizard with a red,
forked tongue near Canip Creek in Trimble
County, Kentucky. It left clawed tracks that
were 5 inches long by 4.5 inches wide. Clarence
and Garrett Cable saw it on three occasions in a
junkyard near Milton. It appeared to be about
15 feet long.
In 1981, a 2-foot, green, crested lizard was
chased by some boys along a railroad track in
New Kensington, Pennsylvania.
In the early 1990s, Jimmy Ward investigated
rumors of a green or brown, bipedal lizard with
a booming voice in west Texas near the Big
Bend National Park. It was called the Mountain
boomer and stood 5–6 feet tall on its hind
In 2000, Ron Schaffner obtained some photos
showing small, dinosaur-like lizards allegedly
taken in the Fountain Creek, Colorado, area,
but the animals might well be rubber models.
(1) Unknown monitor lizards (Family
Varanidae), though existing species are
known only from Africa, Asia, and
(2) Surviving Matthewichnus caudifer, a
fossil amphibian whose tracks are known
from the Carboniferous period, 300 million
years ago, in Tennessee, suggested by Mark
(3) A neotenic Mole salamander
(Ambystoma spp.), also suggested by Hall.
However, this overgrown, underdeveloped
larva (axolotl) does not leave the water.
(4) Escaped pet Colombian black-and-white
tegu (Tupinambis teguixin), which looks
somewhat like a monitor lizard and grows
to 4 feet long, suggested by Chad Arment
for the Canip Creek animal.
(5) Escaped pet Green basilisk (Basiliscus
plumifrons), a bright-green, arboreal lizard
from Central America that grows to 3 feet
and has a banded tail and dorsal crest,
suggested by Chad Arment for the New
(6) The Eastern collared lizard (Crotaphytus
collaris collaris) is, for unknown reasons, also
called the Mountain boomer, though it has
no vocal cords. A Western subspecies (C. c.
baileyi ) is found in the Big Bend area and
grows to about 2 feet in length. It runs on
its hind legs.