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River Dinos, also known as River Lizards, Mini Rexes, Prairie Devils, and an assortment of other names, are reptilian cryptids from the American West, with a high number of sightings in the 4 Corners region. Similar creatures have been seen in Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, and Georgia.


Colorado river3

The "Dino" is said to walk exclusively on its hind legs; to stand about 3 feet tall; and to have armlike appendages instead of forelegs. Investigator Nick Sucik, who first heard about the Dinos from individuals involved in the shadowy animal trade, said of the creatures: "The reptile usually is seen near a wet environment and moves swiftly, with grace."

According to Sucik: "Every reference we've heard usually affiliates them with water. That's where the term 'River Dino' comes from."


An early sighting of a River Dino came from a couple who had been on a trip to Arizona. While there, they claimed to have seen the carcass of a reptile the likes of which they had never seen before. "It looked like a toy to them," claimed Sucik.

In early 1996, a Coloradan woman from the Mesa Verde area saw what she described as "not a lizard, really, about 3 1/2 feet long and 3 1/2 feet high. It moved very fast. As far as I remember, there were only two legs that seemed to balance it." This animal had a cone-shaped snout and a tail around two feet in length. The woman proceeded to consult with Jeff Thulin, an expert from the Reptile Reserve who had heard other, similar, reports. Thulin conceded that from the description he had heard, no match to any known species could be made, and that due to the local climate, no lizards could have lived through the winter.

One pair of witnesses, a mother and daughter who had been driving through the Yellow Jacket area of Colorado in 2001, described it as having a long neck and skinny legs like a bird and looking "like a cross between a bird and a dinosaur." However, it had no feathers and its "arms" seemed to extend from its upright neck rather than its body. These women estimated that the creature would measure about 5 feet, if stretched from neck to tail.

In Popular Culture[]

  • River Dinos

    River Dinos as depicted in MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation

    River Dinos are featured in popular trading card game MetaZoo: Cryptid Nation.