You’ve never seen a pet like this before — it’s a lizard, but it acts like a dog Screenshot

The Argentine Red Tegu is quite an interesting pet. It’s rare, to say the least, and very few become social media stars like MacGyver the lizard.

With nearly 13,000 followers on Instagram and 34,000 subscribers on YouTube, MacGyver is often seen taking a bath, eating kiwi, appearing as a guest on Game of Thrones and, perhaps the most astonishing all, daydreaming of the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump debate.

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Through social media, MacGyver’s human parents share their insights on owning a tegu.

His puffy cheeks and large body have taken the Internet by storm, leaving many asking, “What is that?”

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Tegus are one of the largest lizard species. Males like MacGyver can reach nearly 5 feet in length and weigh around 50 pounds. Their bodies are muscular and covered with beaded skin. Unlike other reptiles, tegus have a large appetite for a variety of different foods.

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Tag somebody who likes or is a fruit salad

A post shared by MacGyver the Lizard (@macgyverlizard) on

They invade bee hives for honey, snack on seeds and fruit, and hunt small rodents, insects, eggs, amphibians, mollusks and birds. Some tegu species even digest venomous snakes and poisonous frogs without suffering from any visible side effects.

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As exepmplified by MacGyver, the personality of a tegu is playful and tolerant. They are highly intelligent animals, and they are similar to dogs in their interactions with humans. Unlike their wild lizard cousins, captive tegus require human love and affection. They form close bonds with their owners and often choose a hug and a kiss over a meal.

Scientists and researchers predict tegus will soon go extinct. Their skin and meat are often hunted. However, they are not officially listed as an endangered species.

To see more about MacGyver the Lizard, please visit

Lauren Grose About the author:
Lauren is an Associate Content Editor at RARE. During her years at Bloomsburg University, she delved into modern media by creating a fashion column titled “Dear Bloom,” which ultimately became a YouTube series. Shortly after graduating, Lauren packed her bags and flew to Tokyo to explore the city’s culture and, ...Read more
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