texas horned lizard

A gif I made from this video.
The Texas horned lizard has the ability to squirt an aimed stream of blood from the corners of the eyes and sometimes from its mouth for a distance of up to 5ft. This not only confuses predators, the blood is mixed with a chemical that is foul-tasting to canine predators such as wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs.

Texas Horned Lizard

this lizard is one of about 14 North American species of spikey-bodied reptiles called horned lizards.

The horned lizard is popularly called a “horned toad”, “horny toad”, or “horned frog”, but it is neither a toad nor a frog. The popular names come from the lizard’s rounded body and blunt snout, which give it a decidedly toad- or frog-like appearance.
Although its coloration generally serves as camouflage against predation, when threatened by a predator, a horned lizard will puff up its body to cause its spiny scales to protrude, making it difficult to swallow it also has the ability to squirt an aimed stream of blood from the corners of the eyes and sometimes from its mouth for a distance of up to 5 ft (1.5 m). This not only confuses would-be predators, but also the blood is mixed with a chemical that is foul-tasting to canine predators such as wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs.

this lizard eats ants and termites
Despite its fierce appearance, Texas horned lizards are extremely docile creatures. Since they have very few natural predators, they are not at all aggressive, and will never bite.Today, it is illegal to disturb or keep a horned lizard without a state permit.

Center For Biological Diversity Joins Teen, Independent Scientists to Save Vanishing Lizard

From the Center for Biological Diversity:

Fifteen-year-old Kade Wilson recently learned that a shopping center was planned for a field behind his Oklahoma home where he liked to watch Texas horned lizards (casually known as “horny toads”). With the lizards already listed as “threatened” under the Texas Endangered Species Act – and laws against killing them in both Texas and Oklahoma – Kade knew the shopping center meant trouble for the reptiles.

So he joined a petition by the Center and two independent scientists, filed last Friday, to protect Texas horned lizards under Oklahoma’s state Endangered Species Act. The lizard may be formidable looking, with numerous horns on its head – but this once-common creature has now nearly disappeared due to habitat destruction, pesticides and introduced fire ants.

“I’m a 15-year-old and I might not be a scientist or a biologist,” said Kade, “but I know that these horny toads are just trying to share the Earth with us, and we’re taking it away from them.”

Kade Wilson…….good for you!

Here’s a link to a longer story about the Texas horned lizard (or, as Kade Wilson and I call it, “horny toad”) and the teenager who is doing something about saving a species.

Watch on themik3ylamb.tumblr.com

Nature: Texas Horned Lizard