By Michael Marshall. It has more defences than the Death Star, ranging from excellent camouflage to a subtle gift for risk assessment, bony defensive spines on its head and, best of all, a last-ditch retaliatory measure that is as gory as the legendary horror frog. Its body is flattened to the ground, helping to disguise it, as does its mottled skin. Spines run down the side of the body and tail, and sprout all over the head — including two large ones on the top that look like horns. Hungry lizards capture the ants on their tongues and immediately swallow them , and folds in their throats then wrap them in threads of mucus that effectively immobilise them. As a result, they can eat dozens of the insects without getting hurt. But in turn, the lizards are hunted by a host of predators , including birds of prey , snakes and carnivorous mice. They captured 45 lizards and placed them one by one in a large arena. With a lizard at one end, Cooper crept up on it to see how close he could get before the lizard fled.
World's Weirdest: Blood-Squirting Lizard
Lost your password? North American desert horned lizards have a wide range of predators within their habitat. One unusual defense mechanism involves the flooding of their ocular sinuses, tissues found below their eye, with blood. When a horned lizard feels threatened by a predator, its final defense response is to shoot blood from these flooded sinuses and out its eye sockets.
Almost everything will try to eat horned lizards, from coyotes to carnivorous mice. In response they have evolved an arsenal of defences. A horned lizard sits motionless in the desert sun, eyeing a young coyote skulking nearby. Five inches long, with a crown of horns like a dinosaur, the lizard's mottled skin helps it blend into the background. Nevertheless, the coyote spots it.
When spiny skin isn't enough, the horned lizard repels predators with a truly bizarre tactic: squirting a stream of blood out of its eye more. When spiny skin isn't enough, the horned lizard repels predators with a truly bizarre tactic: squirting a stream of blood out of its eye. The horned lizard. Its known aliases include the horned frog and the horny toad, but it's no amphibian, just a one-reptile wrecking crew with a bizarre self-defense strategy. We'll get to that in a second. It eats mostly harvester ants, but it doesn't have any fancy hunting methods.