Having a rugged body might come naturally to the horned lizard and it sure appreciates it. In the semi-arid environments of North and Central America, the horned lizard uses its flatted shape, mud-coloured body and almost frog-like appearance to camouflage itself in the soil.
While the spins on its body and the scary-looking horns on its head can scare away many predators, there are still some formidable enemies that love to snack on the horned lizard.
Lapping up ants, grasshoppers and spiders, the horned lizard can fall prey to the hawks, snakes and coyotes among other animals.
But fear not. Like millions of years of evolution has also taught the best of defensive strategies to the animals. If there is a course in defensive tactics, the horned lizard wins hands down.
When the spiny armour fails to keep it hidden, the liard puffs up to almost double its size to look more intimidating and flip itself over to discourage the predator.
If that fails, they have a curious trick up their sleeves. When nothing else works, the lizard can shoot a jet of blood onto the predator from its eyes. Yes, you read it right. By compressing the blood vessels in its head and shooting blood onto its predator, it manages to scare away many of its enemies.
If you are thinking, that is cool, hold on to your hats as there is more. The horned lizard can squirt blood to as far as 5 ft away at one shot and can do that consecutively for up to ten times! And the direction of the blood can be changed as it wants. Wait. There is more. The blood is heavily pungent to the predators like dogs who run away as soon as they see the blood squirt!
Did I tell you the horned lizard looks like a mini-dragon? In this game of thrones, the horned lizard is an easy contender when it comes to defensive strategies.
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