Wildlife Wednesday

Horned lizards (Phrynosoma platyrhinos) are also called horned toad lizards or horny toads, but they’re not toads at all. These odd-looking lizards are actually related to iguanas. Their broad, flattened bodies make them appear like frogs or toads and they are about the same size. They also have a short tail and horns, or spines on top of their head and on their back, something like a little dinosaur. You can spot horned lizards in gravelly or sandy areas often basking in the sun at Red Rock Canyon. The camouflage of this animal matches the colors of the soil so well that predators are often fooled when the horned lizard stands still; it seems to disappear into the ground. If the predator should catch one, the lizard may blow itself up with air and appear like a spiny ball. Finally, the horned lizard can squirt acidic-tasting blood out from the corners of their eyes in an effort to be released. They forage for ants, their primary food. These little creatures can live 5 to 8 years in the wild.

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