The Blood Squirting Horned Lizard – The Wicked Master in Avoiding Predation

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You may have come across animals displaying defensive behaviors like electrocution, camouflaging, and poisoning, but let us introduce the horned lizard’s impressive, yet bizarre defense mechanism to deter predators.

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The horned lizard also known as “horned toad” or “horned frog” is famously known for squirting blood when endangered by foxes or coyotes; the horned lizard´s biggest predators. When the lizard is detected, it remains still to let the predators think it is dead. If that too doesn’t work, it puffs up its body; elevate their horns straight up to appear bigger and a more horned lizard.

It has the ability to grow drastically from 2.5 inches to 6 inches (6.35 cm- 15 cm) and if all of these tactics fail it resorts to its best retaliatory measure. It starts squirting blood from the corners of its eyes that can bridge a distance of up to 5 feet.

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It does this by restricting the blood flow thereby increasing its blood pressure so that the tiny vessels around its sockets rupture causing its sinus walls to break, thereby releasing jet-like squirts of blood.

The squirting of the blood not only confuses its predators, but it tastes and smells extremely foul. The blood is mixed with noxious chemicals which come from feeding on venomous ants and thus acts as a natural pepper spray for K9 animals.

Watch the following video and get insights on how it is adept in averting predation, like no other!

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