Texas horned lizards (commonly called horny toads – but they are not toads) are considered a threatened species by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department but they are only threatening to the ants and other invertebrates that they consume. They rely heavily on crypsis (camouflage) to avoid predators and often remain frozen in place until a perceived predator approaches too close for comfort. Then they can move surprisingly quickly but generally move only a short distance and freeze, again, blending into their surroundings. As a last resort, they rely on their spines to make them difficult to consume and can actually squirt blood from their eyes. This isn’t harmful but is thought to act as a deterrent to predators. I have captured and handled a large number of horned lizards and have never experienced this behavior. I am excited for the day one decides to let me have it! I’m a biologist, what can I say. I hope you enjoy the video which was taken near Pantex. WT has been working on horned lizards at Pantex for over 10 years. Thanks to Jim Ray for wrangling this lizard for me to photograph and video. These are beautiful animals that have declined in abundance in much of their range but are still quite common in the Panhandle.
Sorry for the delay in posts but apparently Camtasia and Windows 7 don’t play well together and I am now using Pinnacle. I hope the learning curve will be steep. Look for more frequent posts as I become more familiar with the new software. Thanks for looking!