WHAT A BEAUTY!
This is none other than the Regal Horned Lizard or to be more specific, Phrynosoma solaris.
Regal means of notable excellence or magnificence and it can be clearly described by the appearance of this lizard.
They can be found mainly in Southern Arizona, United States, and inhabit valleys, rocky areas, and low foothills. It is also found in relatively level areas with exposure to sunlight.
It is a medium sized lizard, growing up to 117 mm which is about 4.7 inches. (shown below)
Pets and Long Term Residents by Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue
Despite its majestic appearance and intimidating looks, this lizard does have an intriguing behaviour that would bewilder one completely.
Some may deem this behaviour to be gruesome but when one has the will to survive anything is possible. What is it exactly? ( Hint : title )
Yes! I mean BLOODSHOT literally! It really enthralled when i first saw this on a video from YouTube.
Amazing but true, this small reptile has the ability to squirt blood out from it’s eyes to confuse predators preying on it, increasing its chance of survival!
“Regal Horned lizards have evolved an exceptionally bizarre defence against predators:
when under threat they can restrict blood flow from the head until mounting pressure ruptures small blood vessels in and around the eyes, resulting in a spurt of blood that may leap a meter (3 1/2 feet) or more.”
Kierzek, M. 2000. “Phrynosoma solare” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web.
“Without the use of a blood-squirting defense and its presumed delivery of noxious chemicals … a horned lizard may have little chance of surviving an encounter with a canid….
With a blood-squirting defense a lizard’s survival chances increase, probably substantially….
The physiological costs of the defense, in terms of blood loss, can be low or high. The success of this defense behavior depends on factors such as the efficacy with which squirted blood is delivered to membranes in the mouth of the predator”
Wade C. Sherbrooke; George A. Middendorf, III, Blood-Squirting Variability in Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma), Copeia, Vol. 2001, No. 4. (Dec. 20, 2001), pp. 1114-1122