Regal horned lizard
|Regal horned lizard|
The regal horned lizard is a small, flat lizard about the size of the palm of a man's hand. Though it has spikes all around its body, the regal horn’s main defense is the ability to squirt blood from its eyes.
This lizard can be found across southeastern Arizona and along the transition of the southern zone of the central mountains region.
They eat mostly harvester ants, and can eat twenty-five hundred ants in one meal. They are slow eaters, because they spend most of their time in the intense heat of the desert during meals.
This is a year-round active type of lizard, but during winter, its activity is usually restricted to unseasonably warm days. It looks for shelter from cold temperatures by digging holes in the ground. When it is threatened or captured, it squirts blood from its eye. This blood may have a taste used to deter predators. Some other defensive behaviors include gulping air and poking with the horns.
During summer, they can lay up to 33 eggs in a nest excavated in loose soil. The nest is a small chamber at the end of an 14’-in-long tunnel.
- Nature’s Monsters: Lizards, Brenda Ralph Lewis, Gareth Stevens publishing,2006, p. 20-21) Lewis, Brenda (2006). Natures Monsters: Lizards. Milwaukee, WI, USA: Gareth Stevens Publishing. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-8368-6363-5.
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