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Neat Nature Nasties! The Horned Lizard’s Bloody Good Way To Keep Danger At Bay

Eyes are the windows of the soul, and these windows shoot blood straight at your face.

Sarah Burns · 5 months ago

  • art

Design Pics / Jack Goldfarb

The early morning Texas sun is beating down, and it promises to be a hot day, but you don’t mind. The warming rays feel good from your safe spot among the cooling rocks; with your short, squat body, you could easily be mistaken for a rock yourself. From this vantage point, the vast desert spreads out in every direction — so what’s with this wise-guy coming towards you? A whole desert to choose from, and he’s gotta come over here and blow up your spot? Puffing out your chest, you ask:

"Excuse me?"


a lizard

He lumbers towards you, licking his lips in response. You’re not worried though, you know how to deal with creeps, and in one smooth motion, you brandish your cleverly concealed Super Soaker and squirt this guy into next week! Only the Super Soaker is your very own eyelids, which fill up with blood that you use to send a jet of nastiness up to six feet away into the face of your unwitting visitor. Unwelcome company beware because you are none other than the horned lizard!

It might seem like a convenient way to donate blood, but this defense mechanism isn’t all in vein; there’s a chemical in the blood that makes it even grosser to predators, who then give up and run off — presumably to find some Wet-Naps and complain to their friends, “Ewww, it got in my mouth!”

unnamed (1)

Sarah Burns / Camp

Learn more about these desert-dwellers and recycle some brown paper bags, mosaic-style, by piecing together this horned lizard art.