The short-horned lizard is one creepy little creature. They can often be referred to as a “horned toad” or “horny toad” because its squat, flattened shape and short, blunt snout give it a sort of toad-ish look. There are currently over a dozen recognized species found in the deserts and semi-arid environments of the Americas. They live as far north as southern Canada and as far south as Guatemala. None of the species get very large, ranging from 2-6 inches or so.
The Short Horned Lizard in action – Shooting blood from its eyes.
They feed primarily on ants, but will also eat grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders. They are however a prey item to many predators, ranging from Hawks to Dogs. In order to ward off potential predators the short-horned lizards are capable of inflating their bodies up to twice their size, resembling a land dwelling puffer fish. If this doesn’t work some species employ one of heck of a talent, they shoot blood from their eyes. It is meant to confuse predators and quite frankly it probably freaks them out too. They can shoot the blood up to 3 feet (1 meter). They are also seen sometimes in the pet trade. Check out the video below to see them in action.