Heard lizards make good pets

Texas Toad Lizard Wanted Poster
size94-114 mm
speednot known
Weightnot known
lifespannot known
nutritionAnts, grasshoppers, beetles, larvae
EnemiesWolves, coyotes, dogs
habitatUSA, Mexico
orderScaly creepers
Scientific SurnamePhrynosoma cornutum
featuressharp thorns
Ant food

The Texas toad lizard has a particular predilection for knot ants. About 200 of them find their way into his stomach every day and make up 70% of their food. The rest consists of grasshoppers, woodlice, beetles and larvae.

Danger - trick # 1: get me if you can

When in danger, Texas toad lizards freeze and just stay where they are. Her motto: "Let the bird come and cut itself on my thorns".

In fact, the Texas toad lizard has very sharp thorns and spines that can cut a bird's throat or inflict severe wounds on a snake.

Texas Toad Lizard - Photo by Matt Jeppson / Shutterstock

Danger - Trick # 2: The bloated guy

Despite looking so small and inconspicuous, Texas toad lizards can literally go out of their way. When in danger, they inflate themselves like a puffer fish.

The result: the spines stand up and the attackers are left scratching their heads at a loss as to how they should get this lizard into their mouth. It would tear open your mouth and throat with the spikes and simply couldn't be swallowed whole.

Danger - trick # 3: splash blood

When larger enemies like coyotes, foxes or dogs want to get to the leather of a Texas toad lizard, their ace pulls them out of their sleeve: they spatter blood from the sockets behind their eyes, up to 1.5 m!

This not only confuses the attackers, it "stinks to heaven". Special chemicals give the blood an extremely putrid smell that will scare away any enemy.

However, this type of defense is only used if the lizard really feels threatened, because it loses up to a quarter of its blood during this action.

Texas Toad Lizard - Photo by Ryan M. Bolton / Shutterstock

Toad or lizard?

When it was discovered, the Texas toad lizard was believed to be an amphibian because it has a blunt snout and a round body. In English it is also known as "horned toad" (horned toad), "horny toad" (horny toad) or "horned frog" (horned frog).

Endangered species

A lizard that can splash blood is a sensation for many people. As a result, countless Texas toad lizards have been caught and sold to humans as pets. But that is not the only reason why it is an endangered species.

In addition, the overuse of pesticides (pesticides) is to blame for the fact that there are fewer and fewer of them. It is now illegal to catch, own, transport or sell them.

The Texas toad lizard is popular

The Texas toad lizard is the official animal of the state of Texas and graces the license plates there. She is also the mascot of the "Texas Christian University".

Some Native Americans even consider them a sacred animal. This is why you can often see handicrafts with the Texas toad lizard as a motif in the southwestern United States and Mexico.

Texas Toad Lizard - Photo by Matt Jeppson / Shutterstock