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Desert horned lizard        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The numerous species of horned lizards ("horned toads") found in North America are all highly camouflaged, and this desert horned lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos) is no exception.   Most of these lizards make their living eating ants, and most have a bizarre defensive mechanism of squirting blood from their eyes when disturbed.   However, this odd behavior has not yet been reported for the desert horned lizard.   I found the one at upper right in the Deep Canyon Desert Research Center near Palm Desert, California; the lizard at left was near Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park. this page shows the quite similar coast horned lizard P. coronatum.

  • Canon 30D, 100 mm Canon macro lens, fill-in flash (2006)
  • Nikon F3, 90mm macro lens with 2X converter, Kodachrome 64 (1982)