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Texas Icon: A body covered with horns and the ability to shoot blood from their eyes
Texas Dept of Wildlife ^ | 2/2/14 | patriiot08

Posted on 02/02/2014 6:17:04 PM PST by patriot08

With a body covered in horns, resembling some prehistoric creature- and the demon-like ability to squirt blood from his eyes, the mere sight of the Texas horned lizard is enough to send most screaming and running in the opposite direction should they encounter him.

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But most older Texans know his fierce appearance is all for show just to scare off predators. As children they used to catch and play with the lizards, for he is a gentle little creature who never bites and will go to sleep in your hand if you roll him over and rub his tummy.

This docile little creature is the state reptile of Texas and, as the "horned frog", is the mascot of Texas Christian University.

The Texas horned lizard is the largest and most abundant of the approximately 14 species of horned lizards in the western United States and Mexico. They can reach a length of 4-6 inches.

The lizards colors camouflage it against predators, and it can also puff itself up and protrude its many small body thorns making it difficult to swallow.

The Texas horned lizard also has the ability to squirt a stream of blood from its eyes for up to 5 feet. This not only frightens and confuses predators, but has a bad taste when predators such as wolves and coyotes try to eat it.

There has been a serious decline in the number of the lizards in recent years and it is illegal to take, possess, transport or sell them without a special permit. The decline is thought to be the result of overuse of pesticides and invading fire ants which destroy the harvester ants the lizards feed on.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Humor; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: bizarre; texas
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1 posted on 02/02/2014 6:17:05 PM PST by patriot08
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To: patriot08

2 posted on 02/02/2014 6:18:53 PM PST by mbarker12474
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To: All

Want to help protect these docile little creatures?

Texas Horned Lizard Watch: Horned Lizard Facts

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/texas_nature_trackers/horned_lizard/facts/


3 posted on 02/02/2014 6:22:57 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08

When I was in high school, I was goofing off in speech class when the teacher, in an attempt to embarrass me, put me in front of the class and told me to give a speech on the sex life of the horny toad. It just so happened that I had a horned toad as a pet, and had read all about them. I gave an impromptu lecture on the little creatures and astonished the teacher.


4 posted on 02/02/2014 6:28:22 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: patriot08

Years ago my dad told the fellows on the railroad in Oregon about these like fellows. They didn’t believe him. Next trip to Columbus, NM we caught some and tried to take them back to Oregon. They died before we got home.


5 posted on 02/02/2014 6:31:11 PM PST by Portcall24
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To: patriot08

They seem to be disappearing like the lightning bug.
When I was a boy both species were everywhere in Texas, but you can go a whole summer now and not see one.


6 posted on 02/02/2014 6:34:34 PM PST by wildbill
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Used to see horny toads all the time; can’t remember the last time I saw one.

Fire ants.


7 posted on 02/02/2014 6:34:53 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: patriot08

I played them all the time as a kid...


8 posted on 02/02/2014 6:35:21 PM PST by Antoninus II
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To: patriot08

An uncle showed us that they would even puff on cigarettes when one was inserted in their mouth. Of course this was in the 1960’s when smoking was cool.


9 posted on 02/02/2014 6:35:45 PM PST by jy8z (When push comes disguised as nudge, I do not budge.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

LOL, good job and good story. They do sound like sweet little things.


10 posted on 02/02/2014 6:36:13 PM PST by jocon307
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To: Jeff Chandler

LOL Very cute story


11 posted on 02/02/2014 6:36:46 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08

Ha! Love these little guys. I always had “Horny Toads” as a little kid in West Texas. Haven’t seen a single one in San Antonio in all these years. One of my boyfriends gave me a bronze one (paperweight) from James Avery in the 80s. I still have it. It lives in my kitchen window, “sunning” itself.

Thanks for the link! They are a Texas treasure.


12 posted on 02/02/2014 6:37:12 PM PST by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
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To: patriot08

How good do they taste, stir-fried?


13 posted on 02/02/2014 6:38:01 PM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: patriot08
I had 3 as pets when I was in short pants, decades ago.

The decline of the big red ants has almost wiped them out.

If any show back up on the property here, they will be treated like royalty.

/johnny

14 posted on 02/02/2014 6:39:31 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Portcall24

Sadly they cannot take the humidity. Dad was in the service, and I had the sweetest little fella named Jose when I was a kid in Albuquerque. When dad got transferred, Jose didn’t make the trip across to Florida : / Broke my heart - he was such a sweetie. Fed him meal worms, and yes - they love to be petted gently.

Still miss that little guy.
May God keep watch.
Tatt


15 posted on 02/02/2014 6:39:41 PM PST by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." Dorothy Bernard)
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To: mbarker12474

That’s a wookie, not a lizard.


16 posted on 02/02/2014 6:40:11 PM PST by max americana (fired liberals in our company last election, and I laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: Jeff Chandler

Love this story:)

I found one of these in Phoenix once. I let him go after I looked at him a bit, he was cute.

But we did used to see these guys about here and not anymore. Sad.


17 posted on 02/02/2014 6:41:58 PM PST by Beowulf9
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To: Portcall24

I’ve read that they have to have a very specific diet and sunlight. They are very very hard to raise.
Years ago, (up until the 80’s I believe) they were rounded up and sold as pets by the thousands because they were so cute and docile.
I remember my mother telling me when she was a child that there was a lady who paid children something like 2 or 3 cents apiece for every lizard- which she shipped off somewhere to pet stores.
I’m sure this didn’t help the lizard population.


18 posted on 02/02/2014 6:42:04 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: wildbill

I know. Lighting bugs are just no more. Don’t know when the last time I saw one. Shame.
We used to collect them in bottles at night and play with them. Flashlights. :)


19 posted on 02/02/2014 6:44:05 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: KGeorge

Nods. My husband got me a little cast iron one after hearing about my little guy. See my post above. Jose was an amazing little fella. I hate to think that they are passing from us. I sure hope they are just regrouping somewhere : /

May God keep watch.
Tatt


20 posted on 02/02/2014 6:44:33 PM PST by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." Dorothy Bernard)
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To: D-fendr

Yeah, seems they were all over once, but no more.
It’s a shame.


21 posted on 02/02/2014 6:45:10 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: Antoninus II

I played them all the time as a kid...
___________________

Me, too. They’re just so darn cute.
And they are easy to catch.


22 posted on 02/02/2014 6:46:36 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08

That’s “fireflies” to the Yanks. I say that because I think “lightning bugs” is a Southern term.


23 posted on 02/02/2014 6:48:22 PM PST by OldPossum ("It's" is the contraction of "it" and "is"; think about ITS implications.)
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To: KGeorge

I haven’t seen any in San Antonio either.


24 posted on 02/02/2014 6:52:22 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Insurgent Conservative)
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To: patriot08

Michelle Olizard!


25 posted on 02/02/2014 6:54:40 PM PST by MeshugeMikey ("When you meet the unbelievers, strike at their necks..." -- Qur'an 47:4)
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To: KGeorge
"Thanks for the link! They are a Texas treasure."

They are indeed a Texas treasure! As are the Texas Tortoise.

They used to be everywhere too. Now you don't see them around anymore.

How many played with them as kids?

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26 posted on 02/02/2014 6:54:44 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: JRandomFreeper

I had 3 as pets when I was in short pants, decades ago.
The decline of the big red ants has almost wiped them out.

If any show back up on the property here, they will be treated like royalty.

/johnny
____________________

Thanks, Johnny. That’s very sweet.


27 posted on 02/02/2014 6:56:30 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08

Maybe instead of a Gadsten Flag we need one with with the horned lizard with the caption: Dare you to screw with us....


28 posted on 02/02/2014 7:01:24 PM PST by GraceG
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To: thesearethetimes...

Yes, they are very hard to raise. They need a special diet and sunshine.

The Ft Worth Zoo is trying to help save them. They have a breeding program.
http://www.safarisamblog.com/texas-horned-lizard/

The TV show, ‘Texas Parks and Wildlife’ had a show about them this morning.
They looked so cute running around in their sand cages.

.


29 posted on 02/02/2014 7:01:37 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: thesearethetimes...

See my post above re; Ft. Worth Zoo trying to save them by breeding them.

http://www.safarisamblog.com/texas-horned-lizard/


30 posted on 02/02/2014 7:03:53 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: OldPossum

Yes, we Southerners called them lightening bugs. :)


31 posted on 02/02/2014 7:05:59 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: MeshugeMikey

Michelle Olizard!
____________________________________

Don’t insult the poor little lizards. :)


32 posted on 02/02/2014 7:07:35 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08

When I was a kid, I lived with my grandmother near Wylie, Texas. I’d catch horny toads and put them in my pillow case so I could play with them after my nap. They were always gone when I woke up. I am a horny toad fan and it’s sad to think of their numbers depleting.

We live in central AZ. Our min-pin had a stand-off with a horny toad. I videoed the encounter until the dog got too crazy. The horny toad was relocated to a safer corner of the yard. A couple of months later, there were a bunch of baby horny toads running around the yard.

We also have video of a couple of horny toads having sex, but I don’t want to embarrass anybody by posting it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlJjBn11o-g


33 posted on 02/02/2014 7:09:15 PM PST by stansblugrassgrl (PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMUNITION!!! YEEEEEHAW!)
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To: EQAndyBuzz

I haven’t seen any in San Antonio either.

_______________________________

I thought there would be some around SA. Around the dry, rocky areas. Dang. It MUST be getting bad for them.

I read there’s a colony on Matagorda Island (of all places)


34 posted on 02/02/2014 7:09:26 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: thesearethetimes...; EQAndyBuzz; patriot08

Tatt- I hope so, too. Surely, they’re still out there in places like Marfa & Muleshoe & Littlefield, etc...places that aren’t so built up. San Angelo, itself, isn’t just *so* built up (or wasn’t 10 years ago). I hope there are still some there.
Aww mine’s never had a name. I’m gonna fix that.

Andy- I looked for them for years & finally settled for turtles (Tooter & Tink) from the dime store (Winn’s).

Patriot- I think one of the neighbor boy’s in SA had one for awhile, but IIRR, they took it up to New Brraunfels & turned it loose. DH has stopped for several turtles in his rural claims travels & gotten them out of the road. Not sure if they were that species, though.

ps. I never saw any of them spit.


35 posted on 02/02/2014 7:09:28 PM PST by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
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To: Jeff Chandler
I gave an impromptu lecture on the little creatures and astonished the teacher.

I love it when you can stick it right back at them like that.

Friend of mine went through FLETC and was in a role-playing exercise interviewing 'immigrants' on a bus. All spoke Spanish- except that the curve that they tried to throw him was that one of them spoke German. My friend grew up in Germany, so he just effortlessly switched to German. A very English 'Ah, s**t' came out of the grader. :-)

36 posted on 02/02/2014 7:12:53 PM PST by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: patriot08


37 posted on 02/02/2014 7:13:20 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: patriot08


38 posted on 02/02/2014 7:13:20 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: OldPossum
...I think “lightning bugs” is a Southern term.

We called them lightning bugs in NW New Jersey.

39 posted on 02/02/2014 7:13:22 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: patriot08

Haven’t thought about Molly Ivins in while. Thanks for the refresher.


40 posted on 02/02/2014 7:14:24 PM PST by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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To: GraceG

Maybe instead of a Gadsten Flag we need one with with the horned lizard with the caption: Dare you to screw with us....
___________________________

Yeh. One with a picture of him squiring blood out his eyes.
LOL


41 posted on 02/02/2014 7:14:24 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08

they are I guess far more...:REAL..than michelle has ever been

there is that Shooting Blood out of their eyes similarity though?


42 posted on 02/02/2014 7:19:16 PM PST by MeshugeMikey ("When you meet the unbelievers, strike at their necks..." -- Qur'an 47:4)
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To: stansblugrassgrl

“When I was a kid, I lived with my grandmother near Wylie, Texas. I’d catch horny toads and put them in my pillow case so I could play with them after my nap. They were always gone when I woke up. I am a horny toad fan and it’s sad to think of their numbers depleting.

We live in central AZ. Our min-pin had a stand-off with a horny toad. I videoed the encounter until the dog got too crazy. The horny toad was relocated to a safer corner of the yard. A couple of months later, there were a bunch of baby horny toads running around the yard.

We also have video of a couple of horny toads having sex, but I don’t want to embarrass anybody by posting it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlJjBn11o-g";
__________________________________________________________

.

Thanks for the vid! That’s SO cute!
I didn’t know they would stand up to an animal like that!
Ariz lizards must be tougher than our Tx lizards.

I’ve NEVER seen one do that. They usually high tail it out of there when something approaches them.

Your Lizard look different, too.
Does it have those big horns on its head?

.


43 posted on 02/02/2014 7:20:41 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08
A sign of the times to those of you reminiscing about keeping these critters as pets; it is now illegal to possess, transport, or disturb Texas Horned Lizards without a permit from the state.

How they quantify "disturbing" a small reptile, is anyone's guess.

44 posted on 02/02/2014 7:25:59 PM PST by Wyrd bi ful ard (Also the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades)
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To: KGeorge

That’s nice of hubby to get the turtles (actually tortoises0 out of the road.
Most don’t care..just run over them.

We’re losing our Texas tortoises too.

I’ve seen the horny lizards shoot blood.
My mother always used to say if they spit in your eyes, it’ll put your eye out. (like bb guns LOL)
That’s no true, of course. She just didn’t want us fooling with them. LOL


45 posted on 02/02/2014 7:26:02 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: Liberty Valance

Wish I had a horny lizard plate like that.:)

Looks like that little fellow is burying himself in the sand. They can really go under the sand quick when frightened.


46 posted on 02/02/2014 7:29:09 PM PST by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: patriot08

Go check out the story of Ole Rip, the horned toad that lived 30 years in the cornerstone of the courthouse in Eastland, TX. During a remodel, they moved the cornerstone and there was Ole’ Rip. Mighty hungry. Truth!


47 posted on 02/02/2014 7:35:16 PM PST by patriotsoul
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To: patriot08
I have a picture from when we caught two messing around.  photo DSCN2694.jpg We apparently have Round-Tailed Horned Toads. The red one is the male. The funny thing, in watching the horny toads...um......do it, the female was the aggressor. She didn't care that we were filming their activities. The male is obviously blushing. ;-) They have an endless supply of food around here.
48 posted on 02/02/2014 7:39:55 PM PST by stansblugrassgrl (PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMUNITION!!! YEEEEEHAW!)
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To: patriot08
They are gone in DFW. Back in 60's they were all over the place. The only lizards left around here for the kids to catch are these guys...


49 posted on 02/02/2014 7:44:59 PM PST by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: patriot08

When I was around 6 years old I and some friends found a horned lizard (we called them “horny toads”) in a suburb of Sacramento, CA of all crazy places. It is still the only one I have ever heard of in that area. We took care of the fellow for quite a while, but unfortunately he eventually died. I’d love to know if any other horned lizards had been found in Sacramento.


50 posted on 02/02/2014 7:45:42 PM PST by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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