Skip Navigation

Species Search:

On the Wild Side: Strange news from the World of Wildlife!

Bloodshot Redefined

Meet the Coast Horned Lizard. Its predators are many hawks, shrikes, snakes, foxes, and more but so are its defenses.

The most obvious way the Coast Horned Lizard protects itself is by blending in with its surroundings. When a predator approaches, the lizard becomes motionless and even more difficult to discern. And if the predator continues its pursuit, the lizard inflates itself with air so that its spines project outward and its body resembles a spiked balloon. The lizard will hiss, too, if threatened, and sometimes bite.

But by far the most unusual of the Coast Horned Lizard's defenses involves squirting blood from its eyes into an attacker's face. The technique seems to work best on foxes, Coyotes, and other canine predators, all of which usually drop their prey after being squirted and try to wipe or shake the foul-tasting blood from their mouths.

Click here to learn more about the Coast Horned Lizard.