Horned lizards are typically found in dry climates, such as deserts in the American southwest. While their horns and spines make them look quite fearsome, they are usually very calm and docile animals. They spend most of their time eating ants and basking in the sun, as they are cold-blooded and need to absorb heat to warm up their bodies. During the night, they bury themselves in sand. They are quite good at digging and will often burrow a tunnel to escape predators.
Horned lizards have a unique defense mechanism to ward off potential predators. While they normally rely on their color patterns to help them blend in with their environment, if that doesn’t work they will puff themselves up to appear larger and more threatening. As a last resort, they will engage in a behavior known as autohaemorrhaging, which is a fancy way of saying they will shoot blood out of their eyes!
By increasing the blood pressure in their heads, they can squirt blood through tiny vessels in the corner of their eyes that can travel as far as 5 feet. The blood confuses and disorients predators, and also tastes awful.