Cyaneus (cyaneus) wrote in wtf_nature,

Creepy Defense Mechanism

The horny toad, also known as the horned lizard, is a rotund little reptile found in the United States. It has several strategies to help it avoid getting eaten, such as its excellent camouflage and its tough, spiny scales. When those fail, though, it has one last trick to deter predators:

It squirts blood from its eyes.

The horny toad intentionally ruptures blood vessels around its eye by increasing the blood pressure in that region, and then aims its surprise attack at aggressors with stunning accuracy. Apparently the blood also has a foul taste to mammals, though birds don't seem to mind as much. But the shock of having your prey explode a stream of blood from its face is enough to confuse most predators.

Tags: lizard, reptile, video
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