Short-horned toad lizard
|Wiegmann , 1828|
Toad lizards ( phrynosoma ) are a genus of short-tailed and short-legged lizards from the order of the iguanas . They are characterized by horn-like, defensive appendages on the head and back. These bizarre lizards owe their German name to their toad-like body shape. Your body is 8 to 13 inches long. Toad lizards live in desert areas in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Their diet consists mainly of ants .
Way of life
Toad lizards are solitary animals and meet in nature almost exclusively to mate. The animals are diurnal and spend most of their time looking for or licking ants and other small prey. In their natural habitat, the animals bury themselves in the sand when it rains or when the temperature is cool. When the sun is shining, the head of the toad lizard appears first, the rest of the body remains covered with sand until the animals have reached their preferred temperature. This behavior offers them the opportunity to observe their surroundings in peace and to be optimally camouflaged. Once the animals have warmed up, they go looking for food. At lunchtime, when it gets too hot, the desert toad lizards look for the shade of rocks and bushes or bury themselves in the sand again.
Horned lizard exhibit morphological similarities to in Australia -based Thorny Devil on. Other similarities include some defense and dietary behaviors. Toad lizards, along with their Australian relatives, are an example of convergent evolution .
The toad lizard has several means of defense against attackers; the color scheme is camouflage and roughly corresponds to the colors of their habitat . The first reaction to an attack is paralysis . If the attacker is already too close, she covers short sprints, which are followed by abrupt pauses in order to evade the attacker as a visual target. If that fails, the lizard inflates itself like a puffer fish . The animal is now bigger and possibly uninteresting as food.
Four types have the option of reflex bleeding . Here the lizard bursts vessels at the edge of the eye. Blood collects in a cavity under the eyelid and with the help of muscles it can be sprayed 1.5 meters. This type of defense only works against attackers who are deterred by the smell or taste of the blood, e.g. B. Dogs. It is only used in an extreme emergency, as the blood balance is reduced by around a quarter.
To defend itself against being picked up over the head / neck area, the toad lizard crouches its head so that the spines on the head straighten up. In order to avoid being forked over the body, she presses it firmly against the ground or partially digs it in.
- Phrynosoma asio Cope , 1864
- Phrynosoma blainvillii Gray , 1839
- Phrynosoma braconnieri Duméril & Bocourt , 1870
- Phrynosoma cerroense Stejneger , 1893
- Phrynosoma cornutum ( Harlan , 1825)
- Phrynosoma coronatum ( Blainville , 1835)
- Phrynosoma ditmarsi Stejneger , 1906
- Short-horned toad lizard ( Phrynosoma douglasii ( Bell , 1828))
- Phrynosoma goodei Stejneger , 1893
- Phrynosoma hernandesi Girard , 1858
- Phrynosoma mcallii ( Hallowell , 1852)
- Phrynosoma modestum Girard , 1852
- Phrynosoma orbiculare ( Linnaeus , 1789)
- Desert toad lizard ( Phrynosoma platyrhinos Girard , 1852)
- Phrynosoma sherbrookei Nieto-Montes de Oca , Arenas-Moreno , Beltrán-Sánchez & Leaché , 2014
- Phrynosoma solare Gray , 1845
- Phrynosoma taurus Dugès , 1873
- Phrynosoma wigginsi Montanucci , 2004
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