Why on Earth? Lizard
Why on Earth does this unharmed lizard have blood running down its face?
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The Horned Lizard, found in North America, has the ability to squirt blood from small sockets behind its eyes to shock and confuse predators. Auto-hemmorhaging is also known as reflex bleeding and can be exhibited by vertebrates and invertebrates. In horned lizards, small pouches on either side fill with blood then muscle contractions force the blood through a small opening to allow the blood to shoot as far as 5 feet!
Many predators would love to make a meal out of this small reptile such as hawks, roadrunners, coyotes, cats, dogs, and other reptiles. There are eight different species of horned lizard that have this amazing defensive behavior. In addition, they can inflate their bodies to make them appear much larger and less appetizing and they have excellent camouflage that helps them blend into their desert habitat.
Vertebrates autohemorrage for defensive reasons other than the horned lizard include the West Indian wood snake and European grass snake. Many types of insects autohemorrage including grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, cicadas, aphids, and shield bugs.