Monday, January 01, 2018

Short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglassi)

Photo 7/31/08, Billings County, ND
Declining across its range, imperilled in SD and Saskatchewan, vulnerable in MT, and there was talk about tracking it or listing it on the Dakota Prairie Grasslands. 
About 14 species of the lizard in the US. They are found in the western US, in hostile environments. Hot, dry, barren. In ND, they are found in the western badlands. 
This is a big monster in a little body. They do pushups and other feats of strength when approached by a human and, most alarmingly, they squirt their foul-tasting blood from the corner of their eyes for a distance of five feet, a terrifying act made possible by their ability to increase the blood pressure in their head. Currently, we are glad that they are not the size of humans.

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