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Horned Lizard


Sonoran desert dry riparian habitat


Just before spotting this Horned Lizard, a Mexican Black Kingsnake was witnessed leaving the area. I believe this lizard is "playing dead". Notice the moisture around the eyes and head where the leaves are sticking to the body. I had not read about one flipping on its back like this. Every time I would right it, it would immediately flip itself back over, very determined, and with a bit of strength. It would also close it's eyes, open one, then close it quickly if I moved at all.

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TinaBaker 8 years ago

Thanks Sergio Monteiro and Pedro Beirao.

Pedro Beirão
Pedro Beirão 8 years ago

Amazing! Thanks for sharing these pics and knowledge with us :)

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 8 years ago

Now THAT is an actor!

TinaBaker 8 years ago

Thank you for the suggestion. I will post there as well. Maybe someone else will have seen this before.

As for the holding lizards. Some are not that difficult to pick up. Many will bite though. There are two venomous species in North America, so be sure you know what you are picking up. I did not hold this one very long, it was already stressed out and I did not want to add more stress.

luvnature 8 years ago

Wow! That's the first I've heard of this! I suggest you post these photos at Arizona HerpCount:
I know a scientist with this site would like to see these photos. Thank you for these photos to document this behavior for others to see too! :-)

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 8 years ago

Omg! how can u hold lizard in your hand !

Hema 8 years ago

Never held a lizard in my hand!!

TinaBaker 8 years ago

I was happy too Jemma. I admit, at first I thought it was dead, until I saw it breathing. It is possible the snake might not have missed out on a meal. I saw it glide directly into a pack rat nest.

Hema 8 years ago

amazing! I am happy it's alive! Good for it. It out smarted the King snake:)

Spotted by

Arizona, USA

Spotted on Jul 7, 2013
Submitted on Jul 8, 2013

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