horned lizard with bloodimage credit: Dave Beaudette, via Flickr

horned lizard with bloodimage credit: The Horned Jack Lizard, via Flickr

horned lizardimage credit: The Horned Jack Lizard, via Flickr

Habitat: North America, mostly in Texas
Status: Least Concern

I really can’t think of a better animal to fit the Halloween theme than this Horned Lizard. Of course it looks like any lizard when you first see it, but then it becomes blatantly obvious why its so freaking scary.

It can shoot BLOOD OUT OF ITS EYES!!

As a defense against canine and feline predators (it doesn’t work against birds for some reason), the Horned Lizard will restrict the blood flow leaving the head, thereby increasing its blood pressure until it ruptures the tiny blood vessels around its eyelids. The lizards are able to squirt an aimed stream of blood with precision for a distance up to 5 feet!

Not only does this confuse predators, but the blood apparently tastes pretty foul making the lizard seem incredibly unappetizing. I’m concerned with how people actually discovered that the blood tastes foul. Like, did some researcher actually lick the blood or something?! Yeesh!

Check out this video of the lizard squirting blood in action. It’s guaranteed to gross you out if not scare the bajeezes out of you.