Chapter

Enemies and Defense

Wade C. Sherbrooke

in Introduction to Horned Lizards of North America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780520228252
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926752 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520228252.003.0009
Enemies and Defense

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This chapter discusses some of the known predators of horned lizards, such as the long-nosed leopard Lizard (Gambelia wislizenii), the greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), chihauhan ravens (Corvus cryoptoleucus), western diamond-backed rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox), and southern grasshopper mice (Onychomys torridus). It also discusses the predator avoidance adaptations of horned lizards. Horned lizards employ camouflage to prevent detection by enemies, such as body flattening, background-color matching, and disruptive coloration. Horned lizards also have different defense responses. These include thrusting their horns into the flesh of their captor, inflating their bodies to make themselves too large to be swallowed, and blood squirting through their eye sockets.

Keywords: predators; camouflage; body-flattening; background-color matching; disruptive coloration; defense responses

Chapter.  4505 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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