JAN 20, 2020 3:22 PM PST

Horned Lizards Do Anything to Protect Their Eggs From Predators

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

When a female horned lizard lays her eggs, she finds herself up against several predators that want to devour them. Fortunately, the female horned lizard doesn’t back down very easily, and when she recognizes a potential threat, she thinks on her feet to deliver the proper form of defense that will ensure her reproductive success.

The first predator, a Western patch-nosed snake, is a notorious egg eater, and this female horned lizard knows what’s up. She goes after the snake, biting and lurching at it over and over. The snake isn’t accustomed to this type of aggression, and it decides to move on to end the ongoing attack from the ferocious lizard.

But just when things appear to calm down for a while, another predator appears. This time, the threat appears to be a coachwhip snake, and unlike the previous invader, this one is a lizard-eater.

Knowing darn well that she won’t be able to fight the lizard-eating coachwhip snake, the horned lizard tries a new tactic. Rather than pecking away at the snake, she puffs herself up to a large size and tilts herself over to appear larger and less edible. As the snake approaches, she flops over on her back, still expanded. The snake falls for the ruse and slithers away. It seems, at least for now, that the horned lizard and her eggs are safe.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
FEB 28, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
How a Slime Mold with no Brain Can Remember Things
FEB 28, 2021
How a Slime Mold with no Brain Can Remember Things
Our past experiences help us navigate future obstacles, and it seems that even organisms without a brain have that skill ...
MAR 07, 2021
Plants & Animals
What's Terroir and Does Whiskey Have It?
MAR 07, 2021
What's Terroir and Does Whiskey Have It?
Terroir is a term usually associated with wine; it describes the environmental characteristics like climate and soil tha ...
MAR 09, 2021
Microbiology
Dogs' Paws Are Cleaner Than Their Owners' Shoes
MAR 09, 2021
Dogs' Paws Are Cleaner Than Their Owners' Shoes
Assistance dogs are vital to many people who need them to perform daily tasks, but are sometimes denied entry to places ...
MAR 17, 2021
Microbiology
Novel Bacteria Discovered on Space Station
MAR 17, 2021
Novel Bacteria Discovered on Space Station
Scientists have known that wherever humans go, we carry microorganisms with us, and the International Space Station is n ...
MAY 10, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sharks Can Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate
MAY 10, 2021
Sharks Can Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Navigate
How do sharks make transatlantic journeys without losing their way? New research published this week in Current Biology ...
MAY 23, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Predictions in the Fly Brain Use Potentially Universal Methods
MAY 23, 2021
Predictions in the Fly Brain Use Potentially Universal Methods
The brain of the fruit fly may only be the size of a poppy seed, but it seems that it's capable of making prediction ...
Loading Comments...