image credit Dave Beaudette, via Flickr
There are at least 4 species of horned lizards that are capable of spitting blood from their eyes as a message for predators to back off!
When threatened, their first defense is to remain still and hope to avoid detection, and if approached too closely they run in short bursts and stop abruptly, trying to confuse the predator. If that doesn’t work, they puff up their bodies to cause their spiny scales to protrude, making them appear larger. As a last resort, some species are able to squirt an aimed stream of blood from the corners of their eyes. They do this by increasing the blood pressure in their head until small vessels around their eyelids rupture. The blood confuses the predator and tastes pretty foul making the lizard seem incredibly unappetizing – or at least canines and felines seem to think so. On the other hand, it appears to have no effect against predatory birds… Well readers, I definitely have no intentions of finding out which one of them is right!