Jul 24, 2008

Childhood Dream Fulfilled

The Desert Horned Lizard is found only in western North America, a point of pride for Americans and Mexicans alike. Like many children (myself included), Igor Siwanowicz was fascinated by them.

But why, you ask, is the horned lizard so appealing to children (at least the disturbed ones). Is it their diet of ants, beetles, and spiders? No, not really. How about how they bury themselves in sand to lie in wait? No, not that either. They're not aggressive. In fact they're quite gentle and won't even bite. The worst they might do is try to push their head spikes into your hand, and that's just plain old endearing.

Oh, maybe it's because they can squirt blood from their eyes up to five feet if threatened. That might arouse a kid's interest.

Photo source: Igor Siwanowicz

Igor sent me these photos with the explanation that he was able to live out his childhood dream by procuring a pair of these critters and getting to photograph them. And the world is better for it. Igor is one of the most talented photographers you'll ever find, so stay tuned. I have a more heading your way.

As always, thanks Igor.


Mississippi Nature said...

That reminds me of a story about my mom. She worked at a Dr. office. Somebody's pet got loose and ended up in her office. Not sure of the species but she actually hurt one of the male paitents when she ran over him running from the thing! We still tease her about it and that was 25 years ago!

Leisa McCord said...

Oh, I love hornytoads! One other endearing quality is that the baby ones are absolute miniatures of adults. They are so cute. I saw them occasionally in West Texas, where I grew up.

Anonymous said...

The Desert Horned Lizards are awesome. We find them in the backyard occasionally (and rescue them from the pool... if we find them in time). Here's one (that I think is beautiful) that was just sitting there, obviously knowing I would pick it up before the dogs discovered it: http://pics.livejournal.com/yvonnenavarro/pic/0001ygxg/g22

Annica said...

On AnimalPlanet there's this little film shown, every now and then between the APshows, about weird animals. And one of them is about this little devil eating ants faster than you can see. He noms them as fast as lightning! So cute!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have been lurking around this site for quite awhile but just had to post on these little cuties. They are absolutely adorable (as I have a bearded dragon myself).

Perhaps this site should not be called Ugly Overload, but something more like Strange or Unique Overload. I must confess, the lizards, alligators, crocs, mantis and vultures are extremely cute and fascinating to look at. ^_^ Thanks!

Denita TwoDragons said...

I used to see these critters all over the place when I was growing up in Wimberley TX. They would sun themselves on the ledges next to my house. Then they started disappearing, and I never could figure out why. I don't see them nearly as often as I used to, but sometimes you can catch one scurrying off into the underbrush besides the road.

Our dogs used to come home with blood all over their face, and you knew it was because they made the mistake of menacing a horneytoad and it squirted at them. LOL


Anonymous said...

Neat! I love the colors, and the horns, and... ^_^

I notice in the last picture they've found a coyote skull jungle-gym.