horned toad

n.
any of a genus (Phrynosoma) of small, scaly, insect-eating iguanas with a flattened body, short tail, and hornlike spines: also called horned lizard

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Any of about 14 species of lizards of the genus Phrynosoma, family Iguanidae.

They usually have daggerlike head spines (horns) and a flattened oval body with pointed fringe scales along the sides. Species range from about 3 to 5 in. (8 to 13 cm) long. They are found from British Columbia, Can., south to Guatemala and from the U.S. states of Arkansas and Kansas westward, usually in desert or semidesert sandy country. They eat mainly ants. They hide by changing their colour pattern and wriggling sideways into the sand until all but the head is covered. They may defend themselves by inflating the body quickly and (rarely) spurting blood from the eyes.

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also called  horned lizard 

      (genus Phrynosoma), any of about 14 species of lizards belonging to the family Iguanidae that are usually characterized by daggerlike head spines, or horns; a flattened oval body, pointed fringe scales along the sides of the body, and a short tail are typical features. The lizards range in length from less than 7.5 to more than 12.5 cm (3 to 5 inches).

      They inhabit western North America from British Columbia southward to Guatemala and from Arkansas and Kansas westward to the Pacific coast. The usual habitat is desert or semidesert sandy country. Horned toads conceal themselves by colour-pattern change and by wriggling sideways into the sand until the entire body, except the head, is covered. They are food specialists, eating mainly ants. The horned toads include both egg-laying and live-bearing species.

      Defense mechanisms include the ability to inflate the body quickly by gulping air, and (rarely) spurting blood from the eyes. They are often kept as pets but seldom live long in captivity; they slowly starve as a result of their specialized diet.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Horned toad — Horned Horned, a. Furnished with a horn or horns; furnished with a hornlike process or appendage; as, horned cattle; having some part shaped like a horn. [1913 Webster] The horned moon with one bright star Within the nether tip. Coleridge. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • horned toad — ☆ horned toad n. any of a genus (Phrynosoma) of small, scaly, insect eating iguanas with a flattened body, short tail, and hornlike spines: also called horned lizard …   English World dictionary

  • horned toad — noun insectivorous lizard with hornlike spines on the head and spiny scales on the body; of western North America • Syn: ↑horned lizard, ↑horny frog • Hypernyms: ↑iguanid, ↑iguanid lizard • Hyponyms: ↑Texas horned lizard, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • horned toad — Tapayaxin Ta pa*yax in, n. (Zo[ o]l.) A Mexican spinous lizard ({Phrynosoma orbiculare}) having a head somewhat like that of a toad; called also {horned toad}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • horned toad — noun 1》 (also horned lizard) an American lizard with spiny skin and large spines on the head. [Phrynosoma cornutum and other species.] 2》 a large toad with horn shaped projections of skin over the eyes. [Megophrys (SE Asia), Ceratophrys (S.… …   English new terms dictionary

  • horned toad — noun Date: 1806 any of several small harmless insectivorous lizards (genus Phrynosoma) of the western United States and Mexico that resemble toads and have hornlike spines …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • horned toad — /hɔnd ˈtoʊd/ (say hawnd tohd) noun any of various small, harmless lizards, genus Phyrnosoma, of western North America, with flattened body and horn like spines on the head and body …   Australian English dictionary

  • Ol' Rip the Horned Toad — Ol Rip (died January 19, 1929) was a horned lizard (commonly referred to as a horned toad ) whose supposed 31 year hibernation as an entombed animal is believed by some and doubted by others. His name is a reference to the fictional character Rip …   Wikipedia

  • Convex-tailed Horned Toad — Conservation status Data Deficient (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification …   Wikipedia

  • Great Piebald Horned Toad — Taxobox name = Great Piebald Horned Toad status = VU | status system = IUCN3.1 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Amphibia ordo = Anura familia = Megophryidae genus = Xenophrys species = X. giganticus binomial = Xenophrys giganticus… …   Wikipedia

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