Arizona Horned Lizard
The horned toad is called by many names. That’s because most don’t know what it should be called or even what it is. What it isn’t, is a toad. It’s a lizard that is shaped like a lumpy toad. And it’s a bit frightening looking because it has thorn-like projections at the rear of their heads.
People call them “horned toads”, “horny toads” and “horn toads” but if we all were to be accurate, we would call them “horned lizards”. That makes it a reptile and and not an amphibian. Its scientific name is “phrynosoma”.
We know they’ve been around for a very long time because artifacts and ancient stone carvings have been discovered with images of horned lizards that were created by prehistoric Anasazi and Hohokam Indians thousands of years ago.
Their spiny scales and flat body are defensive assets against predators. They can inflate their bodies and even hiss to appear even more menacing. A horny toad can shoot a stream of blood from capillaries in its eye up to four feet away.