Friday, September 21, 2007

Horney Toads Revisited

So I just received this interesting email re: my recent post on the birth of 12 little horned toads. Aunt Phibia wrote: I wanted to respond to the mention of horny toads shooting blood out of their eyes. It is true of only one species...found in CA. The two species around here...Eastern Horned Toad (east of what I wonder) and the Mountain Horned Toad do not have this ability...and they only do it when they are scared to death...or nearly. Also, of these two species one bears live young and one lays eggs...interesting eh? Finally, my concern was that they live in a den for much of their first year...so I hope that you put them back near to where you found the mom and that they don't think your table is their den.

First, I want to reassure Aunt Phibia about those youngsters. We are now several generations from the little guys whose pictures I showed. Either they found their den or they didn't. Not much I can do about it more than 20 years later! And, second, I wanted to pass along a curious fact I picked up at the archeology society meeting last night. If you see horned toad petroglyphs at sites down in the Verde Valley (and further north), they may well be Hopi clan symbols; this particular clan is responsible for water matters. Why, I would wonder -- for us white men, the horny toad is very much a symbol for the dryness of the desert.

11 comments:

smilnsigh said...

Did you ever see one of those blogs things, which 'Rate Your Blog'? Well, I still say that you'll eventually get an "XXX" Rating, with great Subject Lines, like this one. -giggles-

Yes, I know. I'm incorrigible. ,-)

Mari-Nanci

Granny J said...

SnS -- funny. When I'm talking about our special little lizards, I never think of the XXX usage! Tho I do get some interesting results from Google, at times. We'll see today...

sheoflittlebrain said...

Huh! The reference site for horned lizards says that eight species shoot blood from their eyes.
They mention live birth, but nothing about dens.

http://www.digimorph.org/resources/horned.phtml

Granny J said...

Sorry, Brain -- the html didn't come through; here's the link again. I think this link will work.

Nothing like dueling expertise!

Granny J said...

...tho the site sponsored by the Natl. Science Foundation looks to be the winner...and, BTW, I think that the glyph I inserted (out of laziness -- I couldn't find our pix from the V-Bar-V ranch site) were of a turtle or tortoise. A horned toad glyph would have the rear feet pointed forward.

sheoflittlebrain said...

Huh! I had no idea you could actually insert a LINK into a comment! Pray tell, how did you do that geekish granny?

Granny J said...

Brain -- actually, the same way that you insert a link into a post using the html, viz. name of link. Now let's see if I can post this!

Granny J said...

Oops -- that one won't link, for sure. Maybe I'd best send it over in an email!!

Granny J said...

No matter what I try, I can't SHOW how to do it -- Blogger wants to make it into a real link! If you want the info, drop me a line at grannyj at afaz.net

David Kirk said...

I live in West Texas, where horned toads used to be everywhere but are now nearly extinct! I remember the blood shooting from the eyes!

Granny J said...

David -- welcome & do come again, if the Southwest is your thing... I used to catch horned toads down in the Phoenix area when I was a kid & I believe I saw one shooting blood from its eye one time.

 
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