Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coast Horned Lizard


Here's a lizard I don't get to see every day. Coast Horned Lizard (aka Blainville's Horned Lizard) is the widespread horned lizard in California, but lets face it...being the nation's 7th best birder doesn't leave much time for lizard scrounging. This is the first one I have seen in years, right on the beach at the edge of Tijuana Slough in Imperial Beach.


I managed to get it to model for me for a while...I love how every part of it is body seems to be covered in its own kind of scales, with its own texture...a lot like how I like my women. WHO SAID THAT????

Anyways...pretty amazing, I reckon.


Horned lizards have a big thing for ants, and are frequently found in close proximity to ant colonies. This ant is doing a poor job at warding off its heavily-armored attacker.


See the ant scaling the side of its neck? Very David and Goliath.


Goliath is unimpressed.


Not even 2 ants are capable of deterring the behemoth.


Such a lovable face.

12 comments:

  1. Interesting creature. It would frighten me if I encountered it.

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    1. They are inspirational creatures, I assure you.

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  2. I LOVE these guys. SO much. Saw one years ago in Penasquitos canyon (N. San Diego) and it was TINY tiny. Like big as my thumb, but PERFECT. So cute. And so regal!

    I must add that they USED to be abundant, but their #s have dropped off a lot in the last 50 years--they love sandy areas. People like to live in sandy areas (e.g., near the beach), so their habitat gets developed. So, it's SUPER cool that you saw this one and got SUCH lovely photos. The coast horned lizard is a California species of special concern, & my friends (non-conservation nerds) who grew up in San Diego are the ones who tell me they used to be ALL over, and now they hardly ever see them.

    ANYhow, SUCH great photos. Great work. =)

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    1. They on the special concern list huh? (Bad) news to me. Urban sprawl will do it...

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  3. I just caught a Radiolab about Argentine Ants and apparently their domination of CA native ants is what is most affecting the horned lizard populations. The lizards don't like to eat these guys either, so there is this gnarly cycle happening.

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    1. Damn, I didnt know that. I look forward to being bummed out by that Radiolab episode. Not mellow.

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  4. What a beaut! Now that's some eye candy on the beach!

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  5. That is one cool lizard. Love the detail with that ant on his face.

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  6. FYI I HAD to post this on my fb page 'cause your photos are SO amazing (that blue background is SO beautiful) and that creatures is SO charming. =)

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  7. You sure don't find such beauties here in vermont. Thanks!

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  8. Wow, that guy rocks! What a sweet looking lizard!!

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