Free Essay

The Texas Horned Lizard

In: Science

Submitted By brenda1056
Words 1593
Pages 7
Brenda Greer
05/11/2011
Biology Concepts
John Distefano

The Texas horned lizard, known by most people as a horny toad has been on the Texas endangered species list since 1967. The Texas horned lizard has a spiky body, which gives them their name horned lizard or horny toad. The horny toad can be found in Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, the Carolinas, and Mexico. The Texas horny toad is the largest and most widely distributed of the 14 species of horned lizards in the western United States and Mexico. These unique looking creatures have a flat body and are fierce looking. The head of a horny toad has numerous horns; the two central head spines are much longer than the other horns. Most of the Texas horned lizards have a light line that extends from its head down the middle of its back. The Texas horned lizard is the only species that has dark brown stripes that radiate down from their eyes across the top of their head. The horny toad can be found in aired regions as well as semiarid habitats that have at least some loose soil for burrowing. They are usually found in sandy soil with a limited amount of vegetation. They can also be found in areas with gravely soil as well. The Texas horned toad hibernates from September or October to around late April or May. While the horny toad hibernates they slow their metabolism down so they can go for long periods of time with no food or water. Their mating usually occurs soon after hibernation. After the female and the male mate, the female will then carry her eggs for a period of time as they develop. The female horny toad will choose a nest and then she will dig a slanted tunnel and lay 13 to 45 eggs in two to three soil packed layers. After she buries her eggs she may sit on the tunnel entrance for one night, she leaves the nest and never comes back to her eggs. After about five to nine weeks the baby horny toads will begin to hatch and fight their way out of their eggs with a special egg tooth. The Texas horned toad eats a variety of insects, but their favorite insect to eat is the red harvester ant. These funny looking creatures will sit and eat dozens of the red harvester ants in just one sitting. They will sit quietly waiting on their prey, and then snatch them up with a flick of their tongue. Horny toads will also eat beetles, termites, spiders, grasshoppers, and some plant material. The Texas horned toad has a unique defense system. When they are threatened by a predator their first reaction is to flatten out their bodies and then freeze in place. When the horny toad does this they are able to camouflage themselves and blend in with the ground which reduces their shadow. They also will run for a short time and then stop quickly to create the illusion that they disappeared. When the horny toad is very angry they can inflate their bodies and hiss. The horny toad is capable of squirting blood from their eyes; they do this when they are afraid or trapped. They force blood from their eyes, when their blood pressure rises so quickly that the cavities in their heads fill with blood and then burst at the corners of their eyes, which sprays whatever predator is scaring them. The blood that the horny toad shoots from its eyes is mixed with a chemical that taste bad to would be predators such as wolves, coyotes and dogs. The horny toad is unique in appearance and has a very pleasant personality. These two features have made it an appealing pet for many Texans as well as other people at one time or another. You can hold these gentle creatures in your hand turn them over and rub their bellies until they go to sleep. The appeal that the horny toad has is part of the reason their species has declined so much. In the fifties and early sixties every store considered to be a tourist trap collected thousands of them in one single year. School age children were paid a nickel for every horny toad they brought in. Once a horny toad is out of their habitat they do not survive long. They need a proper diet consisting mostly of harvester ants. Since there has been such a decline in the population of horny toads it is illegal to own one. Construction of highways has also played a major role in the decline of the horny toad. The horny toad likes the asphalt because it holds heat from the sun; this makes it a perfect sunning place for the horny toad. The problem with the horny toads liking the asphalt is that one of their instincts is to freeze when they since danger. This makes them an easy target for cars and trucks and they have been flattened left and right. The introduction of the red imported fire ants into Texas in 1957 has also been a contributing factor in the decline of the Texas horny toad. When people put out pesticides to kill the red imported fire ants they are also killing off harvester ants which horny toads need in their diet. The pesticides can also kill the horny toads as well as other species that live in the horny toad habitat. Herbicides which are used to kill weeds, may also affect the population of harvester ants because this reduces the seeds that the harvester ants feed on. Since the population of harvester ants declined due to the use of herbicides, so does the population of the Texas horned lizard. The Texas horned lizard has also declined due to human disturbance of their natural habitat. Their natural habitat has become farm land or urban centers. As Urbanization explodes the Texas horned lizard population declines. Another possible answer to the decline of the horny toad is hot dry weather which is associated with extreme drought. The extreme drought causes the harvester ants to become dormant which in turn affects the Texas horny toad population. Preserving habitats is essential to preserving biodiversity. Habitat conservation is one of the most important issues faced when it comes to the decline of the Texas horny toad. As population of the world increases so does land use which give wild species less space to call home. One solution to this problem is putting regulations on land use development. Land use and management based on scientific knowledge is needed to protect not only horny toads but all other wild species of animals as well as plants. Protecting the habitat of these unique Texas horned lizards is one solution in the ongoing battle to save this species from extinction. The society for the preservation of horned toads wants to expand their habitat by purchasing land. Ranchers with native pasture can help by keeping it native pasture land. Also if some cultivated land could be turned back into native pasture land this would also be helpful. Monitoring horny toads is also useful; it gives scientist information on the locations where horny toads are still thriving or where they are declining. To save the precious species of life that is all around, habitat conservation needs to be a practice taken seriously not only by scientist but from all people. Human activity is what has caused most of the destruction of wild habitats so now it is up to humans to reverse the effects on these habitats. Biodiversity must be preserved, but the only effective way this can be done is to preserve or restore the habitats of the wild. The public should be educated on the use of pesticides. Pesticides not only kill red imported fire ants, but also the red harvester ants and horny toads. If pesticides have to be used to kill red imported fire ants, it should be carefully applied only to the red imported fire ant beds. There is almost always an alternative to using pesticides when killing fire ants or unwanted insects. Drenching the fire ant mounds with hot soapy water will kill the fire ants; this will have to be done several times to be effective. Another way of killing fire ants without pesticides is with compost tea, citrus oil, 2 tablespoons of household molasses and 2 tablespoons of orange oil in one gallon of water. Pesticides are more convenient and easier to use but anytime a nontoxic method can be used it is better for the habitat of the plants and animals that surround us. Even though insects are bothersome at times they are very import to a healthy ecosystem. The Texas horned lizard is a species worth protecting. They are unique animals with a sweet disposition. They need to continue to be a part of every Texans life. This generation as well as the future generations needs to be able to witness these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat. It is the responsibility of every person to protect the delicate species of this world that God has blessed us with. Horny toads are a sweet natured and fun to watch species. These lizards need to be preserved for future generations. If their natural habitats are protected they will gain in numbers and some day maybe even be taken off the endangered species list. [pic]

[pic] References Animals.national geographic.com Allaboutfrogs.com Wikipedia.org Tpwd.state.tx.us Anniescottage.tripod.com Lizard-landscapes.com…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Traits of Texas

...The Dominating Traits of Texas Political culture is the habit of behaviors, values and beliefs as related to government and politics that have developed over time helping to build the political life of a state, region, or country. Texas political cultures have many dominant traits that continually redefine how the people of Texas think of themselves. Texas culture, dating back to the early nineteenth century, began when many people migrated west during the westward expansion forming our rugged individualistic traits which led Texas to develop an economic liberalism (free market) and strong social conservatism (traditional values). “Rugged” Individualism began when the migration of the westward expansion brought many people to Texas looking for a better life that the East could not provide for them. When the new settlers arrived, the frontier areas had no government to provide them with goods or services. Texans soon realized they were individuals in society and would need to find his or her interests and set goals for themselves. Texas’ government believes they should not intervene in a person’s private life or business. Economic liberalism is an ideological belief in organizing the economy by a private individual’s decision. Liberalism is an attempt to limit the power of the state for the sake of individual freedoms and favors the social progress by implementing law and reform rather than revolution. This belief feels equal right and liberty are of great importance.......

Words: 473 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Horned Lizard

...The Texas horned lizard, known by most people as a horny toad has been on the Texas endangered species list since 1967. The Texas horned lizard has a spiky body, which gives them their name horned lizard or horny toad. The horny toad can be found in Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, the Carolinas, and Mexico. The Texas horny toad is the largest and most widely distributed of the 14 species of horned lizards in the western United States and Mexico. These unique looking creatures have a flat body. The head of a horny toad has many horns; the two middle head spines are much longer than the other horns. Most of the Texas horned lizards have a light line that goes from its head down the middle of its back. The horned lizard is the only species that has dark brown stripes that go down from their eyes across the top of their head.  The Texas horned toad hibernates from September or October to around late April or May. While the horny toad hibernates they slow their metabolism down so they can go for long periods of time with no food or water. Their mating usually occurs soon after hibernation. After the female and the male mate, the female will then carry her eggs for a period of time as they develop. The female horny toad will choose a nest and then she will dig a slanted tunnel and lay 13 to 45 eggs. After she buries her eggs she may sit on the tunnel entrance for one night, she leaves the nest and never comes back to her eggs....

Words: 272 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Texas Hist

...Tali Fletcher TEXAS REVIEW 12 chapter 16 This chapter begins talking about Crusades and Complacency and not the same as Spanish the old Spanish crusades but using this to describe Texas politics. Talking about the years between the Great depression and the progressive era. And starts talking about the Gov Oscar branch Colquitt. N 1906, Colquitt ran for governor, but, in part due to his opposition to Prohibition, he failed to win the Democratic nomination. He ran again in 1910, still opposing Prohibition, with the slogan "Political Peace and Legislative Rest."Although his opponents referred to him as "Little Oscar" for his diminutive stature, Colquitt won both the primary and the general election. He was not present for the Democratic convention which nominated him for the position, as his youngest son died in Austin at roughly the same time. After taking office, Colquitt resigned his position on the railroad commission and was able to appoint his own successor to the post. The Prohibition Party had been elected to a majority in each house of the legislature, and following the election, the public was allowed to vote on whether to enact a statewide prohibition on alcohol sales; this was defeated by 6,000 votes. Colquitt had an uneasy relationship with the legislature during his time as governor, and their disagreements often bled into issues that had nothing to do with prohibition in the first legislative session over which he presided, Colquitt vetoed half of the......

Words: 292 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Architecture in Texas

...Timeline of Architecture in Texas BY: SM Early settlers brought to Texas their cultural values and traditions. These values and historical civilization features were reflected through the settlers’ survived architectural achievements. Texas architecture compromises diverse structures and legacy from the Spanish colonies to the European expenditures to the Anglo pioneers’ log cabins. The architecture of Texas through the centuries has indeed outlined the cultural history and gave the state a unique Texan identity. Texas architecture can be organized into six periods: Indian, Spanish colonial-Mexican, Republic-antebellum, Victorian, and Early twentieth century Modern [1]. The earliest Indian-Native American, nomadic or Indigenous people were divided to several tribes. The Coahuiltecan and Karankawan lived in the coast of south Texas and the Trans-Nueces, were not organized did not have permanent habitations. Jumanos and Patarabueyes lived in Trans Peco, built homes from mud and sticks. The Apaches and the Comanches, relied on hunting for survival. So their culture was based on moving very often to various places in Texas. They used tepees for shelters, easy to assemble or disassemble for transportation. The caddos lived In Northeast Texas, an agricultural people. They assembled round, thatched shelters, and mounds. Some of their shelters were about 50 feet in diameter. The Pueblo tribe used animal skin or fur and adobe to build their abodes. They made the adobes...

Words: 1836 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

The Asian Long Horned Beetle

...The Asian Long Horned Beetle Introduction The sustained existence of our environment and ecosystem is quickly being diminished and depleted by invasive species. Invasive species can be thought of as non-native, or alien species to a specific ecosystem that immediately causes economic or environmental harm or even harm to human upon introduction (7). This is concerning not only to our well being, but also on a macro-spectrum, our environment. In time where global warming and industrialization are already challenging the preservation of the biodiversity of ecosystems, invasive species are becoming an increasing threat to environments and ecosystems. A species that has recently threatened and destructed many states including Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio, is known as the Asian Long-Horned Beetle. The Asian Long-Horned Beetle attacks many species of trees, including “poplars, maples, elms, and mulberries” and has a primary impact on street trees (5). Although the beetle is no bigger than an inch, it definitely packs a punch, causing massive and widespread destruction, which costs several hundreds of dollars to be spent per infestation. Background on the Asian Long-Horned Beetle The Asian Long-Horned Beetle is a native to Asia and was introduced to the United States in 1996 from “wood pallets and other wood packing material accompanying cargo shipments from Asia” (7). The Asian-Longhorned beetle is a tiny creature that is measured to be 1 to 1.5 inches in length and......

Words: 1815 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Killing Lizards

...Killing Lizards The short story was published in 1981 and takes place in an English family who have migrated to Africa and lived there for to years. All children seek acceptance, attention and love through their childhood. If a child does not receive acceptance, attention or love, then how can they find the confidence to be them selves? They will be stuck in an insecure world, where they have no faith in them selves and no real identity. How can the children know if they have done something good or bad if no one pays attention or reacts to what they have achieved? These three adjectives are a must to a successful upbringing. Through the story “Killing Lizards” The principal character, Gavin, never achieves the acceptance, attention or love that he is really in need of. Fantasy vs. reality Gavin lives in Africa with his family, his sister is named Amanda and goes to a boarding school in England. He misses Amanda a lot, but when she came back to visit, she was a changed girl, more woman than girl. A woman that would rather go shopping with her mother. Than play with her little brother. A sudden solidarity had appeared between his mother and Amanda, and his father and him self were denied access to be apart of it. On that account Gavin started hating Amanda for being mature and requiring all his mothers time during her visit. As a result Gavin started to fantasize about Amanda being dead, how he would be the only child and how that would change everything. But......

Words: 1040 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Antebellum Texas

...ANTEBELLUM TEXAS. In the drama of Texas history the period of early statehood, from 1846 to 1861, appears largely as an interlude between two great adventures-the Republic of Texas and the Civil War.qqv These fifteen years did indeed lack the excitement and romance of the experiment in nationhood and the "Lost Cause" of the Confederacy. Events and developments during the period, however, were critical in shaping the Lone Star State as part of the antebellum South. By 1861 Texas was so like the other Southern states economically, socially, and politically that it joined them in secessionqv and war. Antebellum Texans cast their lot with the Old South and in the process gave their state an indelibly Southern heritage. When President Anson Jonesqv lowered the flag of the republic for the last time in February 1846, the framework for the development of Texas over the next fifteen years was already constructed. The great majority of the new state's approximately 100,000 white inhabitants were natives of the South, who, as they settled in the eastern timberlands and south central plains, had built a life as similar as possible to that experienced in their home states. Their economy, dependent on agriculture, was concentrated first on subsistence farming and herding and then on production of cotton as a cash crop. This meant the introduction of what southerners called their "Peculiar Institution"-slavery.qv In 1846 Texas had more than 30,000 black slaves and produced an even larger......

Words: 6367 - Pages: 26

Free Essay

Texas Air

...Case analysis Texas Air, Inc. I. Main Problem * Pricing Strategy Sub problem: * Late departures * Poor service and safety II. Objectives * To defend its price leadership over its competitors in the airline industry. * To amend its pricing strategy to avoid massive losses. * To shun being the lowest rank out of fourteen major airline in its evaluation on time arrival. * To improve service and safety of the Texas Air Inc. III. SWOT analysis Strengths * Price leadership * Largest airline system * High number of established, high frequency discount rates Weaknesses * Poor service and safety * Ultra low-fares Opportunities * Growth and expansion * partnership Threats * Competition * Passengers complaints IV. Alternative Course s of Actions (ACAs) ACA1. Texas Air Inc. will now be increasing its price by 30%. Expect high quality service would be given to its consumers. ACA2. Set aside pricing philosophy Peanut and MaxSaver fares. V. Recommendation We decided to adapt ACA1 because this can be better strategic move for the Texas Air Inc. In this strategy, they can avoid passenger’s complaints such as late departures, canceled flights and dirty planes. We believe that they can give their passengers a high quality services. VI. Marketing Strategy Executive Summary: Early in 1987, Texas Air bought Eastern Airlines and the financially troubled People Express. Texas merged Continental, New......

Words: 1014 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Medicaid in Texas

...joint venture that provides medical coverage to the eligible individuals. The purpose of Medicaid in Texas is to improve the health of people whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission's (HHSC) Medicaid Office is responsible for statewide oversight of Texas Medicaid. The mission of the Texas Medicaid program is to improve the health of Texans by emphasizing prevention, promoting continuity of care, providing a medical home for Medicaid recipients and ensuring that each recipient can receive high quality, comprehensive health care services within the community. (6) Medicaid serves primarily low- income families, children, caretakers of dependent children, pregnant women, cash assistance recipients, people aged 65 and older, and adults and children with disabilities. Medicaid pays for acute health care (physician, inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, lab, and x-ray services), and long-term services and supports (home and community-based services, nursing facility services, and services provided in Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICFs/IID)) for people age 65 and older and those with disabilities. Texas Medicaid provides major portion of healthcare services through managed care model. (1) There are basically four Medicaid programs in Texas. The type of coverage an individual gets depends on his/her geographical location and the......

Words: 1829 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Introduction to Texas

...Texas is the second most populous (after California) and the second largest of the 50 U.S. states (after Alaska) in the United States of America, and the largest state in the 48 contiguous United States. Geographically located in the south central part of the country, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the south and borders the U.S. states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2) and a growing population of over 26.9 million residents (July 2014).[8] Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.[9] The origin of the state name, Texas, is from the word, "Tejas", which means 'friends' in the Caddo language.[10] Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble......

Words: 619 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Killing Lizards Essay

...killing Lizards Essay According to the Sigmund Freud, there is a stage in every human life called “The Phallic Stage”. During “The phallic stage” children become aware of their own and other bodies. At this stage, children also take course to learn the physical differences between male and female, and the gender differences, experiences that amplifies the psychological dynamics of the relationship between the child and the parents. Freud also believed that boys begin to view their fathers as a potential rival for their mother’s affection. In this story, Gavin discreetly directs his sexual desire upon his mother, and directs jealousy and emotional rivalry against his father. What Gavin is going through is called “The Oedipus Complex”. The Oedipus Complex” is actually based on the Greek myth about Oedipus, who marries his mother after killing his father. Gavin expresses his frustrations towards his father by fantasizing him being killed and that is a clear sign of “The Oedipus Complex”. However, Gavin does not only want his father dead, but he also wants his sister, Amanda dead. His murderous fantasy is shown on (Page 2, l. 16-25)”He wished the plane that was bringing her out to Africa would crash and she would be killed” and… “His father and sister had died in a car crash and Gavin had to break the new to his mother”. These two quotes shows clearly how threatened Gavin feels towards his father and sister. The only thing Gavin eager is to get his mother all by himself but...

Words: 1125 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Agama Lizards

...Geographic Range Found in most of sub-Saharan Africa Habitat Rainbow lizards can occupy urban, suburban and wild areas that supply enough vegetation for reproduction and insects for food. Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune , savanna or grassland , forest ,rainforest , scrub forest , mountains . Physical Description The agama lizard is characterized by its whitish underside, buff brown back limbs and tail with a slightly lighter stripe down the middle and six to seven dark patches to the side of this stripe. There is some sexual dimorphism. The subordinate males, females, and adolescents possess an olive green head. A blue body and yellow tail and head characterize the dominant male. A. agama has a large head separated from the body, a long tail, well-developed external ear openings and eyelids. This lizard also has acrodont, heterodont teeth. The lizard possesses both caniniform incisors for grasping and molariform cheekteeth for crushing. The maximum size for male lizards is twenty-five centimeters and female lizards is twenty centimeters (Harris 1964). Reproduction Females reach sexual maturity at age fourteen to eighteen months, males at two years. A. agama reproduces during the wet season although they are capable of reproducing nearly year round in areas of consistant rainfall(Porter et al. 1983). The male will approach the female from behind and head bob to her. If she accepts then she will arch her back with her tail and head raised. The male walks to her......

Words: 950 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Lizard Physiology

...Lizard Physiology Derrick Keyser BIO/101 March 17, 2014 Brian Fox Lizard Physiology Lizards once ruled the earth as massive beasts, but over the course of time, evolution has changed them to be much smaller than they once were. While these creatures have been around for millions of years, they’ve had to change to become better suited for the environments that they currently inhabit. The lizards that I am the most familiar with are now living in developed areas, such as rural neighborhoods and urban sprawls. While walking around my house or place of work, I often see the little green Anole lizards scurrying about. These little guys are small because they are naturally inclined to hide from danger. If I move slowly enough, I can catch them out on the sidewalks or the sides of trees sunning themselves. But if I get too near, they hurry away to the nearest hiding spot; under a bush, into a hole in a brick wall, whatever happens to be nearby. If these creatures haven’t evolved to become smaller, they wouldn’t be able to fit where they can now. According to the website published by Joanides (2011) there are upwards of 3000 different types of lizards, each varying in color, size, and location. Many of these lizards primarily eat insects, which helps to keep the insect population under control. Since insects are available virtually everywhere, I can imagine that the Anole lizards in Florida have plenty to eat, even in the urban areas. The majority of lizards are found in......

Words: 775 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Texas

...Management Supply chain management is that genre of management that deals with the activities ranging from procurement to allocation, distribution and final utilisation of the resources so as to find any deviations that may have resulted in faulty use and correct the same to promote optimum utilisation of resources. This will facilitate better organisation in the operational sphere of the organisation as well as a more systematic progression towards the process of achievement of goals. (Jesperson, 2005) The Case Study – Texan The information gained from these literary works will be analysed and correlated to the concept of supply chain management as it has been adapted within Texan. Texan Foods is a company founded and based in Texas, near Amarillo. Born in the year 1941, this company has grown from strength to strength to consolidate its standing as one of the best gourmet chain which specialises in grocery products. Their line of products includes croissants, English muffins as well as exotic sandwich breads, buns and other baked goods like tortillas. Besides being a household name by the mid 90s with ample support from a former oil businessman, R.L (Buddy) Howlett, who was its founder and a successful entrepreneur, this company had come to employ a major supplier who went by name of Valley. (Autry, 2005) As a big manufacturing company, it has been demonstrated that Texan has a very poor system of supply chain management as far as its model of......

Words: 11664 - Pages: 47

Premium Essay

Texas Government

...term has been given to the Texas Governor, who is seen as a very powerful person but in reality is a weak one. A big argument in Texas is if the Governor should have more power over Texas, but this would only cause the state unnecessary problems. Powers of The Governor The Governor of Texas has both informal and formal powers that cover a variety of things. A Texas governor is said to be someone who must use the power of persuasion, media and personality in order to effectively govern the state. People believe that the Texas Governor is a very strong official, but compared to other governors around the nation and the importance of the people working with him, it’s truly a weak one. The 1876 Constitution created a plural executive structure in which the governor is but one of several elected officials who share power in the executive branch, limiting the power of the governor. All executive officers are elected independently except for the Secretary of State, making them directly answerable to the public not the Governor. If the Governor can’t hire or fire his subordinates, then he has less or no control over them. Power is highly decentralized and spread out to several different officials, which prevents the governor from having too much power. For instance the lieutenant governor, who heads the Senate and appoints its committees, has more power than the governor. The Texas governor serves as the commander in chief of the state's military, the Texas National Guard, and......

Words: 691 - Pages: 3