Nature

Truth or Texas Tall Tale: Can Horny Toads Shoot Blood Out of their Eyes?

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When corned by a predator, the horny toad will raise its blood pressure and flood its ocular sinuses, then the blood will jet out of its eye sockets. The crimson spray emanating from the corners of their eyes can go as far as four feet. Not only that, but it contains a chemical that dogs, wolves, and coyotes find noxious. The act of shooting blood from their eyes is called auto-hemorrhaging. Amazingly, it can be done multiple times within a short period, and the speedy recovery mechanism for this isn’t well understood.

The horny toad is one of the most fascinating and iconic creatures in the Lone Star State. One famous horny toad, Old Rip, even inspired a famous Merrie Melodies character with his legendary story of being unearthed, still alive, in a time capsule. The folklore surrounding horny toads, true or false, is as big as Texas itself!

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