Phrynosomatidae – Horned lizards

Small lizards found dwelling in hot sandy or rocky deserts

A family includes a diverse group of lizards, mainly inhabiting sandy or rocky deserts of America, Mexico, Southern Canada, etc.

Phrynosomatids were formerly known as Scleroporines. Sceloporus (spiny lizards) is this family’s largest and most diverse genus, including species dwelling in the sand, rocks, or even trees (arboreal). Another exciting group within this family is Phrynosoma, the spiny little desert dwellers who can squirt blood from their eyes to deter predators.

Most of the members of this family are viviparous, and only some are oviparous (egg-laying). A feature distinguishing phrynosomatids from other similar groups—chameleons and agamids—is that they have pleurodont teeth; that is, they are rootlessly fused to the inner side of their jaws.