Actually, that's what we were told back when I was a kid. The truth is even more bizarre, if the truth be told. When I was a kid, these little guys could be found all over the central Texas area. Sadly, their numbers have greatly shrunk due to many factors. They sure were fun to play with, though.
The Blood-Squirting Lizard
When disturbed, the greater short-horned lizard of North America shoots massive quantities of blood from its eye sockets. It makes for an exceptionally effective distraction and a grotesque escape scene. And the blood’s foul-tasting chemicals can send a predator running if any gets into its mouth.
This adaptation is easier on the lizard than shedding the tail, which is the other famously grisly lizard defense mechanism. Blood is a replenishable fluid rather than a distinct body part that must be grown back. But the lizard’s ability to defend itself with blood is still limited. Small lizards could easily bleed to death in a short time by losing too much blood.
My thought on why this critter is disappearing from our locale is the Fire Ants and their ability to destroy the ants that Horned Toads used to feed on. Of course, my opinion and a dollar will get ya a cup of coffee almost!
Coffee out on the patio today. Don't worry, it's free!