Reptiles are a diverse group of creatures that are each uniquely adapted to their environments. Some reptiles, for example, have horns that serve various purposes, such as for courtship or defense. In this article, we’ll take a look at the intriguing world of reptiles with horns, learning more about these interesting animals and how their horns play a vital role in their lives.
9 Reptiles With Horns
Reptiles with horns are captivating creatures that show just how diverse and adaptable nature truly is. These reptiles range from striking chameleons to cunning vipers, and each species on our list utilizes their horns for success and survival in their ecosystems.
Keep in mind that most reptiles with horns don’t have true horns like what you would find on goats and rhinos, and instead have horn-like structures.
1. Jackson’s Chameleon
Scientific Name: Trioceros jacksonii
The Jackson’s chameleon is found in the shrublands and forests of East Africa. This chameleon consumes insects and small vertebrates. The Jackson’s chameleon has three horn-like projections on its head.
The males of this species usually possess more elongated and pronounced horns than the females. The males use these horns to attract mates and establish dominance.
2. Texas Horned Lizard
Scientific Name: Phrynosoma cornutum
Also known as the horny toad, the Texas horned lizard is a fierce-looking reptile that features a flat body and various horns protruding from its head.
They use these horns as a defense mechanism against predators, while their camouflaged body allows them to blend into their surroundings. The Texas horned lizard is found in the arid regions of North America and feasts on ants and other small insects.
3. Rhinoceros Iguana
Scientific Name: Cyclura cornuta
The rhinoceros iguana is an endangered species native to the Caribbean islands. It has a grayish to olive-colored body with rough scales on the outer layer of its skin.
This species is named for its large “horned” scales that extend from the nape of its neck. They use their nasal horn and spines in mating rituals and territorial disputes.
4. Horned Viper
Scientific Name: Cerastes cerastes
The horned vipers are a desert-dwelling snack that lives in North Africa and the Middle East. They feed on small mammals and birds.
Horned vipers have a spine-like horn, which is actually a scale, located above each eye. These “horns” help to camouflage the viper, while also regulating its body temperature.
5. Thorny Devil
Scientific Name: Moloch horridus
The thorny devil, also known as thorny lizard, mountain devil, moloch, and thorny dragon, is a unique-looking lizard that is found in the arid regions of Australia.
Their body is covered in spiky, horn-like scales, which helps to collect water by merely touching the item, such as a plant covered in dew. These “horns” also help to defend the lizard from predators and help to camouflage the reptile.
6. Spearpoint Leaf-Tailed Gecko
Scientific Name: Uroplatus ebenaui
The spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko is a small lizard that grows no more than 4 inches long. It has a short pointy tail that resembles the point of a spear.
They also have eyelash-like horns located above each of their eyes, as well as on their cranial ridge. The spearpoint leaf-tailed gecko is native to Madagascar, found in the eastern and northern areas of the country, as well as on Nosy Be island.
7. Rock Horned Lizard
Scientific Name: Phrynosoma ditmarsi
The rock-horned lizard has a flat back, massive head, and blade-like horns on its back. These horns help to blend the lizard into its environment, while also making it less palatable to predators. Horned lizards can also inflate themselves to make them appear larger and also shoot blood from their eyelids.
It is found in various parts of Mexico, as well as along the southern portion of the Arizona border. This reptile’s main food source is ants, but they will also consume various other insects.
8. Four-Horned Chameleon
Scientific Name: Trioceros quadricornis
The four-horned chameleon looks like other chameleons in many ways, such as having a single claw on its toes and a prehensile tail. However, this species typically has four prominent horns on its head, much like the Jackson’s chameleon which has three horns.
The four-horned chameleon grows up to 14 inches long and thrives in cool weather. It is native to the rainforests of Cameroon, Africa.
9. Horned Frog
Scientific Name: Megophrys montana
While frogs are not technically reptiles, they are in the amphibian class, they are often lumped together with reptiles, which is why we have them on our list.
The horned frog is known by a few different names, including Javan horned frog, Asian horned frog, Maylan leaf frog, and Asian spadefoot toad.
No matter what you call them, they are rather large frogs that have a pointed snout and an unusually elongated horn on each of their upper eyelids. These horns help to deter predators and help with camouflage. Horned frogs are found in the wetlands and rainforests of Southeast Asia.