11 Species of Lizards with Spiky Eyes

Lizards are cold-blooded reptiles with more than 7,000 species in existence. They are widely distributed on all continents except Antarctica , ranging in size from the common geckos in the home to the Komodo dragons that are more than three meters long and feed on carrion. Most lizards are not large in size, which makes them vulnerable to many predators. Therefore, many lizards have evolved spikes to resist predators, which makes them look more intimidating and often scares away various creatures that want to catch them.

1: Australian Magic Lizard


This creature, also known as the spiny devil, mountain devil and Australian spiny horned lizard , is native to Australia. Its entire body is covered with non-overlapping scales and numerous sharp spines.

Although they may look scary, they are not very threatening to people. Their spikes are mostly non-calcified, which means they are not sharp. They are also non-aggressive lizards that prefer to play dead rather than fight.


The main purpose of the spikes on the Australian devil lizard is to scare away predators. Due to their small size, they lack the strength to defend themselves from predators.

Therefore their pointy appearance gives them an increased chance of survival.

2: Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos)


The desert horned lizard lives in western North America and Mexico. They prefer dry, arid climates and thrive in deserts.

Desert horned lizards are gentle and have three ways to deal with predators, but none of them are active attacks. They have a row of spikes on the bottom of their heads, and when they are caught, they will try to stab the opponent with their cranial spines . When threatened, they will inflate themselves like pufferfish to look bigger. Some horned lizards can even spray blood from their eyes at predators when they are threatened, using this method to scare them away.

3. Green Iguana

Green Iguana
Green Iguana

The green iguana, also known as the American iguana or the common iguana, is one of the most famous spiky lizards on Earth. They are native to tropical and subtropical forests and are large, arboreal animals.


Green iguanas have a row of spikes running down their backs all the way to their tails. Although they look scary, these spikes are not actually dangerous. Their main purpose is to make the iguana look more threatening than it actually is.

Like many other reptiles in the family, green iguanas don’t like to fight. Although they can use their tails to defend themselves if necessary, they prefer to run away or hide when danger is imminent.

4. Bearded Dragon

Dragon Bearded

Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles. Most of the world’s wild bearded dragon populations are found in Australia.

Bearded dragons have a few different types of spikes on their bodies. One type sticks out from the sides of their bodies and is soft and flexible. But it looks rigid, as do the spikes on their backs.

The spikes on a bearded dragon’s chin are their most iconic feature. When they feel threatened, this area covered in small spikes will stand up, a movement that makes them appear larger to their enemies.

5: Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)

 Horned Lizard
 Horned Lizard 

The Texas horned lizard lives in dry, arid desert habitats. Mainly in the southern and central United States. The Texas horned lizard has spikes on its back and on the top of its head. The spikes on their heads are much longer than any other spikes.

Like their other desert horned lizard relatives, they are completely harmless despite their scary appearance. They have no venom, are not aggressive, and do not like to live in groups.

6: Uromastyx maliensis

The spiny-tailed flying lizard is a medium-sized lizard native to Africa, India, and the Middle East. They live in deserts and have a peaceful temperament, which makes them a popular choice as pets. They are herbivorous animals , and only some species will occasionally eat insects.

Although the spikes on their tails are not sharp, their tails are quite strong, so they mainly rely on their tails to defend against predators.

7: Chameleon

This is a very beautiful lizard that lives in India and Malaysia. These lizards are not big, and the adult size is about 10 cm long.

The top of the back of the chameleon tree lizard is lined with neat rows of spikes. These lizards can change the color of their spikes and other parts of their bodies to hide themselves or even express their emotions.

8: Short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)

The short-horned lizard is a species endemic to North America. It is a heat-loving reptile that thrives in desert conditions. Since they are cold-blooded, they prefer to bask in the sun to gain heat to regulate their body temperature.

The most notable feature of the short-horned lizard is its horn crown, which is somewhat similar to that of the ancient ceratopsian dinosaurs. Like other horned lizards, they can also spray blood from their eyes.

This defense mechanism is primarily intended to scare predators, but their blood also contains a neurotoxin that is harmful to wolves, coyotes , and even dogs.

9: Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)

The Eastern Fence Lizard is a medium-sized reptile that lives in the eastern U.S. Their habitat is primarily grasslands and shrubland, and their size makes them vulnerable to many predators.

While Eastern fence lizards lack traditional spikes, they do have keeled scales, which are pointy, like thorns.

10: Jackson’s Chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii)

Jackson’s chameleons are tropical-dwelling reptiles that live in the canopy of rainforests. They have a row of small spikes on their backs that run from top to bottom along their backs. Their tails are also covered in a row of spikes. They use their tails to steady themselves on tree branches!

One of the most famous features of chromatic dragons is their ability to change color. This allows them to blend into the colors of their surroundings.

11: Regal Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma solare)

The regal horned lizard lives only in the Sonoran Desert. They are insectivores, and some of their favorite foods include spiders and ants.

Regal horned lizards have small, flat bodies covered in tiny scales. They also have a ring of spikes on the top of their heads. Many of their spikes are calcified and therefore sharp.

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