National Geographic : 1911 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE BLACK TEGU ( Tupinambis nigropunctatus): GUIANAS AND BRAZII, The length of a big specimen is three feet. Tegus are carnivorous and often destructive to poultry. Photo by Raymond L. Ditmars A batch of iguanas from Dutch Guiana were the means of nearly de populating the reptile-house in the New York Zoological Park. An almost mi croscopic parasite spread from these liz ards among other exhibits of their kind. thence among the serpents. A great number of valuable specimens died from the severe inflammation following the bites of the tiny pests that swarmed in masses that looked like a sprinkling of coarse, red dust. The original hosts suf fered little inconvenience. The parasites themselves defied disinfecting and gen eral painting of cages. The epidemic came to as abrupt a termination as its startling beginning. From the writer's observations he is led to believe that a fungus attacked the in vaders, and we have Nature to thank for the close of a situation that threatened to render the reptile-house untenable. TIHE IIORNED TOADS THAT SPIT BLOOD Various members of the Iguanidcc are characterized by their droll form or decoration of colors. The horned "toads" belong to this family. These squatty lizards are anything but toad-like in habit, as they inhabit the hot wastes of the desert and run with the speed of the wind (see page 614). Occasional specimens evince a start ling habit of squirting a stream of blood from the eyelid. A Mexican specimen about four inches long gave a fine demon stration of this puzzling habit while be ing photographed and measured in the writer's laboratory. A pair of shining calipers seemed to greatly excite the lizard. It puffed up its body, the eyes bulged, when a jet of blood as fine as a hair shot a distance of fully five feet, spattering the wall with a shower of tiny drops.