PASSIN THE GENES

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Head bobbing also exists between male and female. It is more of a greeting then. If the female is receptive then courtship and sexual intercourse take place. In one recorded event during intercourse, the male laid on top of the female while clutching the back of her neck. The female then bobbed her head, did a few push ups, ate a few insects and crawled off carrying her partner along.  The mating season is between April and July  (Manaster).     

 Horny Toads mating in the sun. (Wyman Meinzer)After mating, the female starts searching for a good nest site.  She will try to find a spot that protects the eggs from the sun, in soil thatís not so dry it will wrinkle the shells, but not to wet that the sand washes away. A future mother typically constructs a sloping tunnel three to four inches across and six to eight inches below ground. After laying up to 37 eggs in her new nest, the mother covers the nest in sand and leaves for good (Manaster)Female laying a clutch of eggs. (Wyman Meinzer).

 The clutch size of Phrynosoma cornutum is the largest of its Genus. It averages 24 eggs per clutch. The horned lizard also has one of the highest reproductive efforts  (Pianka).

If the eggs are not discovered by predators and are in the right temperature and moisture conditions, then they have a chance at survival. After five to nine weeks, the egg hatch. They have to forage for food and take care of themselves for their entire life.  After three years they are sexually developed and begin the life cycle all over again. On average, two from a clutch make it to adulthood (Manaster).