– I’m Coyote Peterson. – And I’m Pup Peterson. – And where are we this evening? – In my grandma’s backyard.
– In the Sonoran Desert. and we’re headed out to look for horned lizards. Hey Pup? I got one. I see one, hurry! (fast, upbeat music) I’ve been visiting the
Sonoran Desert since childhood and have always been captivated by its rugged beauty
and fascinating animals. On this adventure, I’m
getting the chance to bring my daughter, Pup
Peterson, with me. This is her first
major production trip and she couldn’t
be more excited. For several years now
she has been safely catching frogs,
non-venomous snakes, and even snapping turtles,
under my supervision. Exploring Arizona has been
one of her young dreams. On this trip, she got the
chance to get up close with many different animals. From scorpions and tarantulas… You’re not nervous?
– No. – [Coyote] That’s a
pretty big spider, though, isn’t it?
– Yeah. – [Coyote] To giant
Colorado River toads. At seven years old,
she is one adventurous and completely fearless kid. But nothing was more
important to her than finding the legendary
regal horned lizard. Which, as most of you
know, is the reptile responsible for giving
me the nickname Coyote. Which in turn led her
to the nickname Pup. Now, Pup, there’s a great reason that we’re in grandma’s
backyard tonight. We know that there are
horned lizards out here. One of the reasons
that the horned lizards live here in her yard
is check this out. Do you know what those are? – Harvester ants. – That is absolutely right. Now these little ants
are the favorite food of the regal horned lizard. But don’t get too
close because they have a nasty little sting. Now, we know that grandma said there’s horned lizards
all over the place out here, right?
– Yeah. – All we need to do is start
searching around the yard and hopefully we’ll
come across some. The temperatures
are cooling down and the horned lizards
are gonna come out. You ready to start our search? – Yeah.
– Alright, high fives? Boom! Let’s go find
some horned lizards. Back yards in the Sonoran Desert are exactly as
you might imagine. Plenty of sand and
rocks with spiky cacti around every turn. These biological land
mines didn’t deter Pup as she zigzagged around
every prickly pear and even got down
on hands and knees searching for her
prized reptile. – Nothin’ yet but I’m
not gonna give up. – [Coyote] Keep lookin’. My mom is constantly
sending me pictures of the horned lizards
that live in her backyard. There’s gotta be 20 or
30 of them back here. They’re just so hard to find. The regal horned
lizard, sometimes also referred to as a horny toad, is one of the friendliest
and safest animals you could ever hope to
encounter in the desert. So I had no hesitation
when it came to letting Pup get up close. – Something green just ran by. – [Coyote] Before I knew it Pup had spotted something. What’d you see? What’d you see? – I don’t know. I saw
something running. – It might’ve been
a horned lizard. – (Pup gasps) Wait.
– [ Coyote] What’d you see? – [Voiceover]
Somethin’ right there. Right here. Something
right in here. – [Coyote] Anything?
– [Pup] No. But I saw fur. – [Coyote] Turns out. It was just a mouse. So, the search continued. They camouflage
unbelievably well. You almost have to step on them and get them to move before you can actually see them. We were losing light fast
with the sun disappearing behind the mountains when, finally, I spotted one. He’s sitting there right
by the edge of that log and Pup doesn’t know it yet. Let’s see how she
reacts when I call out, “Horned lizard.” You ready? Here we go. Hey, Pup? I got one! I see one, hurry! – Really? – He’s right up
against this log. Right there. You see him? – [Pup] Yeah. – [Coyote] You
think you can catch that horned lizard?
– [Pup] Yeah. Once you actually spot one they’re rather simple to catch. Now watch this. Simple to catch? Famous last words, dad. This lizard was on the run and Pup was right on its tail. There’s a burrow
right over here. I don’t want to get him in here. Be careful on those
cactus spines. Can you see him?
– [Pup] Yeah. – [Coyote] Can you
get a handle on him? Try to grab him. – [Pup] Got him.
– [Coyote] Got him? – [Pup] Yeah.
– [Coyote] Nice! Good catch! – [Voiceover] Under a cactus. – Nice! A little
risky but you got him. High fives! Nice, alright. Wow! There it is. That is your first regal
horned lizard, isn’t it? Why do love horned
lizards so much? – I just think they’re so cute and they’re non-venomous and they’re the safest
animal that you can catch. I came all this way
and I finally got one. – [Coyote] Now,
what do you notice about his camouflage? – [Pup] It really matches
into the sand here. – [Coyote] Tell
me about his tail. – [Pup] It has a
pattern of stripes. It goes from big stripe all the way down
to small stripe. – [Coyote] He almost
disappears when you set him down on the
ground, doesn’t he? – [Pup] Yeah. – [Coyote] What does
a horned lizard’s camouflage help it hide from? – Predators.
– [Coyote] Right. Now what would be a predator that might eat a horned lizard? – A coyote. – [Coyote] That’s right. Or… – [Pup] A roadrunner.
– [Coyote] Or maybe… – A mouse. – (Coyote laughs) No,
I don’t think a mouse but a coyote and
a roadrunner are the top two predators
of the horned lizards. Did you know that
the only true spikes on a horned lizard are
the crown of spikes on the back of its head? You see all these spikes
on top of his body and that run along the side? – Yeah. – Those are nothing more
than modified scales. It makes him look spiky but he’s not really that spiky. What an awesome experience. Being here today right
in grandma’s backyard. But I want to know
about the animals that live in your backyard. Write to us and tell
us what sort of cool creatures you have
right behind your house. I’m Coyote Peterson, – And I’m Pup Peterson, – Be brave, stay wild. We’ll see you on
the next adventure. As parents, we strive to
see our children smile and I think it
goes without saying that we all hope for
our children’s dreams to come true. – I’m Pup Peterson and
I love horned lizards. – [Coyote] Especially if
they dream of horned lizards. On the next backyard adventure, I visit Arizona’s Boyce
Thompson Arboretum with wild man Phil and his
even wilder son, Archie. With flashlights in
hand we will head out to see what crawls,
slithers, and flies, by the darkness of night. (animal sounds) Before launching
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