Thorny devil (Moloch horridus)

thorny devil (Moloch horridus)

Zoology with: thorny devil (Moloch horridus)

One of Australia’s most interesting lizards, a Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus), which we found on our way to Bimbijy station the first day. My wife Liz also got a new lifer for her birdlist near here, the often elusive Malleefowl.thorny devil (Moloch horridus)

The thorny devil (Moloch horridus) is an Australian lizard that is also known as the thorny dragon, the mountain devil, the thorny lizard, or the moloch. This is the sole species of genus Moloch. The thorny devil grows up to 20 cm (8.0 inches) in length, and it can live up to 20 years. Most of these lizards are coloured in camouflaging shades of desert browns and tans. These colours change from pale colours during warm weather and to darker colours during cold weather. These animals are covered entirely with conical spines that are mostly uncalcified.

The thorny devil also features a spiny “false head” on the back of its neck, and the lizard presents this to potential predators by dipping its real head. The females are larger than the males. The thorny devil’s body is ridged in structure, and this enables the animal to collect water from any part of its body. That water is then conveyed to its mouth.

thorny devil (Moloch horridus)Habitat

The thorny devil usually lives in the arid scrubland and desert that covers most of central Australia. For example, the thorny devil inhabits the spinifex (triodia) sandplain and sandridge desert in the deep interior and the mallee belt.

The habitation of the thorny devil coincides mostly with the regions of sandy loam soils than with a particular climate in Western Australia.

Self defense

The thorny devil is covered in hard, rather sharp spines that dissuade attacks by predators by making it difficult to swallow. The thorny devil also has a false head on its back. When it feels threatened by other animals or birds, it lowers its head between its frontlegs, and then presents its false head

— article from wiki and asknature.org  —

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