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Thorny Devil | National Geographic
Thorny Devil | National Geographic
Published: 2007/09/10
Channel: National Geographic
The Thorny Devil
The Thorny Devil
Published: 2010/01/21
Channel: globalzoo
Australian Thorny Devil - CrittaCam
Australian Thorny Devil - CrittaCam
Published: 2016/12/10
Channel: CrittaCam
AUSTRALIA  - Thorn the Thorny Devil - stutter walk 201004
AUSTRALIA - Thorn the Thorny Devil - stutter walk 201004
Published: 2010/05/04
Channel: RedDeery
Thorny Devil eating
Thorny Devil eating
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: totallyexcellent
Thorny Devil Dragon
Thorny Devil Dragon
Published: 2014/09/26
Channel: rustymotor
Fish and frogs living out of water - BBC
Fish and frogs living out of water - BBC
Published: 2008/04/08
Channel: BBCWorldwide
Blood Shooting Eyes | World
Blood Shooting Eyes | World's Weirdest
Published: 2014/01/03
Channel: Nat Geo WILD
Blood Squirting Lizard | National Geographic
Blood Squirting Lizard | National Geographic
Published: 2010/10/15
Channel: National Geographic
Thorny devil eating black ants
Thorny devil eating black ants
Published: 2013/01/21
Channel: graceandlucy
14 Creatures You Never Knew Existed
14 Creatures You Never Knew Existed
Published: 2015/09/11
Channel: Bored Badger
Australia
Australia's Dragon-Like 'Thorny Devil' Lizard - Natural Born Thrillers
Published: 2017/08/03
Channel: Getty Images TV
The Thorny Devil
The Thorny Devil
Published: 2012/02/04
Channel: Great Desert Explorers
Thorny Devil Lizard road removal and relocate
Thorny Devil Lizard road removal and relocate
Published: 2016/11/19
Channel: rustymotor
Thorny devil stick insect
Thorny devil stick insect
Published: 2011/09/04
Channel: CraigBartolomei
This
This 'Thorny Devil' Drinks Water Through His Feet
Published: 2017/01/28
Channel: The Dodo
Adaptations of the Thorny Devil
Adaptations of the Thorny Devil
Published: 2015/11/02
Channel: Gavin Vasandani
Thorny Devil & Water
Thorny Devil & Water
Published: 2010/06/08
Channel: subfeel
16 Unknown Facts You Should Know About Thorny Devil
16 Unknown Facts You Should Know About Thorny Devil
Published: 2017/04/20
Channel: Himank Nasika
catching a Thorny Devil
catching a Thorny Devil
Published: 2016/07/26
Channel: Rss N About
Thorny Devil™ Fence Security (fence spikes)
Thorny Devil™ Fence Security (fence spikes)
Published: 2008/10/05
Channel: multiaxial1111
Thorny Devil Stick Insect | WEIRD ANIMALS
Thorny Devil Stick Insect | WEIRD ANIMALS
Published: 2016/01/11
Channel: Lion Mountain TV
Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil
Published: 2008/04/02
Channel: factoids
FUFA Full Facts Thorny Devil
FUFA Full Facts Thorny Devil
Published: 2016/05/06
Channel: FUFA - Full Facts
ARK: Scorched Earth - THORNY DRAGON! E4 ( Scorched Earth Map Gameplay )
ARK: Scorched Earth - THORNY DRAGON! E4 ( Scorched Earth Map Gameplay )
Published: 2016/09/03
Channel: Sl1pg8r - Daily Stuff and Things!
X-BIONIC® Technology: Thorny Devil
X-BIONIC® Technology: Thorny Devil
Published: 2013/09/03
Channel: xbionic
Funny Thorny Devil walk
Funny Thorny Devil walk
Published: 2010/04/16
Channel: Stijn H
Thorny devil
Thorny devil
Published: 2012/03/30
Channel: Harwoodclan
Red Soil, Blue Skies and the Desert
Red Soil, Blue Skies and the Desert's Thorny Devils
Published: 2014/02/07
Channel: wildiaries
Thorny Devil Encounter on the CSR 2015
Thorny Devil Encounter on the CSR 2015
Published: 2015/09/27
Channel: Peter Gargano
Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil
Published: 2007/03/12
Channel: nizzo45
thorny devil
thorny devil
Published: 2007/04/22
Channel: alexiskelbie
The Thorny Devil - A Short Introduction
The Thorny Devil - A Short Introduction
Published: 2011/04/09
Channel: Angus Kennedy
Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil
Published: 2006/12/22
Channel: Andy
Moloch horridus - Thorny devil.wmv
Moloch horridus - Thorny devil.wmv
Published: 2012/05/01
Channel: BachilleratoCCNNAlpa
Thorny Devil vs Seagull
Thorny Devil vs Seagull
Published: 2008/04/13
Channel: simchap7
Thorny Devil Dragon Lizard Egg Hunting - Eggs For Sale! Five for $50 - Will Post Overseas!
Thorny Devil Dragon Lizard Egg Hunting - Eggs For Sale! Five for $50 - Will Post Overseas!
Published: 2016/03/18
Channel: Adventures With Wild Warrior Bill
Australia
Australia's Thorny Devil
Published: 2014/10/21
Channel: CuriosityShow
Thorny dragon (Moloch Horridus)
Thorny dragon (Moloch Horridus)
Published: 2015/10/21
Channel: Animal education
Thorny Devil Eating Ants
Thorny Devil Eating Ants
Published: 2006/12/22
Channel: Andy
Harlem Shake - Thorny Devil Lizard
Harlem Shake - Thorny Devil Lizard
Published: 2013/02/28
Channel: Elvin Danyarov
Primal Carnage Extinction Ps4: Thorny Devil Carnotaurus Rampage Part 1
Primal Carnage Extinction Ps4: Thorny Devil Carnotaurus Rampage Part 1
Published: 2016/01/12
Channel: Vic Witwicky
Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil
Published: 2015/12/29
Channel: Asith Mohan Mangalore
Thorny Devil near Olgas NT Australia
Thorny Devil near Olgas NT Australia
Published: 2012/04/22
Channel: EarthlingsOnBoard
Thorny Devil Science Project
Thorny Devil Science Project
Published: 2014/05/27
Channel: Jorge Ramirez
Thorny Devil
Thorny Devil
Published: 2010/09/28
Channel: MikeMcGecko
Thorny Devil Documentary Assessment
Thorny Devil Documentary Assessment
Published: 2014/08/24
Channel: NiteshPillai
The Thorny Devil | Reptile Renaissance
The Thorny Devil | Reptile Renaissance
Published: 2011/11/20
Channel: ReptileRenaissance
How to Build a Lego thorny devil
How to Build a Lego thorny devil
Published: 2016/05/06
Channel: shrivishnu balamurugan
Amazing Animals Part1- The Thorny Devil
Amazing Animals Part1- The Thorny Devil
Published: 2009/03/27
Channel: brom8305
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Moloch horridus
Thornydevil.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Moloch
Gray, 1841
Species: M. horridus
Binomial name
Moloch horridus
Gray, 1841
Thorny Devil Area.png
Synonyms

Acanthosaura gibbosus

The thorny devil or thorny dragon (Moloch horridus) is an Australian lizard, also known as the mountain devil, the thorny lizard, or the moloch. This is the sole species of genus Moloch. The thorny dragon grows up to 20 cm (7.9 in) in length, and can live for 15 to 20 years. The females are larger than the males. 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.

Description[edit]

A thorny dragon in Western Australia

An intimidating array of spikes covers the entire upper side of the body of the thorny dragon. These thorny scales also help to defend it from predators. Camouflage and deception may also be used to evade predation. This lizard's unusual gait involves freezing and rocking as it moves about slowly in search of food, water, and mates.[1]

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 "false head" is made of soft tissue.[2]

The thorny dragon's scales are ridged, enabling the animal to collect water from any part of its body by simply touching water, usually with their limbs; via the capillary principle water is transported to the mouth through their skin[1].

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The names given to this lizard reflect its appearance: the two large horned scales on its head complete the illusion of a dragon. Although the name Moloch was formerly used for a deity of the ancient Near East, this name began to be used later in demonology to refer to the fallen angel and Prince of Hell. The thorny dragon also has other nicknames people have given it such as the "devil lizard", "thorny devil", "horned lizard", and the "thorny toad".[3]

The thorny dragon was first described in writing by the biologist John Edward Gray in 1841. While it is the only one contained in the genus Moloch, many taxonomists suspect another species might remain to be found in the wild.[1] The thorny dragon is only distantly related to the similar (morphologically speaking) North American horned lizards of the genus Phrynosoma. This similarity is usually thought of as an example of convergent evolution.

Habitat[edit]

Illustration from Lydekker's The Royal Natural History
Thorny dragon underside, Western Australia

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

The habitation of the thorny dragon coincides more with the regions of sandy loam soils than with a particular climate in Western Australia.[4]

Self-defense[edit]

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

Diet[edit]

The thorny dragon mainly subsists on ants, especially Ochetellus flavipes and other species in the Iridomyrmex or Ochetellus genera.[5] Thorny dragons often eat thousands of ants in one day.[1]

Thorny dragons collect moisture in the dry desert by the condensation of dew on their bodies at night. This dew forms on its skin, and then it is channelled to its mouth in hygroscopic grooves between its spines.[6] During rainfalls, capillary action allows the thorny dragon to absorb water from all over its body.

Breeding and reproduction/survival[edit]

The females lay clutch of three to ten eggs during the September–December season (spring-summer). They put these in a nesting burrow about 30 cm underground. The eggs hatch after about three to four months.[7] Predators that consume thorny dragons include wild birds and goannas.

Popular reference[edit]

The popular appeal of the thorny dragon is the basis of an anecdotal petty scam. American servicemen stationed in Southwest Australia decades ago (such as during World War II) were supposedly sold the thorny fruits of a species of weeds, the so-called "double gee" (Emex australis), but those were called "thorny devil eggs" as a part of the scam.[citation needed] Thorny dragons have been kept in captivity.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Browne-Cooper, Robert; Brian Bush; Brad Maryan; David Robinson (2007). Reptiles and Frogs in the Bush: Southwestern Australia. University of Western Australia Press. pp. 46, 65, 158. ISBN 978-1-920694-74-6. 
  2. ^ Bell, Christopher; Mead, Jim; Swift, Sandra (2009). "Cranial osteology of Moloch horridus (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae)". Records of the Western Australian Museum. 25 (Part 2): 201–237. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  3. ^ http://www.factzoo.com/reptiles/lizards/thorny-devil-lizard.html
  4. ^ Pianka, E. R.; Pianka, H. D. (1970). "The ecology of Moloch horridus (Lacertilia: Agamidae) in Western Australia". Copeia. 1970: 90–103. doi:10.2307/1441978. 
  5. ^ Australia's Thorny Devil, retrieved 2007-10-31 
  6. ^ Bentley, P. J.; Blumer, F. C. (1962). "Uptake of water by the lizard, Moloch horridus". Nature. 194: 699–700. doi:10.1038/194699a0. 
  7. ^ Pianka, E. R. (1997). "Australia's thorny devil". Reptiles. 5 (11): 14–23. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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