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Thorny Devil

Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus)Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus)Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus)Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus)Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus)Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus)
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Thorny Devil Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Moloch Horridus
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
15-20cm (5.9-8in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
70-95g (2.5-3.4oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
60km/h (37mph)
How long the animal lives for
12-20 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Red, Grey, Brown
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Dry desert and shrub land
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Ants, Termites
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Snakes, Human, Birds
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Spiky skin and water channels throughout body

Thorny Devil Location

Map of Thorny Devil Locations
Map of Oceania

Thorny Devil

The thorny devil, also known as Thorny Dragon, Thorny Lizard, or the Moloch, is a small species of lizard native to Australia with there being no other lizard like the thorny devil anywhere in the world.

The thorny devil is a small lizard with the average adult thorny devil only growing to around 20cm in length and weighing about the same as the average mouse. The thorny devil is best known for having an extremely spiky looking appearance and the thorny devil can blend well into the vast Australian desert due to the colour of the thorny devil's skin.

The body of the thorny devil has a very rigid structure which aids the thorny devil in collecting water. Amazingly, in between the cone-shaped spikes of the thorny devil, little channels form along the thorny devil's body which enables the thorny devil to collect water from any part of its body which is then transported to the mouth of the thorny devil.

As with many species of lizard, the female thorny devil is generally slightly bigger than the male thorny devil and tend to be slightly paler in colour, with the male thorny devil having a slightly redder looking appearance. All thorny devil individuals tend to change from a paler to a darker colour when they cool down.

The thorny devil also has a pretend head at the back of its neck which is used to mislead oncoming predators. The thorny devil dips its real head down and is therefore able to have a slight advantage over other animals.

The thorny devil feeds mainly on ants and collects the much need moisture at night time generally from forming dew drops. The thorny devil can eat some thousands of ants every day, which is remarkable for such a small creature.

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Thorny Devil Comments

"they are fascinating animals and are good to read on they are also clever and amazing animals."
"Thorny Devil is the most amazing animal to lean about"
mister nobody
"the thorny devil is the coolest kind of lizard and i wonder if they are dangerous to humans""
"its a interesting looking animal"
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First Published: 18th February 2009, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Feb 2009]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Feb 2009]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 18 Feb 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Feb 2009]
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