The thorny devil is a lizard species also known as the mountain devil, thorny dragon or thorny lizard. It’s a small lizard speckled with orange, yellow, white and brown markings, which change depending on the amount of sunlight and surrounding.
In addition to spines, these creatures protect themselves from predators through camouflage. No one quite knows what purpose the horns above the eye serve. Here are a few more fun facts about the thorny devil.
1. They Are Ant-Eaters
Thorny devils only eat ants. They can consume thousands of ants a day. Unlike other predators, thorny devils only sit and wait for their prey to pass near them. Their sticky tongues come in handy in capturing the ants, and their teeth help in tearing the hard bodies of the ants. They feed mostly in the early mornings or late afternoons.
2. They Can Inflate Themselves
Thorny devils can puff themselves to appear bigger, making it harder for their predators to swallow them. This is a unique defense mechanism.
3. They Don’t Like Extreme Weather Conditions
Thorny devils are almost inactive during extreme hot or cold seasons. Similarly, they are most active in autumn, late winter and early summer, when they mate and lay eggs. During the hot summer months and cold winter periods, they hide in underground tunnels.
4. They Have a False Head on Their Shoulders
Thorny devils are believed to have a false head on their shoulders. They use it as a defense mechanism. When threatened, they tuck in their real head between their forelegs, exposing their false head as the actual head.
In conclusion, like all reptiles, Thorny Devils derive their heat externally, which means you’ll often find them basking in the sun. When lying on the sand, you can confuse them for small sticks. So be on the lookout to avoid running them over with a car.