5 Lesser-Known Facts About Thorny Devils

Thorny Devils, also known as Moloch horridus, are fascinating creatures that inhabit the arid and sandy deserts of central Australia. While they might look intimidating with their spiky appearance, they are actually quite gentle and unique in many ways. Here are five lesser-known facts about Thorny Devils:

Water-Harvesting Abilities: One of the most remarkable adaptations of Thorny Devils is their ability to harvest water. Their skin is covered in tiny grooves that channel water towards their mouths, allowing them to collect dew and any rain that falls on them. This adaptation is crucial for their survival in the harsh desert environment where water is scarce.

False Head: Thorny Devils have a unique defense mechanism against predators. They have a false head on the back of their neck, which they can present to potential threats by tucking their real head between their front legs. This false head, complete with a dark eye spot and a small mouth, confuses predators and gives the Thorny Devil a chance to escape.

Ant-Eating Specialists: While Thorny Devils primarily feed on ants, they have a specialized way of capturing them. They use their sticky tongue, which can extend to more than twice the length of their body, to capture ants. Their diet consists mainly of harvester ants, and they can consume thousands of these ants in a single day.

Temperature Regulation: Living in the desert, Thorny Devils are exposed to extreme temperatures. To regulate their body temperature, they have a unique system of vascular channels in their skin that helps them absorb heat during the day and dissipate it at night. This adaptation helps them survive in the desert’s fluctuating temperatures.

Solitary Creatures: Thorny Devils are solitary creatures and are rarely seen in groups. They are most active during the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon when temperatures are more moderate. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are not aggressive towards humans and will typically try to avoid confrontation.

Works Cited

This page created for informative purposes.