Beau and Monique, Dogs, Dog, Travel, Australia, Photos and Pictures

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Thorny Devil

Thorny Devil
The Thorny Devil or Moloch horridus, this animale is covered in thorns. It might look evil but its completely harmless. You can find them in central and western Australia, throughout the deserts and in light bush land. The thorny devil is about 20 cm long, and they like to eat ants. The catch them by using their tongue, like an ant-eater would do. The colour changes on the thorny devil’s body from yellow to reddish brown to black, depending on which type of soil it is crossing. They change colours to be camouflaged and make it easier for them to hide. and if rain lands on its back, it runs down the creature finding its way to its mouth where is consumed. The thorny devil lays about 3 to 10 eggs underground, between September and January. The eggs hatch 3 to 4 months later. They reach maturity after 3 years. The thorny devil lives for about 20 years. The thorny devil is one of the least aggressive reptiles. It likes to defend itself but has weird ways of doing it: They have the ability to change colours to match their environment. They hide in small shrubs. When they’re scared they put their head between front legs, which shows a fake head or knob on its neck in the place where a normal head should be. If a predator tries to flip it over it puts its spine and curved tail against the ground to prevent it from falling over. Its movement looks like a leaf, and it often “freezes” instinctively. They have the ability to puff themselves up like a ball, which makes them look bigger. The thorny devil is an endangered animal. People have been saving the thorny devil’s nests and eggs by placing wire enclosures around the nests. By doing this they are keeping predators out and hold the babies in after hatching. This technique seems to be working. When the thorny devil goes to sleep at night, it digs up the soil, and covers itself with it to stay warmer during really cold nights. The thorny devils dig themselves underground burrows, sometimes under scrub to provide protection from the heat.

posted by Monique at 7:33 pm  

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