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15 Thorny Devil Facts I Wish I knew Before I got started

Want to learn some great Thorny Devil Lizard facts? Well then read on because you are in the right place. In this article I plan to cover their Scientific name, other names they are known by, why they "Puff Up" their bodies, why the wak real funny, and so much more.


This blog post will be taking a look at 15 unique facts about an Australian reptile lizard known as the ‘thorny devil’. This Australian lizard can grow up to 25 cm and has a lifespan up to 20 years.

There are many interesting things to learn about this type of lizard, which is why the purpose of this blog post will be to inform you about the very many interesting facts that this Australian lizard has to offer.

Some of the various facts that we will be talking about include this lizards appearance, size, lifespan, habitat, self-defense tactics, diet, and core survival tactics.

There are many things to explore in regards to the thorny devil, and we hope that you find many of the facts that will be mentioned in this article to be interesting and educational.

What is the Thorny Devil's Scientific and other names?

The first subject that we are going to take a look at in terms of the thorny devil is to explore the official scientific names and other nicknames that are associated with this particular lizard. the official scientific name for the thorny devil is Moloch horridus which is the soul species of genus Moloch.

To local residents in Western Australia, this lizard is also known as the mountain devil or the thorny lizard. The lizard’s thorny appearance has earned the nickname as the thorny lizard which accurately represents its form.

Why are they called Thorny Devil?

While there is no official reason that they have been dubbed as the thorny devil lizard, in most cases people use this nickname because of the lizards appearance. The thorny devil is an intimidating Australian lizard with spikes similar to that of a porcupine, and this collection of spikes runs across the majority of the top side of the thorny dragons body.

This lizard originates from Western Australia, which is where it was dubbed with the nickname thorny lizard and thorny devil. This nickname has stuck because of its appearance over the course of its lifetime with its painful spikes and intense lifestyle. It appears that this nickname suits its purpose.

How big are they?

This particular type of Australian lizard typically ranges between 10 and 15 cm in length. In some cases, the thorny devil can grow up to about 20 to 25 cm in length. The thorny devil typically grows for the first half of its life before it reaches its optimal size and stabilizes for the rest of its life span.

There are a number of factors that can differentiate each particular lizard in terms of its growth potential. Their diet, location, and habitat can all contribute to their growth potential which is why you see a wide variety of different sizes when exploring thorny devil lizards.

What do they look like?

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the thorny devil Australian lizard is the fact that its appearance pretty much dictates its reception towards humans. Humans nicknamed this Australian lizard as the thorny devil because of the fact that its appearance is so intimidating and because this remarkable lizard lives its life based off of its own appearance.

The thorny devil is equipped with hundreds of spiky thorns that are used as a self-defense tactics towards its predators. Potential predators and enemies will be far less likely to want to eat the thorny dragon because of the spiky thorns and rough skin type. These thorns sort of act as a lifeline for the thorny lizard so that it can escape and dangerous situations and continue to survive in an ever-changing world.

What food do they eat and love?

The thorny devil lizard has a relatively simple diet that consists of various species of ants, mainly Ochetellus flavipes, and other similar species. The thorny devil lizard often eats hundreds or even thousands of ants in one particular 24 hour period. This particular diet is what dictates its growth potential, so a healthy diet can help the thorny devil grow to its optimal size of up to 20 centimeters.

The thorny devil often scavenges and scouts the desert surface for several hours at a time in order to find food but it is willing to eat. They are very effective at finding what they are looking for, and while they are searching a camouflage skin tight can often defend them and mask them from potential predators.

Why do they "Puff" themselves up to look bigger?

The main purpose of the thorny devil lizard Puffs there appearance up to look bigger is so that potential predators are more intimidated from the lizards of appearance and are less likely to want to swallow it for food.

This is one of the thorny devils defense tactics that it uses when necessary so that it can continue to survive and thrive in Western Australian deserts.

The thorny devil is smart and stubborn which is why it does such a good job surviving in harsh conditions where the predators are constantly scavenging for potential food.

The thorny devil has an impressive reputation when it comes to self defense which is why it has remained one of the most impressive lizards that has continued to thrive in Western Australia.

Do they walk funny?

The thorny devil has a unique walking choreography that may look different than what you might expect. They walk in such a way that appears that the upper part of their body rocks back and forth almost like a rocking chair.

While there is no confirmed reason that they choose to walk in this manner, one good guess that could potentially be correct is that the thorny devil lizard believes that this movement is less likely to bring attention especially towards potential rivals out in the wilderness.

There are number of self-defense tactics at the thorny devil uses to its advantage, and it appears that this unique walking technique is another great way for the thorny devil to continue to thrive and defend itself against potential threats and nature.

Where do they originate from (Natural Habitat)?

The thorny devil lizard originates from Western Australia and can now be found across central parts of Australia where a majority of the species currently lives. The thorny devil lizards tend to prefer dry desert land and considers the Western Australian climate its home climate. It's fair to say that the thorny devil practically rules among the majority of lizards in Australia.

One of the particular unique things about this type of lizard is the fact that it's Western Australian climate actually helps them change colors during warm and cold weather so that these lizards can disguise themselves from potential predators as a self-defense tactics.

What is their behavior like?

The thorny devil has a unique behavior pattern that primarily focuses on their internal characteristics in order to provide optimal self-defense tactics and survival techniques.

This particular lizard is extremely stubborn and smart and knows how to get around in hot and dry desert climates. They specialize in protecting themselves from potential predators like wild birds by using camouflage to change color and by using a false head that is attached to its neck so that wild birds can't determine whether the lizard is vulnerable or not.

The thorny devil can being extremely intimidating lizard because of its harsh living conditions and intimidating self-defense features. They are constantly exploring for food, usually ants located on the desert surface and enjoy living in Western Australian climate.

How do they Breed?

Thorny devil female lizards tend to lay a clutch of five to twelve eggs between the months of October and December. The female lizards place these eggs into a nest approximately 40 centimeters under the Earth's surface and then eventually these eggs will hatch after approximately 90 days.

This cycle takes place every year and should be considered a relatively consistent process that most female thorny devil lizards will follow on a year-to-year basis.

How do they consume water in the desert?

The thorny devil lizard is capable of consuming water in unique ways because of its harsh climate that it has become accustomed to. The thorny devil lizard is capable of consuming water simply by touching water because of the scales on the lizard's body. As water strolls across the surface of the thorny devil body, it uses its skin to transport water to its mouth through its skin complexion.

This is one of the remarkable ways that this particular lizards consumes water, as it uses its scales to generate a mechanism to consume as much water as possible when the opportunity arises. The characteristics of this lizard are simply remarkable, which is why many people are stunned to find out how its lifestyle is different than some other creatures that live in Western Australian climate.

What are their natural predators?

The thorny devil has dozens of potential predators that it has to use its self-defense tactics for, but its primary predators tend to be wild birds and goanna’s that exist in Western Australia. The thorny devil uses its camouflage and false head to protect from these potential predators during desperate times.

The thorny devil is capable of using his camouflage to change color which is particularly useful in the Australian climate at various times of the year.

One of the more prominent body features that the thorny devil uses to fend off potential predators are the harsh spikes that are extremely sharp and unappealing to potential predators.

Are they endangered?

The thorny devil Western Australian lizards is considered an endangered species, which is why some people have looked to try and help eggs hatch so that the Western Australian lizard known as the mountain devil can continue to thrive and produce additional babies so that the species can move towards a less endangered state.

It is hard to determine whether this process has been working, but it does appear that at least for now, the thorny devil is stable and is not moving towards an imminent extinction. The biggest threat to the thorny devil species should be considered wild birds that can swoop down and kill the thorny devil lizard in just a matter of moments.

What do their horns do for them?

The horns that are located on the thorny devil lizard are simply another self defense tactic that it uses among its unique variety of characteristics to protect against potential predators.

This particular lizard has a long list of characteristics and self-defense tactics that it has successfully used against many predators, although it tends to struggle with self defense against giant birds that seem to come out of the wild.

These horns don't serve too much of a purpose and are not one of the main self-defense tactics that the lizard intends to use. These horn serve as a complementary measure to try and intimidate potential predators, however they are not as useful as the sharp thorns that help distinguish this particular lizard from others.

While their horns may not be a major part of their anatomy, some people might find that these horns add character to the thorny lizards already unique list of features that make them appealing to some lizard enthusiasts.

Are they ideal for beginner Lizard owners

Determining whether owning a thorny devil lizard in Western Australia is a good idea comes down to the core principles that surrounds a lizards lifestyle. It is important to remember that these lizards are designed to live outdoors in their natural habitat and that by placing them into a cage or confined environment can drastically change their internal lifestyle and senses which can have significant impact on their health and well-being.

Potential lizard owners and lizard enthusiasts should strongly debate the potential costs, challenges, and tribulations that could potentially arise from owning a thorny devil lizard as a pet. First off, it is important to remember that the thorny devil lizard tends to eat ants and other small similar species which can be costly over a long period of time. In addition, these lizards like to scavenge and move around for long periods of time which could potentially raise health risks if the lizard is confined for long periods of time inside of a small environment. It would be extremely difficult to raise a healthy thorny devil lizard for long periods of time without spending a lot of money to create a custom lifestyle that they would be happy with.

After taking a look at all the information that is available, it is hard to imagine a situation where a beginner lizard owner would be able to successfully meet all of the requirements that a thorny devil lizard would need in order to live a happy life style inside of a confined environment as a pet. While it is not impossible to do this, there are probably other lizards that are better candidates for beginner lizard owners before taking a look at the thorny devil lizard.

Regardless of whether owning a pet lizard is in your future, doing research on some of these creatures like the thorny devil lizard is really fascinating and can bring up a lot of interesting facts that you didn't even know where possible.


These fifteen facts in regards to the thorny devil lizard that has lived most of its life in Western Australian climate are extremely fascinating especially for lizard enthusiasts. Each of these fifteen facts create a unique characteristic that separates this particular lizard from other similar lizards that are not quite the same.

The thorny devil lizard lives up to its name and description as one of the prominent yet endangered lizards that currently strolls across the dry and harsh deserts of Australia. While it is unclear whether the thorny devil lizard has a bright future in terms of its overall species, the good news is that as of right now it is currently in a stable endangerment and is currently likely to stay around for many years.

As a writer and lizard enthusiast myself, it was fascinating to get to know some of the interesting facts that make the thorny devil mountain lizard so unique compared to other similar lizards that live across Australia. I thoroughly enjoyed doing research and finding out new information about this particular type of lizard.

Did you enjoy this in-depth research and fact based article about the remarkable Australian thorny devil lizard? We would love to hear your feedback about this article and would also love to hear your opinions about the thorny devil lizard. Would you ever make the bold decision to own one of these intimidating lizards? Let us know!


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.