Thorny devils are spiny, fierce-looking creatures native to the Australian desert, particularly favoring dry and hot climates in coastal areas of Australia. These creatures weigh up to three ounces and are approximately two centimeters in size, roughly the size of a hand. When they hatch, both male and female thorny devils are similar, but after a year, females become visibly longer, sometimes reaching twice the size of the largest males. Their lifespan ranges from 10 to 20 years.
When the thorny devil walks, its tail doesn't touch the ground. They possess distinctive horn-like features, giving rise to their name, "thorny devil." They also have a false head used to deceive potential predators. When threatened, the thorny devil tucks its head, and this fake head often confuses predators because they can't eat the sharp and fragile spikes. As for their diet, thorny devils primarily feed on tiny insects, with a preference for ants. In terms of reproduction, females dig 10-inch tunnels to lay their eggs.
Their distinctive appearance and behavior make them stand out in the animal kingdom. Thorny devils have specialized coloration that helps them camouflage with their surroundings. Depending on factors like temperature and mood, they can change their color to some extent, which assists in temperature regulation.
Despite their fierce appearance, thorny devils are generally non-aggressive and solitary creatures. They're mainly active during the day, searching for food and avoiding the harsh sun. They may inflate their bodies when threatened, making them appear larger and more intimidating.
These unique features and adaptations make thorny devils a subject of great interest in biology and a captivating example of nature's creativity.
[Source: Snakes and Reptiles the Scariest Cold-blooded Creatures on Earth]