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The thorny devil (Moloch horridus) is also known as the thorny dragon or the mountain devil. It’s a small (up to 8 inches in length), spiky lizard native to Australia. They live in the arid scrubland and desert of the interior of the continent. Thorny devils are the only species in the genus Moloch, and they can live between six and 20 years.
The thorny devil is covered in hard, rather sharp spines that dissuade attacks by predators by making it difficult to swallow. It also has a false head on its back. When it feels threatened by other animals, it lowers its head between its front legs, and then presents its false head. Predators that consume the thorny devil include wild birds and goannas.
Thorny devils can change color. In warm weather, the lizards are usually pale yellow and red, but they can change rapidly to darker colors in cold weather or when alarmed. They undergo this color change daily as the sun rises and they become more active. In the cool morning, thorny lizards are a drab olive-brown and get lighter as the temperature climbs.