Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

Australiana #3 - Thorny devil

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongNovember 14, 2008 3:41 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

So we've done koalas and cephalopods - let me actually show you something I saw in the wild. This delightful little creature is the thorny devil or moloch, names which sit uneasily with its placid nature. The spines that decorate its body are impressive and provide the lizard with a strong defence, but it's what lies between the spines that's really interesting. The thorny devil's flanks are lined with grooves that are narrow enough to channel water by capillary action. The grooves end in the creature's mouth, so the thorny devil can drink simply by standing in a puddle or waiting for the morning dew to condense on its numerous spines.


    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In