Planet Earth

Australiana #3 - Thorny devil

Not Exactly Rocket ScienceBy Ed YongNov 13, 2008 9:41 PM


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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.

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