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The thorny devil (Moloch horridus), also known commonly as the mountain devil, thorny lizard, thorny dragon, and moloch, is a species of lizard in the family Agamidae. The species is endemic to Australia. It is the sole species in the genus Moloch. It grows up to 21 cm (8.3 in) in total length (including tail), with females generally larger than males. The thorny devil grows up to 21 cm (8.3 in) in total length (including tail), and can live for 15 to 20 years. The females are larger than the males. Most specimens are colored in camouflaging shades of desert browns and tans. These colors change from pale colors during warm weather to darker colors during cold weather. The thorny devil is covered entirely with conical spines that are mostly uncalcified. An intimidating array of spikes covers the entire upper side of the body of the thorny devil. These thorny scales also help to defend it from predators. Camouflage and deception may also be used to evade predation. This lizard's unusual gait involves freezing and rocking as it moves about slowly in search of food, water, and mates. The thorny devil also features a spiny "false head" on the back of its neck, and the lizard presents this to potential predators by dipping its real head. The "false head" is made of soft tissue. The thorny devil's scales are ridged, enabling the animal to collect water by simply touching it with any part of the body, usually the limbs; the capillary principle allows the water to be transported to the mouth through the skin. The thorny devil usually lives in the arid scrubland and desert that covers most of central Australia, sandplain and sandridge desert in the deep interior and the mallee belt. The habitat of the thorny devil coincides more with the regions of sandy loam soils than with a particular climate in Western Australia.

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