reptilesreptiles. The fierce-looking thorny devil, moloch, is actually a slow-moving and harmless lizard. Lizards belong to the group of animals called
Habitat and Distribution (where it is found) The thorny devil is found in the dry scrub and desert in Australia's centre. Appearance and behaviours A thorny devil is about 20cm long. Females are larger than males. The devil's colours match those of the desert, pale browns and tans when it is warm and darker shades when it is cold, so that it is always well camouflaged. Its body is entirely covered with cone shaped spikes. On the back of its neck there is a hump that is called a 'false head', which predators grab instead of the head.
The thorny devil is not aggressive. It has quite a few ways of hiding or defending itself if threatened: It can change colour to match its surroundings. It can protect its head and trick a predator by hiding its head between its front legs, leaving its false head showing. If a predator tries to flip it onto its back, the thorny devil uses its spikes and curved tail to anchor itself onto the ground. It can imitate a leaf flicked by a breeze. It can puff itself up to look larger
The thorny devil eats only ants, mainly one particular kind of ant, eating about ants in a single meal. However, it eats the ants one at a time, flicking its sticky tongue in and out quickly. It drinks water in a most unusual way. When either rain or dew lands on the thorny devil's back, the water flows along thousands of grooves between the spines that lead to the corners of its mouth so that it can drink.
Predators include bustards and goannas. After mating in September, female thorny devils lay 3-10 eggs in a burrow about 30cm underground. The eggs hatch after about 3 months. A thorny devil's life span is about 20 years.
They are the biggest lizards. They live on a just few islands in Indonesia. They hunt large animals such as buffalo and deer. Females lay eggs. Appearance and behaviours The Komodo dragon is the largest of all the lizards. They belong to the family of monitor lizards. Lizards are part of the reptile group of animals.
Komodo dragons grow to about 2.5 metres in length. Males weigh about 100 kilograms and females about 85 kilograms. All Komodo dragons have a long neck and a tail that is longer than its body. Male dragons have bigger heads and longer tails than the females. All dragons have short, powerful legs with strong, sharp claws. They can deliver a crushing blow with the tail. Dragons are generally a sandy brown colour with dark markings, though this may vary.
The Komodo dragon has a forked tongue which it flicks in and out. When the tongue flicks out it collects scents (smells) in the air, and when it flicks in, information about the scents is picked up by a special organ inside the dragon's mouth that lets the animal's brain know what the smells are.
Komodo dragons, living in the wild, are found mainly on the Indonesian islands of Komodo and Rinca. These islands are part of the 22 islands that make up the Komodo National Park in the Indian Ocean. Rinca Island.
They are carnivorous (eats only meat), and are ferocious predators (hunters). Adult dragons eat wild pigs, deer, young buffalo, and on the island of Rinca, long-tailed macaque monkeys. Komodo dragons have been known to attack humans but this is rare.
Komodo dragons live alone, and only look for each other for breeding. Breeding season is from April to July. Females are ready to mate when they are years old. Males are ready when they are 7 years old. A couple of months after mating, a female Komodo dragon is ready to lay her eggs. She digs 4 or 5 holes about a metre deep and a metre wide. To confuse predators, which might try to eat her eggs, she lays eggs in only one of the holes. (Females lay between 15 and 30 eggs, which take 8 -9 months to hatch but usually only about half of the eggs hatch) She then fills in all the holes and goes away. Adult dragons do not look after their eggs or their young.
Lions are in the group of cats known as the 'big cats'. They are different from other cats because they live in large social groups, and are the only cats to do so. Other cats are generally solitary, which means they live alone most of the time. Most lions are in Africa, although there is another species (kind) in India, and two kinds that are now extinct.
A group of lions is called a pride, generally consisting of up to around fifteen (but can be up to about thirty or more) lions, mostly females that are related. One male, or sometimes two or three males, join a pride and stay for a period of time, usually about three years or until another male or group of males take over the pride. A pride is territorial, and the males mark the territory with scent and by roaring. Roaring is also a way for members of a pride to stay in touch when they are in different parts of their territory. A lion's roar can be heard up to 8kms away, and close to the roaring lion, the grass flattens and leaves move on the trees from the force of the sound!