The Sand Lizard

The moloch, or thorny devil (Moloch homdus), is an extraordinary
lizard found throughout Central Australia, including the Gibson
Desert. Generally its patchy dull brown and W0ht orange skin
matches the soils of the continent’s “Red Center,” although it can
change its color to match the background—if not as promptly or as
drastically as the champions of quick-change lizards , the
chameleons. The moloch eats ants and termites, flicking out its long
tongue to pick them up and then chewing the morsels in its weak
jaws. Its most striking features, however, are the spines that cover its
body, many of which are long and pointed like small canine teeth or
rose thorns. When worried, the moloch tucks its head under its body
and presents a lump of sharp, hard spikes to the enemy. Some of the
spines and spiky scales also have tiny grooves that work as capillary
channels, sucking up any moisture that touches the iizard’s body from
small puddles on the ground or leaves dampened by dew, and
channeling it toward the head and mouth for drinking.